tofino gardening in february

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 them up.

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 japonica 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 over again.

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 start making lists.

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 plants, 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 pond .

Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.

Tofino Time Magazine February 2005

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Tofino gardening tips for February 2005 by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino for Tofino Time magazine.

tofino time february 2005


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