February 2023

February update from the Harlow Museum Gardens

Highlights in the Garden this month…

As a result of the mainly mild and dry weather we have had in February the Gardens have begun to recover nicely from the harsh conditions in December and January.  The bulbs and Hellebores are currently the stars of the show (and as ever have proved completely hardy against any weather thrown at them), their blooms are gracing the borders of the Peace garden.  In the garden we are starting the winter clearance work, cutting back the stems we left in the garden for winter interest, and adding new layers of mulch to our borders.  The Sarcococca is still in full bloom, pumping out its sweet scent on sunnier days.  The magnolias are starting to bud, and the roses are coming into growth, just in time for their spring prune.

Jobs to do this month…

  • Cut back deciduous grasses which have been left in the border over winter.
  • Plant snowdrops bought ‘in the green’.
  • Prune group 3 (late-summer flowering clematis), cutting stems back to healthy buds about 30cm from the base
  • Pot up containers with hardy spring bedding, such as primroses, wallflowers and forget-me-nots
  • Prune wisteria side shoots to three buds from the base, to encourage abundant flowers in spring
  • Prune buddleja and elder to the base to keep these vigorous shrubs to a reasonable size
  • Trim back ivy, Virginia creeper and other climbers if they have outgrown their space, before birds start nesting
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