Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Is spring really just around the corner? It is difficult to believe that we are ever going to be able to do any gardening again with ground so sodden after all the rain. If you have any vegetables over wintering in your garden, they will be looking very sorry for themselves as they try to overcome all the water around them.
It is a delight to see the snowdrops, their pretty white and green flowers dancing in the wind and rain. They may look delicate and fragile but were able to reappear from under a thick blanket of snow to cheer us up. Most years they seem to bring the spring with them but this time we are still waiting despite the crocuses and miniature iris bringing us some colour.
If you have been able to find a couple of hours to spend in the garden during the few fine days we have had, it is the time of year to be tidying up after the winter. If you have clematis that flower in late spring and early summer, now is the time to prune them lightly. Cut out thin and overcrowded stems as low down on the plant as possible and tie in the remaining stems to the plant’s support for a good display later on in the year. Buddleias and other summer flowering shrubs can also be pruned now so be brave and cut them down so that new shoots will bear flowers and the bush will be the shape you prefer.
If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, you will already be thinking about the vegetables that you can start off now. You can go a long way towards your ‘5 a day’ by sowing lots of seed to plant out later. It is heart warming to look forward to growing your own fruit and vegetables, however small your space, with the added bonus of cutting your carbon footprint.