February’s Winter Garden Update
February in the garden! Getting ready for Spring
January is one of our busiest times in winter. We finished most of our rose pruning and fruit tree maintenance tasks before Christmas, so January is all about getting the gardens ready for a new season. This means planning and ordering plants for revitalizing our herbaceous borders, creating new parts of the garden for visitors to experience and starting to sow hardy annual seeds for the cutting garden, borders and vegetable beds as well as for our sales table later in the year.
We can see the fresh shoots popping up now – our pots of bulbs, the Tulip Bed and the Spring border are all beginning to come to life again. The snowdrops and aconites are appearing in the woodland and tiny green buds are beginning to shoot on the trees in the Star Plantation.
We had great fun on the coldest day of the month (and year so far) building a new addition to the Children’s Play Park. Our live Willow Igloo and Tunnel took us all day to build and our fingers and toes lost all sensation – but it was great fun and hopefully it will be well worth it in the summer when the bare branches have sprouted and the children can play inside the dome. We were all very proud of our achievement and can’t wait to watch it grow!
We also finished clearing the final herbaceous borders in the Tapestry Garden and all the borders have now been weeded with the amazing Foamanator, which has cut down significantly on our time spent on this task. Last year it took the whole team over 3 weeks to hand weed the borders (and then we had to do it all again a few weeks later!) and this year it has taken one person one week to do the same job allowing us to focus on other areas of the garden we want to improve.
The borders are now ready to mulch with Strulch, green waste and compost to give the soil a boost and help retain moisture and warmth as well as acting as weed suppression. The slugs hate Strulch so we use that on our vulnerable plants such as Hostas.
The glasshouses have been cleaned and the plants inside have had their annual repotting or potting on. The Spring Bulbs that we forced for early flowering are scenting the air. The Brunfelsia is in flower and the Jasmine and Pelargoniums are also providing much needed colour and joy in the glasshouses.
If you visit us in February, you will see our seed sowing in action – trays of tiny seedlings are starting to fill the glasshouses and this will continue to proliferate until we run out of room! More on this next month – but now is the time for your tomatoes and hardy annuals to be sown if you have a warm windowsill or greenhouse!
We are very excited to launch our new Garden Events for 2024. There really is something for everyone, from Specialist Tours to Vase Arranging and our ever popular, sell out Wreath Workshops. All our events make the most of the seasonal changes we see in the Gardens and Grounds here at Floors, and the expertise our Gardens team has to share. We have 8 Garden inspired events to bring you throughout this year, tickets are available now from our website.
Happy Gardening – Spring is not far away now!