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  • Writer's pictureDebi Holland

Garden News February 2021

I took a trip to a local garden centre to buy new tools but came home with a trolley full of plants!

Thrilled with the kaleidoscope of foliage and flowers to brighten up dreary borders before spring kicks in. I had some gift vouchers so my star buys were ornamental grass Carex oshimensis ‘Everest,’ beautiful variegated foliage, Cineraria maritime Silverdust, silver ragwort and the luminous Heuchera lime marmalade, quickly followed by some £1 bargains of Cyclamen fantasia and Primula elatior that could not be left on the sale bench. My VW van wheel planters have been transformed.

Unassumingly nestled in a corner some evergreens now take centre stage. It’s their time to shine! Often smothered by ‘loud’ neighbours, harts-tongue ferns glow with fresh vibrant foliage, potted bamboo injects lime-green leaves to a resting border and hellebores have sprung into flower. Cornus alba 'Sibirica' and Cornus stolonifera ‘Flaviramea’ are ‘on fire’ at the moment with their bold bright stems. Each plant exudes much-needed botanical pizazz.

I chanced upon my local greengrocers winter clear out and bought a selection of 20p waifs and strays and a fabulous white ailing orchid! I am not a fan of sprayed plants so felt compelled to rescue echeveria and aloe which I potted on in the hope they will outgrow their red and white paint. A beautiful glazed blue pot has transformed a tiny destitute Christmas tree…who knows, next year it could see itself strung with fairy lights!

We had a good session reducing the height of our unruly apple tree to allow more light to reach the beds below. It will be interesting to see what impact this has later in the year as the tree leafs up. The final stage of height reduction will have to wait till next year now so re growth is staggered, otherwise we will end up with a tree of water shoots.

We have had ‘proper’ winter weather on numerous occasions and I got into the routine of going out first thing to remove ice from the birdbath. It is so important to make sure wildlife can still get a drink at this time of year.

My on-going project is bringing two very poorly Dracaena fragrans, Corn Plants, back from the brink. Both had been steadily declining for a year or so. After some glimmers of new growth, sickly yellow and brown streaks still stained foliage, possibly a sign of over watering and feeding, so I banished them to a bucket in the greenhouse – sorry plants!

During a January ‘spring clean’ it was decision time, throw out or rescue, I finally took pity on them… Sporting new pots, gritty soil and a good feed I took a saw to the thick stems and have taken off all the dead foliage in the hope they will sprout shoots and have a new lease of life. The sawn off tops have also been potted on to propagate. Keep you posted!

Highlight: My clivia has flowered after having last year off!

Debi Holland Gardening © 2021


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