I have never had such a wonderfully mild winter as this one. Signs of spring abound and if it stays like this until the end of the week, the chance of cold weather has passed. Yesterday we needed some garden therapy so hubby and I took off to the garden. There were leaves to pull back from the garden and be composted. Signs of spring bulbs are everywhere with Crocuses in bloom waiting for the bees to return. As I gardened a friend walked by and told me she saw the first dandelion open. Pruning was on my mind as I worked in the garden. With so many trees, shrubs and vines it has to start soon.
After cleaning up the garden below this Buddleia it was time to prune. Believe it or not, I have already taken five feet off this shrub. I will probably take it down a bit further as new growth begins. Because it’s a background shrub I like it to grow tall to add some privacy as we are open to a public walkway in behind. If you want your Buddleia to be shorter, you can prune it back harder than this. I tend to be a light pruner and would only go to about 2-3 feet from the ground.
This shrub is near our sitting area and attracts butterflies in summer. I love watching butterflies enjoy this plant. This shrub is considered invasive in some areas but here it doesn’t reseed at all. I wish it would so I could add more to the garden.
February is a good month to transplant shrubs. You want to do this while the plant is dormant. This poor Hibiscus or Rose of Sharon had been shaded out next to a tall tree. You know how it is, you plant a garden and everything grows requiring a few adjustments from time to time. It’s now in a sunny spot where it can be seen as you walk by.
Its Hellebore season with lots of beautiful flowers opening this week. Remember to cut off the old foliage and let the new leaves remain. Hellebores are prone to leaf spot and cutting back old leaves aids in preventing its spread. Leaf spot is a fungus and is spread by the rain. If you live on the south-west coast of BC, there is no way of preventing this fungal disease.
By now your rhubarb should be showing signs of growth. Add some compost around your rhubarb to give it that extra boost it needs.
Camellias look like they will soon be out in bloom. Here it is teasing us with a tiny show of colour.
I just looked at last years photos and it bloomed in March. Does that say we are well ahead of schedule with this warm weather? If you are out pruning shrubs, remember to prune later blooming shrubs like Buddleia and Hydrangea now. Leave pruning of spring blooming shrubs until after they have finished flowering.
Does your mophead Hydrangea look like this? Now is the time to cut back the branches that flowered last year. I leave the flowers on so its easier to prune in spring. The branches that did not flower last season will flower this year so leave them alone. Cut out any dead branches. On Hydrangea dead branches are often hollow and break off easily.
Your Hydrangea will look really bare after pruning it back. New growth has already started here so it won’t be long before leaves emerge. If you have an older plant, you may want to remove some of the thicker stems from the base. It will thin out the plant allowing more light in to the center for growth.
Take time to walk your garden every couple of days. Look to see what needs to be done. Do you need to add soil, sharpen your tools or build some new beds? Perhaps you need to order seeds for the vegetable garden. Yes, it happens all too quickly and not everyone has a helper like mine. Okay, he’s just a supervisor.
Done all this and want more? Check out more tasks for the February garden here.