My February garden is a time for hope. After the long grey winter, the month of February is the moment to smile in anticipation of the Spring garden which is only just around the corner.
Tulip bulbs that were planted at the end of the year are timidly showing the tips of the first leaves. The daffodils that live beneath the lawn are in bud, and will soon be in flower.
Plant catalogues litter my desk, successfully distracting me from more urgent tasks, and leaving me dreaming of new plant combinations in the months to come.
Just one worrying thought in the back of my mind: after the very mild winter will we be hit by a late and disastrous frost? This has happened for the past two years here, and last spring nearly killed our huge magnolia. There’s nothing we can do about the frost. I’ve tried protecting our espalier apricot tree but to no effect. We just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
What am I doing in February?
I have sown seeds for sweet peas, zinnias and antirrhinums. These are sown indoors, with some additional light.
We are planting some new roses, and moving others around. The tall climbing roses are bent into arched shapes to encourage a maximum number of flowers.
The huge compost heaps at each end of the garden are drastically reduced in size as we add a second mulch of the dark crumbling ‘home made earth’ wherever we can.
In the potager, we will harvest the last of the Brussel sprouts ( I planted way too many, and we’ve been eating them through the winter). The other crop that has continued through the winter is the spinach. We continue to pick the tender leaves and add them to salads.
We are planting garlic and onions for harvesting in the late spring/summer.
What is flowering right now?
The snowdrops are always our first colour of the year, followed closely by the first daffodils. Hellebore are looking fine, and the magnolia is covered in buds of promise, but won’t flower until March.
This is the season for teasing our tastebuds, getting us excited about the colour to come. These small dots of colour grow close to the ground and to appreciate them requires a degree of concentration.
So I’d love to know what is happening in your garden right now. Are you in Australia and heading to your autumn, or in Massachusetts and still deep in snow? Please leave a comment and tell us where you are and what you have going on in your garden or greenhouse.