End of Month Review - February 2013

February has largely been cold, quite frosty and a bit snowy too.  For a short month it has felt very long, it has felt like a barrier to Spring rather than a corridor to travel along.  The good side is though that now the days are definitely longer so if it would stop freezing and snowing then I could spend longer in the garden.

So, to the garden at the end of February:
The front garden is getting through the winter ok, the box hedging is looking a bit shaggy and it is a long time before it is pruning day, but the shagginess makes me happy as it means it is growing well and getting a bit more hedge like and less individual plant like every day.
The side lawn should have lots of crocus coming up, but there is very little sign of them. 
Around to the back garden, it still has that bleak winter look about it, maybe because it has been a standard bleak winter.
The Courtyard is looking a bit scappy too, the olive tree is doing very well and the camelia might flower eventually.  Sam the gnome has been joined by two rabbits.  I am keeping an eye on the rabbits in case any more arrive.
The Crown Frittilaria are starting to appear.  This is good news and a nice sign of Spring.  I love these odd looking flowers and they seem to be doing quite well in this spot on the edge of the Spring Border.
The Spring Border is largely hellebores at the moment (and the dead tree fern, this is the smaller of the dead tree ferns that I have in the garden, both are equally dead).  The pulmonaria will be flowering soon but this is very much a hellebore border.  I encourage them to self-seed and distribute the seedlings to other areas.  None are large enough yet to flower but I await with barely concealed excitement for the day that they will.
The view across the prairie borders looks ok.  The grasses have got through the Winter well.  I am hoping that there will have been some self-seeding to help thicken up the planting.
In the top right hand corner of the garden this Comfrey is growing well and flowering.  It started life as a small sprig and it is now starting to swamp this area, this is good, this is what I want it to do, I need to hide the stone thing behind it.  It also attracts bees incredibly well.
The woodland border looks like it needs the Spring to arrive soon.  It is a bit bare and scrappy.
The amalanchier though has large buds that are getting larger every day, this is a real sign that Spring will be here soon.
The Garrya, which briefly won me over with its silken tassles, now looks a bit manky again and I think I shall have to ignore it for the next 11 months until it looks nice again..... or dig it up...... one or the other.  I am feeling fickle about the Garrya.
There is a new addition to the Wild Garden, Cornus Midwinter Fire.  It is small at the moment but already giving some needed colour for this time of year.
At the edges of the Wild Garden the snowdrops are flowering.  I need to plant more.  I didn't plant any this year and I should have done.  They are starting to slowly bulk up now though and that makes me happy.
The Quince tree is showing some green.
The winter flowering cherry is still flowering well.
The crocus are starting to flower on the dancing lawn, I love it when it has its jewels of crocii shining through it.
The Dahlia/wallflower/woad border is currently dominated by the tree lupin.  So why don't I call it the tree lupin border?  Who knows!  maybe I shall in future.
This time of year is about signs of life, signs that the rheum palmatum has survived.
Signs that the geraniums will return,
Signs that there will be poppies again.
Signs that there will be Cerinthe and Nigella.
These iris are giving colour,
The Erysimum Harpur Crewe is starting to burst into flower.
These Thompson and Morgan pansies are flowering merrily away.
The veg beds look a bit empty,
but there will be garlic and leeks.
Inside the greenhouse various cuttings taken last year are keeping going and will be planted out once the frost is over.
and the pond, my wonderful beautiful pond, reflects the world on this cold still day and just waits for the frogspawn to arrive and life to beging again.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.


  1. Hi there Papaver, found you through Helen's post, and enjoyed the tour round your lovely garden. Don't worry about your Garrya looking a bit sad, just give it a haircut and it will look a lot better, the flowers are formed on wood produced the previous year, so just trim away the dead flowers and the new growth will flower next year. Since I have trimmed mine each year, the flowers have been amazing!

    1. Its on probation, I shall give it a trim but I am really not sure about it :)

  2. Hi Alison, your garden is looking tidy and clear now, ready for the burst of new growth in the spring! Exciting times ahead!!

  3. You have a very nice garden! :) And I see that a spring is coming :)

  4. Loads happening. When I think back to the beginning of February, it seems a long time ago. When I think what I've done, I wonder where it's gone.

  5. Goodness, it might look quite bare and bleak at first glance, but there is clearly lots of new life waiting to burst forth. I love this time of year, as the days get perceptibly longer, the sun perceptibly higher, and buds start to break out on bare branches. Magical.

  6. It may be small but I am envious of your Cornus! Every time I see one I think that I must get one of those but the trouble is where to put it. A few years ago when the children were small we turfed over one of our borders (it was a difficult easterly aspect with clay soil and a beech hedge behind) but now there are so many plants I want and not enough space so maybe I'll dig it up again and have another go!Loved the tour of your garden - it really made me want to get out in mine.

  7. Thanks for the kind comments - I do love the start of Spring - it all feels rather hopeful!

  8. You perfectly described spring - it's all about signs of life returning! I love your rabbits, hellebores, and the dogwood. I'm a bit jealous of your crocus in the lawn. My crocus have come up - I see the leaves - but not one bloom yet!

  9. I'm not brave enough to put my garden pics up yet as there is so much to do! Does Cerinthe come back up? I am growing some again from seed and cant believe how fast they grow! Are they hardy this time of the year (I'm in Surrey).

    1. Cerinthe are remarkably hardy, the seedlings seem to get through winter well. They do self seed well but I do sow some usually in Spring as well, though I must say the self- sown ones seem to grow best

  10. Signs of life, it makes me feel that the bleak patches we all have from time to time, last only a moment. Nature reflects our internal state, or at least it reflects this melancholic soul !


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