My selection of blooms for February include a lot of flowers that were flowering last month. It seems to me that spring flowers last longer than those in the summer. I wonder if it is something to do with the temperatures or whether they flower longer to give them more chance of being pollinated by the pollinators which are scarcer than in the summer.
A couple of clamps of Eranthis which are slowly clumping up. I did have Eranthis schwefelglanz which is a pale Eranthis but I haven’t spotted it so far which is disappointing.
My first daffodils or narcissus are flowering – Narcissus ‘February Gold’. I planted these bulbs back in the Autumn in a new area where the compost bins were previously. The flowers are more delicate than I anticipated and I am really pleased with how they look, I will definitely be adding more next year.
Probably the last bloom on the Iris ungicularis looking a little chewed but still providing a welcome splash of colour at this time of year.
One of the many clumps of snowdrops around the garden. I am really pleased with how big the clumps are now; I will probably do a little splitting of clumps in a month or so once the flowers have finished.
One of my more specialist snowdrops – Galanthus ‘Wendys Gold’ – different because of the gold ovaries and markings on the inner petals.
And a selection of my favourite hellebores
So these are the floral highlights from my garden.
For more garden bloggers blooms check out May Dream Gardens, where Carol kindly hosts this meme.
I was going to say I shall be glad to see the back of February and hopefully the cold weather but it appears that it will be staying with us a little longer and I have the prospect of snow on my birthday.
As you would expect the garden hasn’t changed significantly over the last month due to the season but I have done quite a bit of tidying up; mainly of leaves and weeds with a little bit of pruning thrown in for fun. You can just about make out my stripped bamboo canes at the back of the garden in the above picture.
I haven’t got to the point of being able to cut the grass yet despite it shaggy appearance as its either been too wet or too cold – for the gardener not for grass cutting, but the edges have been tidied a couple of times.
This border is on my ‘to tackle’ list this year although I have to admit its a bit down the list mainly as I struggle with it but there is a germ of an idea of how to bring it together at the back of my mind which needs to be explored. Another area is the area you can see in the background of this picture where the compost bins are. Now I get rid of my garden rubbish through the green waste collection service I want to get rid of the compost bins and plant up this area with shrubs and woodland loving plants.
However, before I do that I need to tackle the area at the top of the garden. In the photo above you can just about make out the top path in front of the bamboos and this is going. Well it has almost gone now as this weekend we removed the timber which edges the bottom edge of the path and holds up the back border. We put them in about 9 years ago and they are basically scaffolding boards which unsurprisingly have rotten over the years. I have tried various approaches to this space but they just haven’t worked as I have never been able to visualise it in my mind properly. However , interestingly as we removed the wood supports the penny clicked and I can now see how to plant up the areas with hardy exotics – something I have wanted to incorporate into the garden for some time. I just had to remove the visual constraints of the wood to free up my imagination.
So that is my garden at the end of February. I hope that by the end of next month the weather will have warmed up and the narcissus will be flowering and bringing more colour to the photos
Everyone is welcome to join in the End of Month meme. All I ask is that you link to this post or blog in your post and that you leave a comment in the comment box so we can find each other.
I look forward to seeing your gardens wherever they are in the world.
I have been posting photos of the snowdrops in my garden since Boxing Day but now is the time when the majority of the snowdrops are flowering especially the Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus nivalis ‘Flora Pleno‘ which are slowly but surely spreading through the borders.
Many of my special snowdrops have gone over but there is now a second wave coming through which I haven’t always appreciated due to them being amongst the Galanthus nivalis. This one is Galanthus ‘James Backhouse’ which I think has a nice elegant slender flower.
For those who question if there is any difference between snowdrops, this is Galanthus nivalis ‘Flora Pleno’. A gift from my friend Victoria from her garden. It isn’t that unusual, and is definitely established in the Big Border, but it is rather gorgeous.
Amongst the Galanthus nivalis ‘Flora Pleno’ is this clump which is taller and more elegant. It may well be a standard Galanthus nivalis – I have no idea and I don’t remember planting anything particularly special in this spot.
Now even the most cynical of the galanthophobia cannot fail to see how this snowdrop is different. This is Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’ the gold reflecting the yellow markings.
This snowdrop is a real mystery. It was given to me by a friend of a friend, who also gave me Wendy’s Gold, who couldn’t remember its name but told me it was a big snowdrop. I assumed he meant tall but it is now clear that the ‘big’ refers to the size of the flowers which are huge compared to my other snowdrop flowers.
If any one knows, or has a clue, what this snowdrop might be I would love to know.
So those are some of my snowdrops, I hope you enjoyed them. Next will be the narcissus.
I thought I would use my wide-angle lens to give you a better idea of the whole front garden. The photograph is taken from the top of the driveway; the gravel path leads to the side gate as the driveway leads to the front door – if that makes sense. The smaller border near the house is beginning to fill up as the bulbs push their way through the compost. There are numerous daffodil bulbs and over the last week the tulips I planted in the autumn have started to appear.
This is a wide-angle from the side gate. As you can see it is a little shadier at this end of the path due to mine and my neighbour’s houses so I have more shade lovers in this area including ferns.
A closer view of the main part of the garden. I had hoped to have dug all of this over, weeded and mulched by now but my injuries that I mentioned last week have prevented me. However, I did manage an hour this weekend and have mulched the area I have done. The focus of the border is really late Autumn as it is full of asters. I really like the effect of the miniature daffodils so I am thinking that once I have sorted out the perennial planting I will cram this border with lots of bulbs – crocus, miniature daffodils, tulips, and to finish alliums. I need to rejig some of the planting as either the plants have been in a while in the old border and need pulling forward before the Grevillea swamps them or they were planted quickly last summer where a space was available. I am hoping this monthly meme will help be get my eye in and work out the right combinations. Hopefully by the end of March there will be more to see.
All are welcome to join in with the End of Month Meme, you can use it how you wish. I just ask that you link back to this blog and it would be great if you could leave a link to your post in the comment box below so we can all come and have a peek at your plot.
The vase this week is a simple one which doesn’t really require me to say much. The camellia flower is from a small camellia I have growing in a pot. It is a plant I rescued from one of those ‘bargain’ areas in a nursery and planted out in the garden. However, it was apparently unhappy as the leaves were very yellow, despite me having another very healthy camellia near by. So like many a good gardener before me I dug it up and put it in a pot with lots of ericaceous compost and I have been rewarded with healthy glossy leaves and half a dozen or so of these sumptuous pink blooms.
February is really becoming hellebore time in my garden although unusually I haven’t added to the collection yet this year although I am sure there is still time. Above is a selection of some of those that are looking good this week. Interestingly the colours don’t seem as strong this year with Anna’s Red looking no darker than my long-established dark pink hellebore and the yellows seem very pale.
I need to relocate some of the hellebores so the flowers are easier to see and I don’t have to step into border to take photos.
I do like the yellows so I might see about adding to these instead of more purple and pinks.
Crocus tommasinianus are beginning to spread under the Field Maple which is very satisfying. Sadly this year with the seemingly endless overcast days it is rare that the flowers are actually open so I was lucky to catch these crocus open the other day.
I’m also really pleased to find some hepaticas flowering this year. I planted two groups last year in opposite sides of the garden to try to work out what was the right environment for them. It seems that the more shady damper area is preferred to the dry shade area so I will relocate the hepaticas from the less desirable spot.
The snowdrops are also slowly but surely spreading around the garden and are beginning to form a white haze on the back slope.
I have a growing number of named varieties in the garden, acquiring a few more each year. I think this is one I got some years ago but I have lost the label so I have no idea what it is but the flowers seem larger than Galanthus nivalis, in particular the outer petals are longer. I will have to see if I can find a record on this blog or in my label box of what it might be.
The last of my favourites this week is this unknown camellia which although quite a small shrub is smothered in bloom, luckily we have not had many frosts so the flowers haven’t gone brown.
Also flowering in the garden are pulmonaria, cyclamen, witch hazel, and slowly but surely the various narcissus. This is Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’.For more February blooms from around the world visit Carol at May Dream Gardens and check out the links.
What a glorious morning we have had today especially given that yesterday we had at least 14 hours of non-stop rain. Having spent yesterday feeling sorry for myself with a bit of head cold and a blocked ear which has affected my balance a little, I only went outside this morning to see how the garden had stood up to the wind and rain. Two hours seemed to pass in the blink of an eye and I only came in when my fingers were becoming painfully cold.
There is something quite special about the sun in the early spring especially after gloomy days and it has a wonderful ability to really illuminate the early spring bulbs and the hellebores. I have said many times before that Spring is my favourite season especially in the garden. I enjoy the real thrill of spotting something starting to flower which seems to be so much more intense at the start of the year when we are desperate for reassurance that the winter is retreating. Not that we have had much of a winter this year.
The mild weather over the last few months has led to a strange mix of plants flowering. I was very surprised to have my attention caught by a flash of red and on investigation discovered that Anemone pavonina was flowering probably at least two months early.
But then again some plants have stuck to their normal timings. Hamamelia x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ is a good example of a plant doing what it is meant to do at the right time regardless. I have been watching this shrub for some weeks. Last year it had only three flowers on the whole shrub. After a bit of research I concluded that the plant was too dry probably due to the neighbour’s sycamore roots; so after a long period of rain I gave it a heavy mulch to try and lock some moisture in and I made sure I watered it during dry spells in the summer. The plant has rewarded me with a full covering of flowers which are all just opening – how lovely!
Having taken some photos I pottered around cutting back the deciduous grasses and the ferns which had gone over as well as collecting other debris from around the garden. Then with the sun still shining and not feeling too bad I decided to sow some seeds from the local HPS seed exchange. To be honest I have no idea what half of them are, I think they might be shrubs as I seem to remember requesting these as I have a fancy to grow some shrubs maybe for a future garden, not that I have plans to move, but its good to have a challenge.
Finally, having been thrilled with the Hamamelia flowering I was just as thrilled to discover three flower stems on the Melianthus major; two more than last year.
It always amazes me how uplifting a couple of hours in the fresh air pottering around can be.
February seems to be ending on some sunny days which make a welcome relief after the recent grey and cold. It was a delight today to potter in the garden without having to wear a coat. As you can see from the state of the grass path it has been very wet here and the path is looking muddy. It does take a lot of wear and I keep wondering about replacing it with a gravel path, a bark one doesn’t appeal. However, my cat loves the grass – she sunbathes here and if often seen leaping around on it chasing some leaf or twig. She doesn’t really like my gravel paths choosing instead to creep along the stone edges so I think it will remain but I may lift it and level it.
The border alongside the steps has seen the most work this last month and although it looks rather bare there are lots of plants emerging. I have also been adding some geraniums and boykinia along the stone edge to try to soften it. I love the watsonia leaves with the sun shining through them at the bottom of the obelisk it is such a useful plant and really should be grown more.
There is still little to see in the woodland border although I have spotted some narcissus coming through and hopefully the epimediums will start to flower soon. Once plants start to emerge I want to work on improving this area. It needs more cohesion and really being a woodland border it should have lots of hellebores, erythroniums and spring bulbs right now – something I will need to address.
The other end of the woodland border looking very bare and dull also. More work to do but also so much potential for plant buying! I have been doing some on-line shopping so hopefully these purchases will have an impact this time next year. I should add some snowdrops and eranthis here too or maybe some crocus and some ferns and possibly digitalis but I would also like some late summer/autumn interest.
Another view across the grass path and there has been a change since last month as I have moved a Cotinus into the foreground. I wonder how useful this view is as the grass path seems to be featuring too much. Maybe I will find a spot to take a better shoot of the old bog border from for next month.
So there we are at the end of February. It is looking generally tidy, there are splashes of colour from hellebores and bulbs and so much beginning to emerge through the soil. I have started to implement some of my planting plans and have other ideas up my sleeve including painting the shed and hopefully over the next couple of months with lighter evenings and possibly more favourable weather I might be able to really make some progress.
Anyone is welcome to join in with the End of Month meme and you can use it as you wish. We post on the last day of the month, or thereabouts, and some of us show the same shots of the garden every month, whilst others give a more general tour. All I ask is that you leave a link to your post in the comment box below and link to this post in your blog post – that way we can all find each other and come for a visit.