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February is wake-up time in the garden

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

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HERE we are, almost into the second month of the year already.

February is always the wake-up month for the garden, things at the park are already starting to show signs of life.

Around our pond area we have a lovely Hamamelis (witch hazel) flowering its head off and just a little walk further there is a shrubby honeysuckle covered in white, fragrant flowers.

So, even now, there are things to enjoy and by the end of the month there should be the beginnings of a good show of bulbs.

If you look around you might see one of my favourite early flowers, the crocus, but you unfortunately won't see too many at Boscawen Park.

Crocuses seem to be top of the local squirrels' menu and they are very good at finding them in the ground.

I've tried for many years to introduce crocus into the park– and lots of ways of deterring the twitchy-nosed little blighters – but all with no luck. I don't like to harm animals but I must admit the thought of using a 12-bore is becoming more and more appealing. So, if you have any ideas, please come down to the park and let me know.

Please don't worry: there will be no squirrel massacres at Boscawen Park in the near future, I wouldn't know where to start on the risk assessments.

Other plants with colour this month are the primula and polyanthus.

It is a little early for a really good show but if you take a walk in the woods you might see the odd Primula vulgaris flowering away, getting you ready for the spring.

At home I've found a way of keeping warm during the cold February weather.

It's ten-tonne of top soil which has been delivered to my house.

It needs moving from one end of the garden to the other, this will fill my newly built raised beds.

It's not a great time to be moving soil around but I need to get these areas ready for planting, as I want to get things established for the summer.

So, there you are, still things to do and enjoy, even though we are still in the winter and if you can't find anything to do in your garden there's ten tonnes of things to do in mine, so just pop round.

Enjoy your gardening.

Liam Shoesmith is head gardener at Boscawen Park, Truro

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