With March breezing in and the last of the frosts (hopefully) behind us, we can finally look forward to Spring. We can already see the signs of change here at the nursery, as our broadleaves begin to wake from their winter hiatus. Our rowan saplings are breaking bud whilst some mature trees in woodland areas nearby are starting to bloom.
There are several species that are famous for their early bloom; wild cherry, hawthorn and rowan being among the first. These early bloomers are often steeped in folklore, with hawthorn famously known as the protector of fairies. The wild cherry is said to possess mysterious qualities and symbolising good fortune and luck in highland lore.
Whilst we aren’t lucky enough to see our saplings marvel in beautiful blooms while they are with us on the nursery we love to see how our trees and shrubs grow and bloom when they are planted out. Dylan, a teacher from East Lothian recently sent us a picture of his cherry plum blossom he purchased some years ago from us. Their creamy white clusters are a favourite with pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
Having survived January, February is always welcomed with open arms. Dry January is over, people are no longer holding their resolutions and the balance of the universe seems to be truly restored. The days are getting brighter and although February tends to be a wet and often dreich month there are signs of life appearing everywhere you look. In February we, on average, gain an extra 2 and a half minutes of sunlight each day, meaning by the end of the month we’ll have gained a whole hour and 10 minutes! Which is great news for us but also wonderful news for our plants 😊
With more daylight hours the promise of Spring creeps in, you can see daffodils start to open and the Easter Eggs are firmly in the seasonal isles but with the mild winter weather is this a good time to plant? The answer, quite simply is, of course! Our cell grown plants can be planted all year round if the soil is properly cultivated so have a look at our favourite February shrubs & get planting!
Blooming from January to June, common gorse can grow in all kinds of habitats including coastal grasslands, towns & gardens. Common gorse is a large, evergreen shrub, covered in needle-like leaves and has a very distinctive coconut-perfume. Its deep yellow flowers are a great source of nectar for birds as it’s in flower for long periods of time, making it easily recognisable and are a great food source, even in the Winter months.
Another February favourite is Cherry laurel (pictured left), this evergreen scrub has handsome glossy dark green leaves that can grow up to 15cm in length. This shrub is great for heading as it tolerates cutting and regenerates well. It can last in extreme coldness and tolerate temperatures as low as -20C. The Cherry laurels flower is a beautiful white upright raceme that blooms from May – June & fruits cherries that turn to black. Careful though, the shrub leaves and fruit are toxic to humans if digested.