End of Month Review February 2022

I usually think that February is one of the longest months of the year, not in the amount of actual days, obvs, but it just seems an age to get through.  This February seems to have moved on quite quickly, maybe it was the storms?  It has been a month of gales, frosts, sun and rain.  We have had weather.

After some weekends of rain and storms, it was good to have one that was mild in the day and quite sunny.  The garden still looks quite green around the formal lawns.  The gales did flatten a lot of the winter detritus and whilst I was in the garden I did start to think it will soon be hair cut day.  I tidied up a few fallen stems but I am still resisting the major clear-up until we are through this current period of frosty nights.
In the Wild Garden the snowdrops are flowering well.  I like to plant a hundred or so every year and now they are forming goodly clumps.  This year will be dividing the clumps and I have bought a few more to add into the mix.  One day I will have a snowdrop garden, oh yes, one day.
Esme likes snowdrop time, it is good for posing.  On the day of writing I am celebrating seven years of Esme coming to live with me.  She is my fierce and beautiful rescue tortie: swift of temper and paw but also very loving when the mood takes.  Esme is never far away when I am in the garden.
In the front garden, the Aconite Lawn is just past its best.  I first planted this lawn with aconites in 2014 and it has developed well over the years.
This small border under the magnolia tree in the front garden is looking good this year.  This is a very shady part of the garden when the tree is in flower, which makes it perfect for a Spring display. The hellebores are flowering well as are the snowdrops.  I have high hopes for the pink tree peony too.  I have told it I expect lots of flowers this year.  I think I saw it shrug.....
The Dancing Lawn is now in full crocus phase and the sun makes them open with a shout of happiness.  You can see the clumps of the Crocus tommasinianus: this crocus is now making nice clumps and has also seeded around a little.  I find it popping up in the garden now where I know I have not planted it.  It is in every sense spreading joy.
Whilst it is not Spring yet, there is definite movement in the garden.  The days are longer and this is encouraging signs of new growth.  The buds on Magnolia Leonard Messel are starting to swell.  The outer furry coating on the buds will soon be starting to split open.
The fritilleria imperialis in the Conservatory Border are emerging.  This is always an exciting moment.  I have to hope that they they can fight off the slugs and lily beetles.  These plants are beloved by many pests and me.
The Grevillia that I planted into the garden where the soil is not the thick clay as most of the garden has.  This part of the garden is almost sandy and it seems to suit the Grevillia.
The Spring Border is starting to gear up for Spring.  The tiny daffodils are flowering and the pulmonaria are also getting ready to flower.  The hellebores seem to have been slow to get going this year, but they are flowering.  I think I might have lost some when the new fence was installed by the look of things.
The pink 'pussy willows' on the Salix Mount Aso are just passing their best too,  but at least this one is still alive.  This one is in the Courtyard Garden in a pot whereas the one in the Pond Border is dead.  That is two I have killed so far so I need to do better with this one.  I need to check more carefully the conditions that it needs rather than just expecting it to evolve and survive where-ever I plant it.  Apparently evolution doesn't work this quickly, who knew!
Whereas the silver of the other willow (name lost) in the Exotic Border, are as reliable as ever.  This is a superb small shrub of a willow that I have had for many years now.
The tree ferns seem to be overwintering well.  The fronds have got a bit frost damaged but are mainly still green and healthy looking.  The crowns are still stuffed as we are having some frosty nights at the moment.
and whilst this might not be the tidiest looking verbascum you have ever seen, I am very glad to see it.  I have quite a few plants of this popping up around the borders this year which means it is going to be a good verbascum year.  Some years I over weed them and then I do not get enough.  This year it looks like I will have quite a few and this will make me very happy.
The tree peonies are unfurling,
and the scent from the Edgeworthia chrysantha is filling the garden.
and the pond is looking clear and full.  It does not have any frogspawn yet, but there were some ripples when I was looking at it today.  They may have been frog ripples, they may have been newt ripples, but there were definite ripples.


Take care and be kind.

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