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2023-01 The Tatsfield Gardener in January/February


A happy new gardening year to all Tatsfield gardeners, I am sure we are all wondering what challenges await us!

Do you remember our super Tatsfield in Bloom project Tatsfield is Buzzing that won us another gold medal in 2017? We planted a bed full of bee friendly pollinating perennial plants on the Bakery Lawn, a floral carpet bed featuring a huge bee on the Tatol Bed and gave away lots of lapel stickers for everyone. Our message was to plant your garden with shrubs, perennials and garden flowers that attract pollinating insects. Well the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced that 2023 will be “365 Days of Bees” and encouraging all gardeners to plant their gardens with plants to provide a feast for all pollinating insects, what a great idea to start off your gardening year!

The next three months, if the weather is mild, are critical for pollinating insects especially bumble bees, so what can we plant that will be a life saver? Plant shrubs like winter flowering Daphnes, Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima), Viburnum bodnantense, Sweet Box (Sarcococca confusa). Plant perennials such as Winter Flowering Heather (Erica Carnea), Christmas Rose (Helleborus), Lungwort (Pulmonaria), Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), Wood Anemone (Anemone blanda). Plant spring flowers such as Pansies and Violas, Wallflowers, Primroses. There will be more bee friendly plants to choose for your garden in each Tatsfield Gardener article this year.

The weather has been good for growing grass. To stop the coarse grass species dominating your lawn you should lightly trim the grass when the weather is mild. If the grass is very long, try and cut it in stages rather than cut it low to the ground in one go, it will look awful, and you will have to rake the cut grass up!

A very keen Tatsfield gardener asked me if she could prune her roses now. The answer is no, not yet. Pruning bush roses in Tatsfield at this time of the year can promote soft growth too early and leave them vulnerable to damage by frost and cold winds. If this happens it will not kill the plant but it will take months to make new growth, just not worth the risk.

Spring bulbs are now poking their noses out of the ground and if the weather remains on the mild side they will be in flower in no time. Try and remember where they are so you can avoid damaging those very soft and vulnerable shoot tips


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