Saturday, February 03, 2018

The February Garden

Now that the days are a little longer - not warmer - but definitely longer, I find myself wanting to spend more time in the garden. 

Taking a walk around the garden to spot the changes and new arrivals is something I do all year round. November through to January are usually the quietest times. Everything has been put to bed and not much is stirring. However, in January the snowdrops herald the start of things to come. 

As the weeks have passed and we have slipped into February, I am noticing green shoots, spring bulbs perhaps, pushing through all over the garden. 

Beneath the apple tree, a carpet of Hellebore's has started to flower. They are exquisite! I had quite a few hellebore's in my last garden and was sad to leave them behind. I am thrilled to have them in our new garden as I associate them strongly with Lent. They are known as the 'Lenten Rose' because they look similar to some roses and of course they flower through Lent. I plan to transplant any self-seeded hellebore's all over the garden around March/April so that I can see them from every window next year.

Witch Hazel
At the bottom of the garden, and I wish it wasn't so far away, is the most beautiful Witch Hazel. I love the delicate blooms set on the bare twisting branches. What a joy to see on these cold winter days.

Garden tasks at this time of the year are mostly cutting back spent perennials and generally tidying up. It is tempting to catch a bad case of spring fever around February and begin planting the years vegetable seeds or plant up some spring pots. However, the reality is that we are only halfway through winter, still a little while to go yet before we can truly herald the arrival of Spring. 

There are few tasks that you can busy yourself with though, chitting early potatoes for one, which I have yet to do and sowing a few early seeds as long as you start them off indoors.

Today I sowed some 'Sweetness' Cherry Tomato seeds and this year's sweet pea seeds. The tomatoes will stay in the Orangery over the summer, hopefully, the fruit will actually ripen. I'm afraid I have not had much success with tomatoes in this country. In a few months, the sweet peas will be potted in a lovely big pot and trained over the pergola in our driveways centre island. I think it will look very pretty in the summer

I have also potted up a very pretty Peony (Sarah Bernhardt) which will sit just behind our fish pond under the pergola again. I love peonies and now is the time to plant them. I've tried from seed before with little success so this time around I picked up a bare root to plant so we shall see what happens. I chose to plant it in a large pot so that it can come with us should we move. They really should not be moved from their place of planting for the first four years so a lovely big pot is a good place for your peony to start it's life if you are planning on relocating during that time.

My final garden task for today was re-potting two hydrangeas that I bought last summer and I am glad I did! I filled two large pots with potting soil and lifted out the first plant from its original pot. It was riddled with Vine Weevil Larvae - ewwww! They are disgusting! These garden pests eat away at the roots eventually killing the plant. However, the plant shows no sign of ill effect until it is too late so I am glad that I re-potted them today. I hope they survive the shock because I shook off every last bit of soil that they were in and ran the roots under water to make sure the larvae were dispatched with. Time will tell.

That's it from my garden today, is anyone else itching to get gardening?


  1. Oh yes, but it is minus 15 ‘C and headed downwards, with nearly a meter of snow on the lawn. I have some shop bought primula in a pot on the coffee table though, and paper white narcissus in the kitchen 😊.

  2. We have big plans for the long term but in the short term until the outbuildings are finished not a lot will be done. I am longing to get a garden of some sort established.

  3. I really am itching to start gardening! We live in the North of England so I have to wait until April before I can really get going. I might do some pruning today :)

  4. Very nice! I too have had the garden fever this week, but no time to act on it unfortunately. Very spring-like days, and the green of the daffodils is beginning to peek from the soil. I saw a row of Forsythia's in bloom two days ago, and that is a sure sign of spring. Flocks of 10 or 20 Goldfinches is another sign. Tomatoes being a warm weather plant one would think that I could do well with them, but it is a struggle. We are between mountains which cut the sun by at least two hours a day in summer. Aero Grow, if you have those over there, is an intriguing idea which I have tried to some small success. Very small because the yield is small for the effort. But it is a good idea if one can figure how to do it in a staggered way with a larger crop.
    Happy Near Spring!


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