End of Month Review February 2021

I am not going to say that February has flown by as I am not sure it has.  It might have been the longest February in living memory and it isn't even a leap year!  We have had quite a bit of weather too.  There have been some very breezy days, some rainy days and latterly some very welcome sunny days.  There has been frost but frost is a small price to pay for the some precious sun.

In the driveway the Cornus officianalis is a froth of yellow.   This seems a slower growing shrub than the Cornus mas I have in the back garden, but it is a wonderful shrub and planting it in the driveway means I see it every time I leave the house and come home.  Of course these days I am usually doing this on foot as I am wandering off for a walk.  
The Mahonia 'Sweet Charity' is close to the cornus and after a couple of years deciding if it was happy or not, has finally decided to push out its roots and embrace its position.  It is growing well.  
Just inside the front gate is the pink tree peony (name lost).  It has a lovely fat bud developing so I shall keep an eye on it in case it needs protecting from the frost.
There is also this young hamamelis which is flowering for the first time.  The flowers look small and less fringy than my other hamamelis's, but whether it is because it is young or not time will tell.
These purple crocuses were planted when I first moved into this house fourteen years ago.  I might have planted three, possibly five, either way now there are many and they make me smile every year they appear.
and the quince hedge is flowering its little socks off like a good'un.
It is mid morning when I am taking these photographs and the sun has not quite stretched out across the garden.
If I turn around then I look into the Courtyard Garden, which is looking quite green and I can see the 'we live outside all year' aspidistras well.  They seem happy enough.
In the Conservatory Border the Fritilleria imperialis are growing well.  If the weather stays fairly cold this will save them from slugs and lily beetles, both of which think fritilleria are the food of the gods.  It is one of the few reasons I would hope it stays cold for a bit longer.
Meanwhile the Spring Border is starting to look more Springy, this is good.  Never have I felt the need for Spring as I have this year, never.
and the Prairie Borders have had their annual haircut (lucky them!) and are looking at their worst and scrappiest.  I have been weeding them this weekend and they are full of hibernating bumble bees.  It will never cease to surprise me how much insect life these borders encourage and enable.
The Dancing Lawn is in its crocus phase.  You can see the same purple ones as in the front garden but they have not spread so well here in the lawn.  There are also some Crocus 'thomasina' and they are clumping up well.  Soon it will daffodil time for the Dancing Lawn, I love how this patch of grass changes through the seasons from being a blaze of colour in the Spring and then by September being a plain lawn again hiding its secret identity until the new year turns again.
This time of year I have quite a lot of scent in the garden as not only do I like it but so do the early bees and pollinators.  This is Daphne 'Jacqueline Postill'; she is still only a young shrub but has settled in well over the last year and has proved her worth already.
One of the first occupants of the garden, the Contorted Hazel, is maturing into the most amazing shrub.  I sometimes have to cut off suckers thrown up from the original root stock it must have been grafted onto.  I have written previously how this shrub has moved house with me a couple of times and lived for many years in a pot.  I love seeing what it has now become and when it is covered in catkins as it is at the moment I always think this is a special time of year for it.
The Contorted Hazel sits well in the Wild Garden, flanked by the Winter Honeysuckle and the Catalpa Tree.  The snowdrops are flowering well in this part of the garden and I have just bought another 100 in the green to plant out.
and if I turn from this point and look back towards the house this is the view across the Dancing Lawn with the pond directly in front of me and the Exotic Border to the right.  Exotic Border is asleep at the moment but not for much longer.  I gave the Tree Ferns a water at the weekend just to make sure they were still keeping well hydrated.

The Prunus Beni-chidori is blossoming well and adding much needed colour and scent to the garden.  It is becoming a fine tree and I am so glad I planted one.  I cannot recommend it enough.

and still on the scent theme, the Edgeworthia chrysantha is now starting to flower too.  The scent lurks around the garden, wafting out and grabbing me when I least expect it.  It is a joy.
and underneath the Edgeworthia the Edgeworthia gnome keeps on serenading and the snowdrops and self-sown primroses make a happy little glade.
This photo does not look like much, but I am fairly certain there are long-tailed tits nesting within the bamboo.  There have been a lot of comings and goings and this is very exciting.  Obviously I cannot go and peer into it, but I shall be watching from a distance and keeping my fingers crossed.
I end, as is my tradition, on the pond which is still nicely full.  There is definite newt movement happening at the moment and I am looking forward to the first frogspawn.  Soon I think, soon.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.

Stay safe and be kind.

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  1. What a wonderful wander around your garden... Super. So lovely to be able to have a nosey around someone else's garden at the moment and it's great that you welcome nature in so much. It's refreshing to see a garden that hasn't been manicured within an inch of its life ☺️ You have a way with words and such dry humour... Please keep it up!


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