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Corfe Mullen Gardening Club  January / February 2015

How fortunate we are living in this part of the country, as over these past few years we have not contended with great down pours of snow and freezing ice. If we should get any I will be the first out in the garden brushing it off the shrubs so that branches are not broken under the weight.

As soon as all the leaves have dropped from my Autumn Bliss raspberries, they will be cut down to ground level and given a good mulch ready to grow on with some good healthy stems.

I am still finding leaves on my grass paths that need to be removed otherwise if left will stifle the grass and leave bare patches.

Last July we had a new patio put in and one or two Hellebores had to be moved, It doesn’t hurt to remove some of the old leaves and give room for the flowers. I really hope that I shall see some snowdrops coming up and that I have not lost any.

In this dormant time of year it is a good to prune Apple and Pear trees and get them back into shape and under control.

This is a good month to do any repair work on fences. Getting the mower and hedge trimmer etc. serviced.

Placing an old dustbin over a rhubarb clump will encourage it to grow and produce an early crop.

February is a time to prune Mahonia, but make sure you are wearing some good gloves. If you want to see those beautiful new red stems of the Cornus the old stems can be cut down to base level.

Summer flowering clematis can be pruned now, but, those that flower before June do not prune.

Over wintered Fuchsia’s can be pruned back to one or two buds,  Standard Fuchsia’s can be hung in the green house over winter with their pot higher than the head of the plant. In early spring it can be stood up and the top foliage sprayed regularly with warm water so that the bark is softened to release the buds.

Winter flowering heathers can have a haircut and maybe you will see another flush of flowers.

For our garden birds we must not forget to feed them with seed and fat balls, also to have clean water nearby.

From Rodders,  the retired gardener.

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