Notes from my February garden

by Sharon Santoni

The start of the year is always a particular moment. Temperatures are low, and it takes discipline to get ourselves outside doing a few garden tasks. I’ve been trying to keep up with some trimming, and late mulching here in my February garden.

This is also the time when you enjoy the benefits of the bulbs you planted last year, or earlier. Currently blooming here are snowdrops, daffodils in many different varieties, tiny blue grape hyacinth, some early blossom, and of course the hellebores.

Oh those hellebores, how I love them. The trick for bringing them inside and enjoying them for almost a week in a vase is to run a knife down the stem and remove that outer skin. Plunge them immediately into a tall vase of water and then use as you wish.

Daffodils are the easiest clients, although remember not to put them in a vase with anything precious as they emit a juice from their stem that doesn’t play too well with other flowers.

I’d love to know what is currently blooming in your garden. Whether you are in the throes of dahlia season in Australia, or still under snow in new Hampshire, let us know what is happening in your garden at the moment.

You may also enjoy a piece on our MFCH Magazine website this weekend, all about creating a country garden, read it here.


Candace Ford February 25, 2024 - 7:30 pm

We have a few early blooming tiny little daffodils blooming right now. Fall blooming crocus leaves are up so I’m hopeful there will be many of them in full bloom soon. The Grape Hyacinths are up and will be open soon. There were many daffodils here, some of which were probably planted years and years before my folks bought this property and built the house that I live in now. Some of the blooms are double and always look kind of messy to me. My husband and I have planted over 600 this year adding to previous year’s plantings.
Other than medical and dental and vision appointments and a recent celebration of life for a dear friend, we are very much stay at homers.

Melissa K March 2, 2024 - 4:29 am

In Maryland we have lots of daffodils and my bluebells (we have a single white bloom among them that appears every year and smells heavenly) have shot up their bright green leaf bunches, along with tulips. I haven’t walked around to check on the crocuses yet but I imagine they’re peeking out. Since you had great advice about hellebores, what do you recommend for hydrangeas indoors? Mine wilt so quickly. I’ve read about their fibrous stem not pulling water easily but not sure what to do about it. Thank you!

lori everett February 26, 2024 - 4:25 am

I have winter aconite blooming at the moment. They begin to appear as deep yellow buttons and then open up to small but beautiful bright low yellow flowers en masse. The plantings disappear totally as spring progresses and so I put short bamboo stakes in to the areas to mark their placement to be sure I don’t mistakenly reuse their spot as it appears open for new empty garden space later in the season.. I have deep blue scilla (squill) newly planted for last year’s spring and so I am anxiously awaiting their beauty. I assume they will multiply and should begin to pop up soon. Beyond our soft pink ‘spring beauties at the edge of the woods that appear on their own very early. I plant two long 30’ trenches of tulip bulbs that are a combination of 5 colors and types across the front of our home. Every year I anticipate a new color combination that is selected based on a magazine photo of a bouquet of all types of flowers but color combined is usually outstanding. It is interesting to later compare the magazine bouquet to the tulips planted in similar color clusters. The last 2 years I had placed bird netting surrounding the tulips to prevent deer from tasting them, It is a solution that is not aesthetically pleasing so this year I am going to forgo the netting and try to spray a deer deterrent that works well in our hosta and hydrangea beds. A couple years ago I saved an article’s image from the French Country Home with a home’s landscape containing wide swaths of daffodils in several large garden beds that was incredibly beautiful. I assumed this was Sharon Santoni’s own garden., It is my inspiration to repeat this as we have several island beds throughout our home landscape.

Lorrie Orr February 28, 2024 - 5:52 am

Hellebores and daffodils are in bloom here, and a few grape hyacinths are showing a bit of colour. The apricot tree blossoms are opening and I hope they don’t suffer with the chilly weather we are experiencing. Forsythia and witch hazel are blooming in my neighbours’ gardens. I was out trimming the peony stems and admiring the red shoots coming up yesterday in spite of the cold. But when snowflakes started falling (just a little flurry), I decided enough was enough and came indoors to warm up. Thank you for the tip on how to keep hellebores happy indoors.

Rita March 1, 2024 - 7:03 am

My two dahlia plants are blooming and my roses, tomatoes and cucumbers. I have left my garden for far too long and need to get back into it. Need to plant a new garden bed along our back fence. Have plans for a fire pit and seating area for my kids, now to implement it.

Liate1969 March 11, 2024 - 9:35 am

February Gardening is all about the tough love of playing A Small World Cup! It’s easy to hibernate indoors when it’s cold, but those small tasks in February can make a big difference when spring arrives.

Beverly April 8, 2024 - 12:18 pm

A beautiful garden, a very cool atmosphere in autumn, when everything turns green and blooms, I like to study at this time of the year with which write my essay, I get a lot of inspiration from nature


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