Welcome to My February Blog
Spring is certainly on its way; it’s wonderful to see the weather starting to improve, with the exception of Storm Doris and Ewan, and days getting longer again. It always brings a smile to my face when the first spring buds appear on the trees and shrubs, swelling up getting ready to open.
Around Ashdown Park’s estate there’s a lot that needs to be done before summer and although we have 186 acres to tend to, with the great team we have, I know it will all get the attention it needs and the grounds will look incredible - ready for picnics, relaxing strolls and romantic outdoor weddings.
Throughout February in the glasshouse I have started to sow a selection of seeds. I thoroughly enjoy this part of my work as it still fills me with joy and amazement when the tiny seeds you have carefully tended to appear, after a few months, as beautiful flowering plants.
Some of the plants that will emerge from these ‘February seeds’ are going to be used at our hugely popular Hanging Basket Workshop in May. CLICK HERE for more information. Places are limited so please do book early to avoid disappointment.
Plant of the Month: Polyanthus
This month I am championing Polyanthus because they are such a vibrant and versatile plant which can grow in borders, pots, tubs and hanging baskets. They tend to stand up better to the weather than pansies and flower from February to May. There are some splendid strains with an extensive range of colours and even the leaves provide visual interest.
Polyanthus can be grown from seed but the easiest way to grow them is to buy them as small sprouts in trays or pots. They prefer moist soil and do best in partial shade.
Top Tip: Polyanthus is ideal to plant in clumps for borders. If left in situ they will self seed and spread.
Moving into March, here are my Top Gardening Tips:
Give lawns a good rake over to remove any moss and dead grass.
If ground conditions are right give your grass a ‘high cut’ to just top it rather than cutting it close to the soil.
Clean moss and algae from paved and decked areas.
Carry on with winter pruning of shrubs.
Prune fruit trees if you have not been able to yet, making sure to remove any dead wood.
Kevin Sweet, Estate Manager