February in the Garden 2020

Friday, 31 January 2020  |  Alison


When February comes around I love the anticipation of a new growing season ahead.  Even though we are still in winter, this year you can sense that the garden is coming alive as snowdrops, hellebores and anemones appear like magic. When I walk around my garden (which I try to do every day) I always notice if something has changed. Today it was a tree peony that I only put in last year as a small plant but already it has begun to shoot again ready for this year’s flower, or two, if I’m lucky. Here are some jobs to be doing in the garden over the next month:-

Brookside Nursery Top Gardening Tips for February




 If, like me, you do not have a horse or access to well-rotted manure, the best option is to buy some bags of farmyard manure from your local garden nursery. I am a bit late doing this, but the roses and shrubs will still appreciate the effort, as will the soil in general. If you have particular areas garden beds that are either too dry or too wet, digging in some manure helps to improve the condition and texture of the soil.


PRUNE BUDDLEIA (Butterfly bush) -   Mid-February is about the right time to cut back Buddleia davidii. This year’s flowers appear on the new stems that grow this season so if you have a mature plant that is taking over, it can be almost cut back to within a foot of the ground leaving two  to four shoots on each stem using a pair of stout loppers. If you want to leave a few longer stems you can shape the whole plant to a neat framework.  It may seem like drastic action but rarely have I seen a dead Buddleia!

PLANT SNOWDROPS - If you follow any gardening sites on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter you will be seeing lots of snowdrop photographs. If your garden doesn’t have any or perhaps needs a few more to look like a ‘proper display’, now is the time to buy some ‘in the green’. This can be an inexpensive way to increase your stock and you can buy direct from the growers and they arrive just nearing the end of their flowering stage but can be easily split and planted up into the garden where they can be left to multiply over the years.



Deciduous hedges, like Hydrangea petiolaris and Hazel, and partly deciduous hedges like ligustrum (privet) and beech, when the leaves stay attached but change from green to brown in the winter, can be tidied and shaped before new growth appears in spring and before birds begin to nest.

TOP DRESS SHRUBS – If you have mature shrubs that grow in containers and pots, February is a good month to either repot them onto the next size up pot with fresh compost or if they are a slow growing variety remove the top three or four inches of compost/soil and replace with fresh. This will give the plants a boost of nutrients and will invigorate the growth.


I have a myriad of catalogues popping through the letterbox in February so once I have done a few tasks in the garden there is nothing better to do than sit down with a brew and peruse all the new plants I would like this summer, and if you haven’t got yours already, our Brookside Nursery Spring/Summer 2020 plant catalogue is now out so order a copy today!

Happy Gardening!


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2 CommentsThursday, 9 January 2020  |  Alison
January in the Garden 2020

It’s a new year and a new decade. 2020 has arrived and there is a gentle hint of spring to come, with the tips of spring bulbs peeping through the soil and hellebores and snowdrops beginning to take centre stage in the borders.

If, like me, you had a nasty bout of flu during December, then yours and my garden need some TLC, so wrap up warm and get into the outdoors. Even half an hour a day can make all the difference. I think the key is to do little and often in the winter months and as you see jobs that need doing, jot them down (keep a pen and pad handy). Do not try and tackle it all in one go. All you will do is exhaust yourself, and pull a muscle.  

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Thursday, 9 January 2020  |  Alison
The Fertile Nile of Egypt

Think of Egypt and probably the Pyramids, Tutankhamun Treasures and the River Nile probably come to mind, rather than plants and gardening.  My recent trip to Egypt (or Eggwhite, as my dad said they called it when he was at junior school circa 1938), had me also pondering on the Agatha Christie novel ‘Death on the Nile’ and I was fully expecting a murder to happen whilst on a cruise along the Nile. Thankfully this didn’t happen, although sitting on the sunny deck of the boat lazily sipping on a chilled gin & tonic, watching life go by on the banks of the River Nile, I could imagine stepping back in time and such a thing taking place…..

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Monday, 6 January 2020  |  Alison
Brookside Nursery Guide to Top Gardening Trends in 2020

Out with the old and in with the new – decade that is, not that piece of string attached to the metal frame of your greenhouse or those broken crocks sitting in an already broken pot you have been holding onto since the summer of 2018, or is that just me?  They will get used, eventually, and we gardeners have been saving these sorts of things for years. It is now called recycling.
Its 2020 – as good a reason as any to take stock, re-evaluate and make a list of improvements or changes you would like to make in the coming year in your garden, allotment or balcony. With this in mind I have taken a peek into my foggy crystal ball to see what is trending in the world of gardening for the start of the new decade.

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