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Kingswood Gardening News – March 2019

Looking forward to the gardening year

By Sarah Wilson

It has been a wonderful February – record high temperatures with just enough rain to keep everything growing well. Many of the plants in full flower at the moment did not flower until April last year so we have so much more colour in the garden this year. In my garden there are still snowdrops as well as Narcissi, Anemone blanda, hellebores of all kinds, primroses, Iris reticulata and Hepatica. Lots of purples and lilacs and bright yellows to bring the garden to life.

I planted a lot of bulbs in pots last year and the Narcissi ‘Tete a Tete‘ are looking really nice, as are some pots of yellow Helleborus orientalis. This is an unusual colour for a hellebore and doesn’t really look that good in a border but really nice in a terracotta pot. The advantage of bulbs and perennials in pots is that you can bring them close to the house to enjoy the colour and scent without having to go too far out into the garden.

The garden is also full of scent and colour from early flowering shrubs and trees. The best scent comes from Sarcococca, Lonicera purpusii, Daphne Odora, Camellia, Viburnum tinus and Hamamelis or Witch hazel – and they are full of bumble bees on a warm day.

Daphne Odora

Other more unusual shrubs which bring colour to the spring garden are Lonicera elisae, Corylopsis pauciflora and Stachyurus praecox. These are quite easy to find in nurseries at this time of year and their flowers are more subtle being white or pale yellow, but they look graceful and very different from the ubiquitous bright yellow Forsythia.

Lonicera elisae

Corylopsis pauciflora

Stachyurus praecox

Tasks for March

  • Start cutting your grass – firstly keep the grass quite long but after April, if you want a good lawn, you should cut the grass twice a week!
  • Once the spring flowering shrubs are over you can prune them, especially if they are becoming a bit leggy and overgrown.
  • If you have planted any new shrubs or trees over the winter, you must keep them well watered from now on as they will have poor roots and need watering for about two years after planting.
  • This is your last chance to cut back Wisteria and Clematis.
  • If you have straggly and congested rose bushes they will benefit from a radical pruning – cut down to 20 cm and remove dead and crossing stems – they will send up new soft shoots which should flower well this summer.
  • This is the ideal time to dig up and divide congested clumps of bulbs such as snowdrops, crocus or narcissi – if they have not flowered this year it may be that they just need splitting up and the bulbs will grow enough to produce a flower next year. It’s worth a try – divide them up, replant quickly and deeply, water in and don’t remove the leaves until they are yellow.
  • Keep on top of weeds in the borders as they say that a day’s weeding in spring saves a week’s weeding in summer!

Dr Sarah Wilson, a long time resident in The Warren, regularly opens her garden in the summer months with the National Garden Scheme.

To contact Sarah please click here

Kingswood Gardening News – Autumn 2018

The end of a very challenging gardening year By Sarah Wilson A sure sign that Autumn is here is the ever-increasing sound of the leaf blowers around Kingswood! It has been a strange gardening year – a long, cold and wet winter, a warm spell followed by the “Beast from the East” and then months […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – July 2018

Drought resistant plants By Sarah Wilson My last newsletter was written after weeks of rain, following a very cold winter, both of which had left us with much to do to get the garden “summer ready”. Now we have had weeks of really hot weather and not a drop of rain so our gardens are […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – May 2018

Making your garden really special this summer. By Sarah Wilson March and April were really dismal months, except for a few days of beautiful weather in late April, so you have probably kept out of your very muddy and cold garden! At this time of year you can really enhance your garden with spring blossom […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – March 2018

Introducing native plants into your garden. By Sarah Wilson In Kingwood we are fortunate to live in an area surrounded by native woodland and we have many remnants of the historic landscape of the medieval Kingswood in our gardens. In local deciduous woodland there is birch, beech, hazel, ash and hawthorn – all trees which […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – January 2018

Winter scent and colour in your garden. By Sarah Wilson If you do brave the cold and rain this month it is nice to have something with colour and scent in your garden. Not only will this please you, but it will also ensure that birds and insects have something to eat over the winter […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – December 2017

December in the garden and presents for gardeners. By Sarah Wilson In December most of the plants in the garden are green although the brown seed heads of grasses and perennials are still standing despite the high winds. There are however quite a few colourful and scented flowers hidden in sheltered corners providing winter food […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – September 2017

Shrubs with autumn colour and lessons learned from this summer in my garden. By Sarah Wilson As we approach autumn we look forward to the reds and oranges of our trees and the berries of late summer but do you have any shrubs, which are at their best in late summer?  In my garden are […] Continue reading →