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Tim's Garden Blog
The copper beach, Fagus sylvatica f.purpurea, which fell in November 2015 due to rot,is currently being cleared from the front lawn of the house. The tree was actually two trees which had been planted together and over time had fused together. The beech trees were planted as part of Humphrey Repton’s original landscape design in 1792. Once the tree has been cleared and the ground repaired a new copper beech will be planted in its place.
In the walled garden beds are being cleared of weeds and rubble, and plants donated by Butterfly World Project which closed down in November are being heeled in to the freshly dug soil in readiness for planting into their final planting positions, or for resale. Community service groups have been making good headway in clearing the beds of weeds etc.
The garden wood has looked fantastic this year with the woodland floor covered in Snowdrops providing colour and nectar for early insects on the wing, the emerging Bluebells will provide another boost of colour from around the end of April, a sight to behold.
Jobs to do in late winter,
This time of year is an ideal time to plant bare rooted deciduous trees and shrubs, as spring is just around the corner which means that the plants don’t have to sit in the cold wet soil too long before the soil warms up, before they begin to grow again after winter dormancy. If you have planted new trees and shrubs in the autumn check to see if they have been loosened by frost and refirm gently back into the ground.
Another timely job in the garden is to give the soil a dressing of an organic based fertiliser, so that the nutrients can be available to the plants as they begin to grow. Good organic fertilisers include blood, fish and bone, and pelleted chicken manure, organic fertilisers release their nutrients more slowly than inorganic ones. Scatter the fertiliser around the plants as per manufacturer’s instructions, lightly mix into the soil surface with a garden fork or hoe, but be sure to wear gloves when handling fertiliser.
February is a time for pruning in the garden, overgrown or misshaped deciduous trees and shrubs can be pruned to improve health and shape. Evergreens that may have become overgrown can be pruned, providing they are hardy types such as Acuba japonica, spotted laurel, less hardy types like Choisya ternata, Mexican orange, should be left until later in the year.