Beautiful days of February...

Today is such a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest...it's got me thinking about gardening!!  It was chilly here this morning, but is warming up to a wonderful 58 degrees.  Blue sky with just a few high wispy clouds.  And, there is definitely some heat in the sun.  Great news...Punxsutawney Phil predicts an EARLY SPRING! No shadow!  With all this sunshine and the promise of an early spring I have a hankering to get outside.  Here are some great gardening tips I found from Thompson & Morgan's and wanted to share with you.

  • Prune your Wisteria now, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds;
  • Towards the end of the month prune summer-flowering clematis before active growth begins - find out how with Thompson & Morgan's clematis pruning guide;
  • Cut back the old foliage from ornamental grasses before growth begins - clip them to within a few inches of the ground;
  • Force rhubarb plants for an early crop. Plant new rhubarb crowns now;
  • Mulch perennial vegetables such as Asparagus and Artichokes with well rotted manure or garden compost;
  • Start chitting early potatoes - stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place them in a bright, cool, frost-free place;
  • Start sowing vegetable seeds such as leeks , onions and celeriac under cover now;
  • Prepare vegetable seed beds by removing all weeds and forking in plenty of compost. Cover prepared soil with sheets of black plastic to keep it drier and warmer in preparation for spring planting;
  • Sort your seeds by sowing date, month by month;
  • If you haven't already, plan your vegetable plot for this year to ensure good crop rotation and prevent pests and diseases building up in the soil;
  • Order your seeds and plug plants online now. Having a garden plan drawn up will help you decide the quantities you need;
  • Consider using containers and hanging baskets filled with bedding plants to add color to your patio.

Once your garden is all spruced up and the flowers start to emerge why not take a few photos, then print and frame them to brighten up certain rooms in your house this Spring? 

In her article "10 Tips for Improving Your Flower Photos", Anne McKinnell shares this..."as the flowers start to emerge from the soil, all the neighbors begin emerging from their houses with gardening tools in hand. I, on the other hand, have my camera in hand ready to capture the spring flowers and I hope you do too!"  Anne's tips about when to photograph flowers, closeups, clutter, depth of field and more are fantastic and will have you snapping great pics in no time. 

A few hours outside this wonderful time of year does a body and soul good.  Happy Gardening Friends!!