With some bulbs and blossom to enjoy February can be a time to spot colourful treasures amid the cold. In the garden leave dead stems of herbaceous plants up for as long as possible so as to continue protecting the crowns from frost and providing a continuing refuge for invertebrates, also, whilst many shrubs can be pruned do not prune back tender shrubs yet. 

It is also a great time to think about additional shrubs for your outdoor space. Horticulturally they are generally categorised as perennial plants with several woody stems at ground level, whereas trees are generally defined as perennials with a single woody stem from ground level; in reality there is lots of crossover! Whether deciduous or evergreen they can create a permanent structure within your outdoor space, for example forming an understory beneath trees, the backdrop to herbaceous or bedding plants, or as key features in borders or containers.

February and March are ideal times for shrub planting (as long as the ground is not snow-covered or frozen), giving the plants a chance to settle into their new space before summer arrives. They will require watering during their first growing season. Consider what is missing from your garden that you would like to add, spring blossom, summer flowers or autumn colour for example. Examples of spring colour are the yellow flowers of forsythia. Hebes add colourful blooms to summer and cotoneasters provide berries, often red, from autumn through to winter. Have fun choosing!

For further information about Martlesham in Bloom please contact: or J Maureen Burrows (Secretary) on: 01473 625 196