Every February, garden writers are invited to a special event at the Barbican where they are shown all the new products being launched in the spring. I always enjoy visiting the garden press event and this year’s show, held last Thursday, was especially interesting. There were some fascinating new products, including Hozeock’s Cloud Controller, an ingenious way of controlling your garden watering via your mobile phone. I also loved a new propagator that mists and heats your cuttings (Hydropod cuttings propagator), so you get a much improved success rate. There was also a demonstration of Husqvarna’s Robotic lawn mower, a great way to get the lawn cut while you’re sitting in a deckchair! The company are looking for 100 people to try one of these amazing mowers (worth £3000) for free and keep it too, so check out their website if you’re interested!
Over the weekend, I was dodging the rain and trying to catch up on a few jobs in the garden. I re-potted my Pleione orchids, trimmed back my sarracenia insect eating plants and planted the fabulous lemon scented Peony ‘Bartzella’ that I bought from Claire Austin.
At this time of year, my other top jobs are:
- Planting any remaining bare-root trees, shrubs, fruit, hedging and roses as long as the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen
- For the earliest potatoes, I like to buy the tubers as soon as possible and start them off, ‘eye’ side up in egg boxes in a light, cool, frost free place
- I’m bringing bags of my compost into the greenhouse so that the compost can warm up slightly before I use it for sowing seeds or potting on seedlings and plug plants
- I prune any side shoots on my wisteria to 5cm/2″ from the main stem. This will tidy up the plant but, more importantly, help it produce more flowers in May
- Slugs are increasingly active after the wet and mild winter. Given half a chance, they’ll be eating the young shoots of clematis and many other plants. So I’m sprinkling my organic slug and snail control pellets around vulnerable plants now
- As I keep saying on air, you can’t beat begonias for really colourful summer containers. I’m starting the tubers off now in trays of moist compost in a warm room or greenhouse
Later this week I’m off to QVC Italy where they’ve got a Today’s Special Value on Flower Power and then I’ll be back on air at the weekend for a superb Today’s Special Value for a very impressive petrol powered garden multi-tool. Read more about that in our preview blog.
Then for the month of March, Flower Power is the gardening product of the month, and that means free postage and packing! I’ll be showing lots of pictures of fabulous Flower Power fed plants grown by home gardeners and some of the gold medal winning plants too.
Wishing a wonderful gardening month,