Gardening in Tofino: February 2005
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
Not enough colour in your garden this winter? Green is nice, but some
punch colour really lifts your spirits, and in my garden the colour
was largely due to the coral bark maple branches, they displayed a
bright reddish orange colour from the time the leaves dropped and will
keep that brilliance throughout until the leaves come out and cover
The golden euonymous with it’s bright yellow spots, variegated
hollies with both white or yellow markings, and a very early blooming
witch hazel, Diane, a very deep orange, as well as all the winter blooming
heathers that were totally uneffected by neither the rain nor the freeze
that we got. And the colour around town, who missed the euryops that
the village planted in front of the Post Office, yes they were real,
and bloomed all winter long, and are still in bloom now, just in case
you missed them.
Gardening in February, what a concept, as most people are still digging
themselves out of the snow, we can be out in the garden admiring the
earliest of the bulbs that were so lovingly and labourously planted,
and are now out in bloom, actually the earliest have already done there
thing about now, the first being snowdrops, planted enmass so that
you don’t overlook them, they are not as delicate as they look,
and can even pop up through the snow. The next colour spots are the
crocus’ and they are about up by now or very soon, I’ve
been spotting colour in the garden here and there, with some varieties
blooming earlier than others.
Primroses are on their way in as well, and we should be admiring
some very bright spots when there beauties come in to bloom. Pieris
will be blooming shortly, and are available in a range of pure white
to wine red coloured flowers although their true claim to fame is
the new growth which is flaming red then as the season progresses they
fade to pink, cream and finally green only to start the process all
Forsythias will be showing colour as well, and it blazes in bright
yellow. The Hellebors will also be making a show soon, and if your
lucky enough an early spring blooming rhododendron. About the end
of February daffodils, narcissus, some tulips, and rockery bulbs will
be popping out. As well as some of the earliest perennials.
So as to what to do this month, other that try and keep dry, get
set because seeds are on their way in, as well as summer bulbs, so
On a nice day you may want to go out and lime your lawn, about the
middle of the month, as well as fertilizer about the end of the month.
Lilacs and other non acid loving plants could also use a shot of
lime at this time, but be careful not to get any on the acid loving
rhodos in particular. And for those with clematis, the first fertilizing
should be done some time in February, as well as some for the Rhodos.
For those that used specific fertilizer for your plants, followed
the directions, how about them thar results.
Anyone with group b clematis should also start thinking about pruning
them lightly in late February early March. If your not sure about what
group yours is in, bring us in the variety name and we’ll let
you know, or if you watched with vigil and know that yours bloomed
simultaneously on last years growth and the current seasons growth
from June to September, follow the group b pruning. Those with Group
c which bloomed only on the current seasons growth and bloom from early
summer to fall, should also prune back in late February to March to
two (2) strong sets of buds on each stem as close as possible to the
ground. Group c can be left unpruned if you want it to grow through
a tree etc, but remember that it blooms on current seasons growth,
so the part left unpruned will be bare, although you could plant a
lower growing Group b to hide bare stems and extend bloom time, by
having two different varities intertwined.
You know, you gotta love spring the birds are showing up again, flowers
are starting to bloom, the fish in the pond are starting to show
signs of movement again, although it is still too early to start feeding
them yet on a regular basis, about once every 2 to 3 weeks in my
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.
Tofino gardening tips for February 2005 by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino for Tofino Time magazine.