Nature can be a wonderful place to escape the business and stresses of life. Seeing wildlife foraging for food and hearing birds chirping away, as well as the signs of spring can all be good for the mind, body and soul.

Whilst February can be a quiet time for spending in the garden, there are a few jobs that can still be done, should the weather allow you! Here is a small list of some jobs to help your garden be ready for the new season.


There are a number of late summer and winter flowering shrubs and climbers that can be pruned once they’ve finished flowering, such as clematis, winter jasmine and heathers. Ivy could also be cut back at this time of year. It’s important to check there are no birds nesting in the plants first. If frost is due then it’s best to wait till the temperature rises a little before pruning.

Buddleia can be cut back quite drastically (depending on the variety). If you’re unsure, I would suggest you cut it back above the lowest one or two buds and see how it grows this year. If the buddleia has several large stems all growing from the ground, you could always cut one part back more drastically than the others to see how it does. Based on the results of the buddleia growth through the year you can then work out how to cut it the following year.

Moving shrubs

If you have been thinking that there is a shrub in the wrong place in your garden, now is the time to move it while it’s still dormant. Make sure you have an area prepared and ready with some good compost. When you dig shrubs out try and keep as much of the root as possible.

Spring bulbs

If you have a nice patch of spring bulbs coming through then gentle weeding would make this area look even better. Don’t dig around otherwise you may hit the bulbs and damage them. Just pull the weeds up by hand pulling as much of the root out as possible.

Other useful jobs

  • Rake up any leaves that have been left from autumn and put them on your compost or leaf mulch.
  • Put up nesting and insect boxes. If you have space, you could always provide a log pile area that can attract hedgehogs and a variety of insects. The internet has plenty of tips on creating a wildlife paradise.
  • You can also start preparing an area for some bedding plants, there are a few varieties out already like primrose and primulas or if you wait a few more weeks there’ll be plenty more to add some instant colour to your garden and pots.

Most of all though, enjoy your garden! It is meant to be somewhere you can relax and be happy, don’t feel it has to be perfect.

 By Peter Morris, Gardener at St Raphael's Hospice