1. Cut back ornamental grasses such as Stipa gigantia, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ Grasses such as Stipa tenuissima – Pony Tail grass, Stipa arundinacea better to pull your fingers through and remove spent fronds.Better to wait until the soil warms up before dividing clumps of grasses and there is better new growth.
2.Prune apple and pear trees whilst they’re still dormant. Leave plum , cherry and apricot trees until the early summer as pruning these fruit trees now will make them susceptible to Silver Leaf disease.As soon as they start to open their leaves, good time to prune as their sap is now beginning to rise.
3 Plant bear rooted trees and roses .I prefer to plant my roses when in flower so that I am sure I have what I want – labels can get mixed up.Planting bear rooted trees often allows you get great value, also good root /soil connection. Using a Mycorrhizal fungi can also add dividens creating that bridge between root and soil.
4 Check out all the fabulous scented shrubs now such as Daphne, Viburnum x bodnantense, Witch Hazel – Hamamelis x intermedia and Wintersweet Chimonanthus praecox.
If you have these shrubs already once they have finished flowering ,carry out a light pruning.
5 As the weather has been very mild,the soil is not too cold — well here in Dalkey. If you haven’t mulched do so immediately. You can use piles of leaves. shredded compost, manure, and compost such as Enrich.This acts like a blanket, surpasses weeds, protects the soil structure and also if we have a drought again next summer you will be glad you have done this, as it will act as a water retentive sponge in your soil.
At the moment growth is very much ahead of itself, I would advise not to be complacent, remember St Patricks day last year — snow.
There is lots more to do but I don’t want to frighten you. It is really worth your while to hoe weeds now on paths and hand weed between your bulbs.One more thing, if you are lucky enough to have clumps of snow drops , you can lift some and replant into positions where you would like to enjoy them in the future.My favourite hoe is the Swiss Osslating one, I have some in stock, if you are looking for one.
Planning, being prepared to take advantage of the weather, knowing what to plant and where and when you visit a garden centre- a listwill help you to create a garden which will be both pleasing ,beautiful and within your budget.Patrica Tyrrell is coming to Dalkey Garden School on Saturday 9 February for a day long Workshop on Plant driven Garden Design. This is nearly booked out so if you wish to participate reserve your place now Plant Driven Design
Gardening Classes are also starting now and the next 6 week course will commence on Tuesday 26 /Thursday 28 March with Easter in the middle.
Saturday, March 4. I will be holding a morning workshop on Willow Weaving, such a beautiful material to make garden supports with and more.This is always a popular morning.
Later on in March 23 Klaus Leitenberger will be here, all the way from North Leitrim. Klaus is the author of several Vegetable Gardening Books based on his experience of growing here in Ireland. This unique opportunity to have such an expert share his knowledge. Vegetable Gardening and Planning Numbers are limited early booking is recommended.