Early Spring

Spring has well and truly sprung - so I have been trying to get round to writing this blog for 4 weeks - without much luck! So here goes....

Now is the time when most people FEEL like getting stuck into the garden - so don't hold back.....

Soil; (my hobby-horse). Where borders are likely to attract a lot of annual weeds add plenty of mulch. It will help retain the moisture, keep the annual weeds at bay and provide some nutrients if it is well-rotted. The soil will benefit from the micro organisms and the worms you are adding.

Feeding; Add fertiliser to the borders around the base of the plants. Try to avoid adding too much as this can burn the roots and shoots. Water the fertiliser in if you are in doubt. ( My rule of thumb is a level teaspoon for herbaceous and small plants and a level tablespoon for shrubs).

Pruning; Once the brilliant yellow Forsythia and and other early flowering shrubs are over you can cut the flowing branches back - as hard as you like. NOTE; when a shrub has a small hollow centre as the Forsythia and most Spireas have - you can be pretty brutal with them. The same applies to Buddlea with it's hollow centre - don't be afraid to cut it right down if you need to. If it is a healthy plant it will come back.

Silver-leafed plants can be pruned once the heavy frosts are over as can other sensitive plants such as Laveterias.

Lawns; Be careful not to make the first cut of the season too hard. If you have your mower on a high setting then a lower one for the next cut you will avoid the light green 'balding' when the mower gets to the stems of the grass.

Perennials, grasses and bulbs; Lift and divide herbaceous plants and grasses. Be Bold! They are remarkably resilient! The Snowdrops and aconites need to be lifted whilst they are still in flower.

Fruit & Veg; Whilst the air temperature may be warming up, the soil takes longer. Try to resist the temptation to rush out and do all the sowing at the first sight of sunshine. Waiting for the soil to warm up will pay dividends.

Ponds and pools; If you can bear sticking your arm into the cold,, murky water of your pond then getting at the pond plants to divide them and replant them in appropriate places will mean a less choked pond in the summer.

And in all the excitement...................don't forget to just stand and stare...................and listen................and breathe....................and smell.

To coin the immortal words of Monty Python's verbose American commentator............"Isn't Nature Wonderful" !