With gardening seen as one of the nation’s favourite hobbies we’re delighted to bring you the first in a series of monthly blogs that will take us through the year; providing some useful advice and guidance to those who appreciate the importance of looking after their property outside, as well as inside.
Here we take a look at what we can expect to see, and do, in our gardens in February.
The garden begins to awaken from its winter dormancy in February and although a quick glance may reveal nothing of interest, a closer look reveals just how near spring is. Buds are beginning to break along the length of bare branches and stems, especially in a sheltered spot and already winter flowering plants are in bloom. Winter Jasmine is full of bright colour as it opens its yellow flowers in the sun. The odd bloom will have been appearing in mild spells during December and January but by February it is in full swing, its long green stems carry numerous buds and flowers throughout the month. The leaves appear later, allowing the flowers their full glory.
Winter Jasmine, or Jasminumnudiflorum, is a popular plant that can grow informally through hedges but it is better in a more formal setting against a sunny wall or fence. It takes a little looking after to be at its best since it matures quickly and becomes woody within a few years. To encourage the production of fresh growth one third of the oldest shoots can be taken back annually to ground level once a plant is three years old. The remaining stems should be loosely tied to a support of wires or trellis where they will form a network of growth.
Lower down on the ground the first of the spring bulbs appear this month with snowdrops usually at the fore. These small plants are for many gardeners the first sign that winter is coming to an end, clumps of sharp green leaves poking through the soil through which grow the flowering stems. The tiniest white dot at the tip of each stem swells and eventually opens into the pure white nodding flowers that are so delightful in a semi shaded spot under deciduous shrubs or an otherwise bare flowerbed. It is a good time to plant snowdrops already in bloom to swell the ranks that are already there or to start off a new garden. They are readily available from nurseries and garden centres and will grow more successfully than planting dry bulbs in the autumn.
To give you inspiration, why not take a look at a couple of Reeds Rains properties whose gardens really add to their appeal.
Old Birley Hall, Edge Lane, Birley Carr, Sheffield, S6
Considered to be one of the oldest residential properties in Sheffield – this 5 bedroomed house not only offers an array of beautiful features internally but also boasts a stunning garden which includes a gazebo, built in 1705, called the Falconry – a dream property for any budding gardener.
The Grove, Marton-In-Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Cleveland
Situated on a substantial site this superb detached home, with one of Middlesbrough's most prestigious addresses, really does offer the space and opportunity for those green fingered amongst us to create the garden of our dreams.