Friday, 3 February 2012

Something to warm the cockles.

A peacock at Rousham strutting his stuff in the sunshine.

I know. Its freezing. You can't get a fork into the frozen ground. Lots of plants have gone all flaccid in the cold. And we are due snow over the weekend. But if the urge to garden is there you can still sow broad beans, peas and onion seed in trays in doors. You can get chilli seeds planted and early tomatoes as long as you have somewhere to put them once they need potting on that is covered. You can trawl the seed catalogues or order dahlias from The National Dahlia Collection! And here are some pictures I took in the heat of last summer to cheer you  up and warm you.

An unidentified Dahlia at Oxford Botanical Gardens

An unidentified Salvia at Oxford Botanics

And if that doesn't help let me suggest some more ideas to tickle your horticultural tastebuds!! There is the glasshouse at RHS Wisley to visit which at the moment will be full of exotic butterflies-an amazing spectacle but beware as it will be busy. Kew Gardens will be opening their annual Orchid exhibition soon in the Princess of Wales Conservatory which is always worth a visit.

Echinacea in the new Rose Garden at RHS Wisley designed by the wonderful Robert Myers for whom I have grown plants in the not so distant past!

The Annual Borders at Wisley where the Ricinus must have reached 12 feet tall.

And remember dear gardening folk, by mid February the daylight hours will have reached more than 10 a day and your garden will be springing into action. Buds will be bursting, leaves will be appearing and the world will start to turn from winter brown to spring green one more. Your garden will be screaming for you to jump into action, secateurs at the ready so use this cold snap to prepare. Sharpen your secateurs, and your spade if you see fit, sort out your seeds, and clean your seedtrays and pots ready for the day when you hear your garden screaming for attention.

So hears to the season ahead!!

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