It’s hard to put my finger on it but there’s always a point in early February that seems to switch on my gardening brain. Whilst I will be the first to put my hand up in shame and admit to being a bit of a fair weather gardener, it’s not just that the short dark days of December and January offer little encouragement to go outside, there’s something inexplicable that triggers in February that says come on, it’s time to start planning, buying, putting ideas into action.
This year it hit me yesterday morning. I opened up the February edition of Gardeners’ World Magazine and saw trigger words such as ‘sow’, ‘seed’ and ‘prune’, and before I knew it, I had a giant list for the garden centre today! Not that it was the most exciting list, principally consisting of large bags of stuff – compost (multi-purpose and ericaceous) and manure, plus tubs of poultry manure. However, there was also the promise of things to come with a bag full of seed potatoes (Arran Pilot) ready to chit and a sachet of Sungold tomato seed to be sown later this month. l discovered Sungold by chance some years’ ago before they became every chef’s favourite. Somehow they manage a unique depth of flavour that balances both sweetness and sharpness, making them the perfect tomato in my opinion.
As soon as I was home it as out with the rose food and the manure to get our roses off to the best start for this year. Then it was on to pruning a giant overgrown shrub. This would have been a lot easier without the gale force winds which made the bush a constantly moving target! Meanwhile John could be seen attacking the buddleias at the far end of the garden, reducing their twenty foot high branches down to two foot high trunks. Now they are ready to go racing skywards once again.