• The Blooming Old Gardener

February is short and sweet

Updated: Feb 24

Though, February is short, it is filled with lots of love and sweet surprises” ― Charmaine J Forde

Well, we have had Valentines Day and no cards for me, as usual. But by going to the garden, which is something I love to do, I got a few sweet surprises. The bulbs are coming up well now and we have snowdrops, crocus and Xmas box still in flower. I also made up for the lack of chocolates and flowers by cooking four types of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and making a Chinese Fakeaway for Chinese New Year. It’s been a busy few days

The Romani called February ‘bita kaulo munthos’ meaning ‘little black month’ This is probably referring to February as the last of the winter months, with only a short amount of daylight. It’s the shortest month too. At the time this name was used, it’s likely that they were camped in tents for the winter, So, daylight would have been very precious.


Although it’s still winter and not really gardening weather, there’s a lot to be done to prepare for spring. Shrubs to be cut back and annuals to be cleared away. The weeds need to be dug up and soil raked and fertilised. This is all preparation for sowing seeds and shrubs to start growing again. It looks like we will be getting a mixture of weather this month. So hopefully some mild days for getting into the garden. And for those of you who aren’t into gardening, Bugingham Palace needs some repairs.

There’s not much happening in the veg garden at the moment. A few spring onions and a couple of small kale plants and chard. It’s not been a good year for our cabbage, broccoli and kale. There’s no sign of the rhubarb coming up under it’s pot yet either. The weeds are growing well though.

We are planning to put more alpine and drought loving plants in the garden this year. To help us cope with the dry weather. Last year I planted up a few containers and a couple of hanging baskets with them. I’ve propagated lots of alpines too and have them covered over for the winter. So, fingers crossed that they survive. I’ve found I quite like alpines. I’ve got them at the front of my home now, to save having to water there. A lot less effort and low maintenance.

A rockery is being built against the Bloomers garden wall ready for the alpines I’ve propagated. It’s not something I’ve created before and will need help to put it together. A big thanks to Chris, who donated the stone. We are using sandstone, associated with Runcorn quarries. Again, this will make an area of the garden that can survive dry weather. And I’m hoping that we can be creative round this area too.


There have been a couple of Blooming Zoom meetings to make plans for the year and there are some online activities coming up. Hazlehurst Studios are busy with Halton Make Fest and Borough of Culture activities this year, and of course, Draw on Halton 2 is happening, with a different subject for your creations each fortnight.

Thanks to some funding from DCMS we can start connecting with our volunteers and other interested parties online, with a series of garden chats and activities. Hopefully it means that we can all stay connected and plan for the year ahead, when we be together again.

So March will see us working with Andrea from B4Biodiversity for a series of online gardening sessions and we also have a great blooming doodle session with Quirky Bird. There will be a dedicated 'Garden Chat' hour before each session, which is a perfect opportunity to ask us questions or get funding advice, feel free to email us questions in advance!

  • Monday 8th March: Garden chat 5-6pm, followed by Making Natural Bird Feeders 6-7.30pm

  • Monday 15th March: Garden chat 5-6pm, followed by Making Wildflower Seed Bombs 6-7.30pm

  • Monday 22nd March: Garden chat 5-6pm, followed by Growing Herbs 6-7.30pm

  • Friday 26th March: Garden chat 6-7pm, followed by a Doodle Along 7-9pm

  • Monday 29th March: Garden chat 5-6pm, followed by Growing Houseplants 6-7.30pm

All the sessions will be on zoom, anyone can join in with the garden chats and Quirky Bird session (you will need some basic art supplies for Quirky Bird session), but the garden activity sessions have limited places - so please email ASAP if you are interested in securing a place.


Quirky will also be doing two sessions with Halton Carer's Centre for us, as a way of us working together with our local community, even when we can't be together. We had hoped to do so much more last year and this year, but at least this way we can make a start!


Please email us at oldtownbloomers@gmail.com to find out more about the sessions and book your place on them.


As the world opens up, and we can get back to volunteering in the garden once more, we are going to need your help more than ever, from fundraising to heaving around some pots.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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