Winter Gardening Tips

TIPS FOR MARCH

One of the most important flowers in our gardens, here, on the West Coast of B. C. is of course, the Hellebore. See some that have bloomed in my own gardens, below. But, it is so important to prevent the soil from splashing up onto the new flowers and leaves, as this causes problems. To keep the flowers in pristine condition, with no black mold, you need to mulch all around the base. I would suggest a medium-fine bark mulch.Later, when the sun is trying to warm up the ground, you can remove some of this mulch, if you wish, but I leave mine in place, as it serves to keep the quickly-emerging weeds at bay throught-out the spring and summer.

 

This is certainly one of my favourite Hellebores and it has been in my gardens for about 3 years.

 

 

Here are some of my Hellebores that have bloomed, in my garden.

 

FEBRUARY 2012

This winter, at least so far, has been quite mild and so, of course, all of my plants are thinking that it’s time to ‘get going’! Unfortunately, all of the ‘pop’ weeds are going ahead, as well! If you have the same situation in your gardens, I can’t tell you how important it is to ‘nip these in the bud’ so to speak.

This is also a good time to prune your deciduous trees. They are dormant now, and you can easily see their structure and note which branches could be removed. Of course, it is always appropriate to prune out any broken, diseased or crossing or rubbing branches. Try to keep the tree structure open, as this will allow sunlight to get into the centre of the tree which will be very good for the health of the tree, once the leaves are all out. The  idea is to prune so that ‘ a bird can fly through’. However, only take approximately one-third of the total canopy of the tree in one year.

During the winter you can also see where you might need to add more evergreens in order to have the gardens look balanced and full all year ’round. Below is a ‘garden glimpse’ of my gardens showing how the evergreens really keep the gardens looking good right through the winter, and this ‘rule’ applies even if you live in a much colder climate than we have here. And then, when summer is here, it is easy to add some colour with perennials or annuals to brighten things up.

Another tip is to place very large planters right into the garden, and then once you pot them up, the flowers are closer for you to appreciate or to groom. Below, you can see  areas that show my gardens in February. These gardens also always have something in bloom all through the spring, summer, fall and most of the winter, as well.

 

 

This garden, below, was recently renovated and large stepping stones were added which are perfect for getting deeper into the garden easily when pruning or grooming the plants.

 

 

This is one of my large planters which I have placed right into the garden. I add annuals for colour each season, but most of the plants are permanent and are the back-drop for the colour in the summer. In the spring, there are the flowers of the Hellebore to add interest. This gardening tip is one of the easiest ways to add interest and colour.