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Posted on 10 May 2021

Gardening February 2022

In wintertime the ground is too hard for birds to dig for insects and combined with the limited hours of light in which birds can actively search for food means that they can use a little help. Small birds especially struggle as they lose heat to their surroundings very quickly and must eat a lot of food to replace the energy lost. But with a helping hand from us, many more birds can survive the cold. In my own garden I feed the birds with sunflower hearts and fat balls, but there are plenty of other things you can feed them. For example, they will eat most types of fruit, peanuts, breadcrumbs, cooked rice and cereals in small quantities. They also like a bit of grated cheese. And, of course, plenty of fresh water. It is wonderful to see how many different species of birds you can attract into your garden by providing a variety of food.

I always look forward to choosing my tomato seeds at this time of year, I like to order them nice and early. Finding and selecting new and different varieties is so enjoyable. I always grow at least one variety of black cherry tomatoes, as they are my favourites. A number of the newer tomatoes are being bred to be resistant to blight which has been a real problem in recent years, with some gardeners losing their whole crop.

It is so good to see the spring bulbs appearing slowly, the snowdrops first then the daffodils and narcissi, along with the tiny little Iris reticulata, the RHS garden at Wisley has a wonderful display of these beautiful flowers. I know that quite a few markets plant pots of bulbs for sale at their market, they are usually a very good seller at my own market.

In view of the changing climate the garden magazines are recommending growing drought tolerant plants. Although if your garden is anything like mine I should probably be growing pond plants! Hopefully it will dry up sometime soon. It doesn’t matter what sort of gardener you are, if you are a tidy one or, like me, a not so tidy one the most important thing is to enjoy your garden.

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