Kevin Sweet's February Gardening Blog

I don't know about you but I am delighted to see the days are getting a little longer! Despite the chilling temperatures, spring is certainly on its way!
The cold temperatures aren't always a bad thing, it helps to control plant pests and diseases, although the freezing nights and -6 temperatures aren't so much fun when you have to work in the garden early morning!

The colder weather also means we are seeing a lot of wild birds visiting the feeders in the walled garden on a daily basis - it's amazing the number of birds you can see in a short time. 
Over the next week or so the team and I will be putting up new bird boxes across the estate ready for babies in the spring!

Since my last blog, we've been busy doing a lot more pruning and cutting back of shrubs, as well as a general good clean up of all the garden areas.
More restoration work has been carried out in the sunken garden in preparation of the opening in the spring. Long term we will be introducing new shade-loving plants and benches so guests can enjoy the reclaimed garden.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you exclusive information about some exciting events we are expecting to see confirmed very soon. For 2019 Ashdown Park Hotel is teaming up with The Sussex Wildlife Trust, to bring you some nature-inspired events. Please keep watch for further updates!!!

Plant of the month: Amaryllis

Onto my plant of the month...At this time of year, I think the Amaryllis is the show stopper of houseplants.
With its glorious trumpet-shaped flowers (a little lily-esque) and green strap-shaped leaves they come in different colours, can produce multiple large flowers and best of all, are easy to grow. We have several in our glasshouse at Ashdown Park, one of which has produced 14 flowers. To stop it from toppling over we have had to stake the pot!

In order to get the best from your Amaryllis next season, once it has flowered, remove the faded blooms and cut back the stem. We keep the bulb in the same pot, keeping it fairly dry and in the shade. Come autumn we will start watering and feeding it again.
These flowers are well worth trying to grow as they are a beautiful talking point!

February Garden Tips
1.    If you get snow brush from shrubs to prevent branches snapping
2.    Check any protected plants for signs of rot
3.    Carry on pruning fruit trees
4.    Prune Wisteria and tie in shoots
5.    Plant Lily and Allium bulbs

While you are out in your Garden, have a go at creating a Bee or Bug Hotel, or upcycling old containers to become bird boxes. For inspiration and how to, please CLICK HERE.

One final note, I'm delighted that tickets for our Hanging Basket Workshop in May and our Christmas Decoration Workshop in November are already selling! To book your tickets today, please call 01342 824988.

Happy Gardening,

Kevin Sweet,
Estate Manager