What is your perfect garden?

Well, if spring isn’t quite here yet, at least in February the daylight hours are longer, bulbs are peeping through and early varieties are flowering. Buds have appeared on trees and shrubs, and roots will be establishing on newly planted perennials. Any cold snaps we now experience will bring the benefit of kick-starting growth when the warmer weather comes in March.

Gardens mean different things to different people. Some may want a secluded space to unwind in, relax and even entertain. Others want a place in which to potter, encourage wildlife, and be closer to nature. You may be drawn to a traditional cottage garden with dreamy soft shades and scents. Alternatively, you may prefer a patio garden using aggregates or paving. Remember, in any outdoor space, furniture will tempt you outside, whether it is a simple bench or a full-scale alfresco dining set. A soft recliner is always a favourite after a hard day!

In any garden, growing your own fruit and vegetables can be as simple as mixing a few crops into existing borders or pots, and will give you a great ‘feel-good’ incentive. However, most gardeners with bigger ambitions will find a dedicated area easier to manage. February is a great time to start planning for summer crops: in particular, start chitting potatoes now.

While keen gardeners will enjoy the challenge of nurturing plants, especially more unusual and tender varieties, there are plenty of tried and tested hardier favourites. Choose reliable and easy to maintain plants for a stress-free garden. Colour and fragrance are the ultimate tension-relievers!

David Hogg

Buckland Nurseries

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