I have pruned the rest of the Miscanthus to the ground now and they always look so much better when their winter coats of straw are removed. Already there are new shoots appearing that will flower next autumn and I have been doing my best to dodge these with the secateurs as I cut off last year’s growth.
As soon as I cut these down, the whole area looked neat and tidy, so the Buddleja was next for a haircut. Last year my husband pruned the white one growing in our garden really hard – back to a couple of feet from the ground and it flowered better than it ever has, attracting butterflies and Hummingbird hawk moths for weeks.
Once I had finished the outstanding pruning, I gently raked out all of the winter debris that has been blown around by the strong winds of late. Leaves and twigs from the borders were rounded up and added to the compost heap and immediately the soil surface looked much tidier. I find using a lawn rake much quicker than trying to remove debris by hand but it needs to be done carefully so as not to damage any soft spring growth.
Because the borders in our garden are all established now, very few weeds seem to grow in them and I find that a mulch of homemade compost once a year helps to smother annual weed seeds and top up the soil level. After a very rainy winter, it’s important to feed your borders with a general fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure or bone meal to replace the nutrients that will have been washed away. I like to use a good sprinkling of chicken manure and put this on first and spread the mulch over the top to seal in the fertiliser and moisture. Then it’s pretty much job done for most of our borders until next autumn!
We have decided to replace some of our Lilies this spring; the old corms have lasted for years and flowered each summer but now they are getting very small and have lost their vigour. We have chosen some beautifully scented varieties from Notcutts which are still in their bags in the utility room until we get around to putting them in. For now, I need to round up all of our empty containers and choose which ones to use for bulbs and which ones for summer bedding plants. This gives me a chance to sort out the shed as well and top up on composts and fertilisers so that they are to hand when they are needed through the spring.
Pressure washing all of the hard standing areas in the garden that include the sun decks and patios is another priority job but one I may leave to my husband- the thought of splashing yet more water around after the wet winter really doesn’t appeal at the moment!