Date: 1 March 2006
Originally published in: Period House (UK)
Written by: Kim Wilde
Celebrity gardener Kim Wilde loves this time of year with all the new growth in her garden.
I love to see the living willow arbour in our garden come to life this month as it gains its lime green mantle, the first of the trees to leaf up and the last to lose them come autumn. Fresh growth is everywhere as herbaceous plants, such as Alchemilla mollis and ground cover geraniums peep their new foliage out of the ground as if to see if the coast is clear.
Frosts will still have their work to do in the garden, but a good clear up of old foliage won’t do any harm to hardy herbaceous plants who may well be ready for dividing into smaller plants to encourage more vigorous growth. There are two basic methods for this, either by cutting with a sharp knife or spade, or teasing plants apart using two garden forks placed back to back and pulling gently. Your newly divided plants make much healthier presents than Easter eggs and can either be potted up or planted immediately.
As the soil is gently warming up now is a good time to take decisive action on those pesky weeds. Smother them with a thich layer of organic matter such as garden compost, bark chip or leaf mould (a good 5cm – 10cm lay ) and avoid touching stems of the plants. A mulching now will teach those weeds a lesson, as well as retain valuable moisture in the ground and help to show your precious plants off to their best advantage.