Caring for trees and shrubs in February


Roses, eucalyptus and camellias ... Even in the middle of winter, the gardener must heal the plants from cold wounds and prepare for the return of the good weather ...

Roses in the spotlight

To all honor, all roses who have ignited our gardens all summer make gray mine once naked. Not easy to decide when to carve. The training size will begin in February for the lowland regions and may continue until March for the mountain regions. Between us, it is more pleasant to work in the garden in March than in December ... The only exception, climbing or non-climbing botanical roses that fructify nicely after their flowering. Enjoy this free show, very popular with birds and let your roses live their lives all winter long.

On the day of the day, arm good thick gloves, your best pruning shears, a sharp rag, a rag and some brandy to burn. Indeed, in order not to spread diseases, you will clean your pruner with alcohol between each shrub. This little precaution will save you big problems.

- Start by removing dead, diseased or thin branches.
- Then proceed by touch starting from the center of the shrub which it is advisable to lighten to favor the circulation of the air and the light. All branches pointing towards the center of the plant will be eliminated.
- Finish by folding about 40 cm from the ground for the modern rosebushes and 60 cm for the old roses, the carpenter branches.
- Make a cut at an angle and cut over an eye pointing outwards.
The rose will have a harmonious shape. Finally, always to avoid the spread of diseases, remove the dead leaves and do not hesitate to give a good cut of whip to your roses: a good dose of brown gold scratched with the foot and a layer of dead leaves.

Healing the wounds of winter

By great frost, or heavy snowfall, some shrubs may suffer more than others.
Mexican oranges, ceanoth, shrubby lavera or even yew from Ireland or camellia. For conifers or orange trees from Mexico, opt for strapping that will prevent snow and frost from damaging shrubs. For this, surround a thin wire around the trunk and pass the wire through the antler. You can use sheathed wire to protect the tree.

In case of major wound, broken branches, watch out for mold that can cause necrosis quickly. Cut the damaged branches with a clean pruning shears, scrape the surface of the cut with a sharp blade and finally brush the cut with a good disinfectant forming a protective film when drying.
Finally, in case of snow, do not be tempted by the spectacle of heavy quantities of flakes on your shrubs. Wet snow can cause serious damage. Drop it with a rag or a broom, especially the one on camellias whose flower buds can grill in the presence of snow.

Plant a forsythia, to prepare the beautiful season

With its branches a little stiff covering of myriads of yellow flowers, it lights up the first days of spring and announces the return of the beautiful season. Why not install one in the garden?
Forsythia form a large family of shrubs so easy to live that they have long been neglected. However their flowering is very pleasant at the end of the winter, prolonged by a pleasant foliage during the summer.

Which varieties to choose? Some varieties have been improved to form perfect subjects for growing in pots or in small gardens. One can even find practical floor coverings to light up sad corners of the garden. For isolated subjects or to tackle a wall: Spring Glory, Beatrix Farrand ... For hedges: Spectabilis, Week end, Lynwood ... For topics in pots: Goldilocks, Golden Melee ...

When to plant it? Outside the frost period, it can be planted from October to March in any good garden soil and favoring a sunny exposure. Leave 1m to 1.50m between two subjects if you want to form a hedge.

How to carve it? Wait at least two to three years before pruning young subjects. Size after flowering, to remove the slender and misplaced branches. You can also shorten the twigs deflowered to promote new growth. If you want to train your forsythia, plant the shrub at an angle against the facade and keep only a few branches carpenter by cutting the court.

How to multiply it? Forsythia can be cut easily by removing august branches of the year in February. You will install in a sheltered corner of the garden and in a light earth these branches. We can also tease the low and soft branches by burying them after partially denuding the bark to promote rooting.

Sow eucalyptus, for a little exoticism

Eucalyptus is a large family and offers many benefits to all gardeners. Those of the south will install them in full, those of less lenient regions will reserve them for plantations in tanks. Rather than planting large plants, why not plant seeds that will quickly form beautiful shrubs.

How to do ? Eucalyptus seeds germinate at a temperature of about 15 °. Sow the seeds with sand in acidic and light soil. Do not cover the seeds with potting soil. The seedlings of 4 leaves will be replanted in individual pots and kept in the shade in the garden in a sheltered corner until May. Then you have these pots in the sun by watering them little. In autumn, you will definitely install your eucalyptus in a light and well digged soil. Most of them will support a light shade.

Which varieties to choose? Eucalyptus parvifolia has a red trunk and is resistant to cold. The eucalyptus nicholii, has a pretty weeping port in a small garden. If you prefer dwarf forms or container culture, adopt eucalyptus globulus 'compacta'. To give an air of Australia to your garden, crack for eucalyptus gunnii, with rounded foliage and very perfumed.
Our favorite: Eucalyptus ficifolia: it bears beautiful pink red flowers in spring and grows quite slowly. To be reserved for gardensabrites because it does not support temperatures lower than? 5 °

To see: The beautiful collection of eucalyptus of Villa Thuret in Antibes 61, bd du Cap, Raymond Road

Resistant camellias, up to -30 °

We love more camellias more. With their winter blooms, their pretty silhouettes and their persistent foliage, they invade all the gardens, far from their natural coastal bases.
Camellias can be planted today almost everywhere in France. Of course, the moist and mild air of the seaside areas suits them perfectly but there are very beautiful camellias in the Paris region, Picardy or in the Lyon region. Hybrid camellias will be preferred in cold climate zones because their flowering period is longer than the botanical varieties.

Which varieties to choose? Among the camellia japonica: 'Donckelaeri' with single white flowers, very resistant to cold, 'Blood of China', with red flowers, 'Dr Tinsley' or 'Gloire de Nantes', pink Among the hybrid camellia:' St Ewe 'with carmine pink single flowers,' Donation ', and' JC Williams' with pink flowers.
Recent research on cold resistance has favored some species of camellia, such as camellia oleifera, which is frequently raised for its seeds producing an oil used in cosmetics. This camellia has been very resistant to cold, up to 30 ° and has been crossed with other camellia to produce varieties retaining these qualities sought rusticity. Unfortunately these new varieties, such as 'Polar Ice', with white flowers, 'Winter's Charme', lavender rose, 'Winter's Dream', bright pink, or 'Winter's Star', Reddish carmine pink, are not yet easy to find. .
These camellias are cultivated like the others: earth of heather, organic amendment and frequent watering with rainwater.

Our tip: Keep good quantities of dead leaves that you will cover the ground around your camellias. These dead leaves will form a mattress of protection of the roots against the cold and by decomposing, will improve the soil!

A weird shrub for pretty pots

If you like perfumed winter shrubs, install a sarcoccoca on your balcony.
With its evergreen foliage and its low port not exceeding 50 cm, the sarcoccoca should long ago have invaded our balconies and terraces. It has the good taste to bloom in the heart of the winter and it exhales a delicious sweet perfume which embalm whereas few plants make us this gift at this time of the year. The white flowers appear between Christmas and Easter and evoke hyacinth or some narcissus.

Plan pots that are easy to transport because sarcoccoca. It is chilly and can not stand temperatures below? 5 °. Install each foot in a mixture of ordinary earth and river sand. Outside, install it in a place protected from direct sunlight in the morning and sheltered from cold winds. One watering a week in summer to keep the soil of the pot wet and decrease in the winter especially if the plant stays outside. Think fertilizer for flowering plants in autumn to promote cascades of white flowers.
And do not hesitate to pick some twigs of sarcoccoca to make charming bouquets.

A maple on the balcony

Can we install a maple on his balcony? Well yes, provided you choose the varieties that support the culture in bins.
If your garden does not allow you to cultivate the botanical wonders of Japanese maples with their fire antlers and foliage carved as works of art, indulge yourself on your balcony.

- Choose a location protected from the wind and in partial shade.
- Use high bins, at least 60 cm wide.
- Fill them half with earth of heather and garden soil enriched with brown gold.
- Place the chosen variety in the center of the pot so that the neck is flush with the pot.
- Fill with acid potting soil and cover the surface of the pot with pine bark.
If your tree is tall, greater than 1.50 meters, brace it by attaching it to a trellis or a downspout. Water very copiously and plan a watering a week and two in summer.

Which varieties to choose? Among the easiest species to drive in tanks, opt for the marvelous Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' with blood-red foliage. To accompany an Acer palmatum var. dissectum with foliage so cut up that it looks like feathers of fire.
If you prefer the yellow, go for the Acer palmatum Corallinum very hot in autumn or the Acer Senkaki which carries a transparent green foliage in the spring and is adorned with colors of fire in autumn.

Recess to restore vigor to trees and shrubs

The coppice, too little used can restore vigor to trees and shrubs. Practical tips for success
The coppicing consists of folding down all the branches of an already installed tree or shrub to 30 cm above the ground. It makes it possible to renew all the aerial apparatus of the plant. This radical size makes it possible to control the growth of an overly imposing tree but also to rejuvenate shrubs.

Most trees and shrubs can be deciduous, deciduous and persistent will support it. But beware of conifers, they will grow back very slowly. Adopt the coppicing only for the yews that support it well. The shrubs with decorative foliage grow back even more beautiful and more floriferous. This is especially true for dogwoods, cotinus or some viburnums.
On summer blooming shrubs such as Buddleia, the coppicing helps to promote the appearance of flowers larger than the type. Finally most species will grow back very quickly. You can see it on willows, birches or even ash trees.
You will have less big branches but larger trunks and a renewed silhouette. Be careful, do not cut branches too close to the ground. Leave a sufficient number of buds to promote a new start of vegetation.

Long live aucuba, stronger than winter

The aucuba have been placed in the range of plants everywhere and suffer from their reputation as a plastic plant.
The Aucuba of Japan is this shrub with evergreen green or green punctuated with white that we cross every day at the bottom of our building. These shrubs too easy to live like all the good garden grounds and accept full sun like full shade.

During the winter, the thick leaves of Aucuba will bend under frost and snow but will not break and will not suffer from frost. On the variety side, enjoy the many hybrids with green leaves bordered with yellow or white that will illuminate the darkest corner of your garden. Install the Aucuba in large planting holes with brown gold and a mixture of garden soil and compost. Water well and do not push the shrub too much.

Some ideas: A female Aucuba carrying beautiful bunches of red fruits to install in groves of 3 subjects at the foot of a wall, A foot of Aucuba carved in topiary, ball or square accompanying a solid mass of perennials. A hedge cut from Aucubas along a wall façade.

Respect planting distances

If you want to give your garden a forest look or create shrubbery or landscape hedges, forget the classic rules of planting.
Observe nature and you will find that ancient oak trees planted a few meters away are not worse. Imagine, for example, a colorful massif of birch, Japanese maples and horned. Planted in groups of three or five feet, these shrubs and trees can quickly form a box provided and you will enjoy quickly.

For a fast hedge, install staggered horns every two meters. The branches of the shrubs will intermingle naturally and form a natural and colorful decoration. For tree groves, form a clearing by planting your subjects around a virgin space and providing skylights to allow young plants to grow quickly. Finally, a golden rule, the cooler and more humid the land, the more trees can be planted close to one another.

Mulching hedges to protect them

A hedge is prepared in winter for good results in the first summer. Success depends on the condition of the soil once the hedge is installed.
Think of mulching to protect your young plantations and put the odds on your side. This mulch will save you a lot of hoeing work, prevent trees from being damaged by grass clippings and maintain good moisture level with the ground. If you have opted for the plastic film, you will need to install it before the plants of the hedge.

Indeed, after putting the film and stalling it with two strips of soil on either side, you will open a space in the film and plant each shrub in the film. Another solution is natural mulching, which can be installed after planting. To do this weeding completely each space between each shrub, surround each shrub with a 60 cm hait fence and have between each foot and inside the fences, a thick mulch, between 10 and 15 cm of dry straw.
This straw will be renewed in autumn and will protect shrubs during the spring and summer. Prefer straw with pine bark, too acidic and not very protective. The flaxseed will be able to play the role of substitute.

And also: the renewal of bonsai

A few weeks of spring, we must start to worry about bonsai to allow them a good restart.
- Clear the trees of their winter protection, protecting fragile shrubs as long as you can keep warm until the end of the frosts.
- Decrease the soil and fertilize it with an organic fertilizer.
- Renew the watering to the mist to allow the earth not to dry. It is essential to avoid that the earth dries so as not to stress the tree.
- Remove mealybugs, aphids and other larvae from bonsai branches. You can treat with rotenone, a good natural and non polluting insecticide.
- Then put the organic fertilizer powder into granules or pellets directly on the ground. Watering will dissolve the product little by little.
- Do not hesitate to cover the earth with a layer of pine bark. They reduce the limestone concentration of the water and prevent the proliferation of weeds.

Repeat the waterings regularly, at least once a week.

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