End of Month View: February

Today, being a leap year, it felt like we had an extra day in the gardening calendar. Did I make use of it – not a bit! It has been cold and damp today so the only time I ventured out was to take my end of month photos.  Yesterday, however, was an amazing day for February. We started off with a walk along Aberdeen beach. The skies were blue and there was no wind. The air was still a bit chilly, but it was wonderful weather. We had a bacon buttie sitting outside a beach cafe – something you rarely do here even in summer. The rest of the day was spent in the garden. We were generally tidying up: sweeping the paths, trying to get rid of the moss from the tarmac drive and tidying the borders.  I have enjoyed seeing the brown herbaceous stalks and seedheads which I left on all winter, but now the new shoots are coming through it is time for them to go. I did have a brief thought about leaving them as support for next year’s growth, but I think they would probably just break.

So the only difference you will probably see from last month is the stalks have gone from my borders. Oh and I removed the fleece from the Gaura as the stems were dead anyway.

Romantic border end of January

Romantic border end of January

 

Romantic border end of February

Romantic border end of February

The white stuff around a little Viola is some real sheep’s wool. It is my new secret weapon against the slugs and snails. I really can’t say if it is working yet but I will keep you posted.

If you are really sharp eyed, you will notice some little snowdrops which I planted last year at the front of the border. The Muscari leaves do also have the beginnings of blooms hidden in the centres.

We have had so much cold weather and frost that I am sure I will have lost some plants, but it amazes me how much does survive. The Night Phlox (two small bushy plants to left of path), for example, seems to be a very delicate plant, but it is not showing any signs of frost damage. I have just looked it up, though and Crocus does recommend giving it winter protection. It also recommends cutting it back hard after flowering. I didn’t do that either!! How do other people get on with this plant. It is one of my favourites in the garden, producing masses of lovely white flowers that open in the evenings.

The garden seems to be much later than last year. The crocuses were flowering by mid February, whereas they are only just starting now. However this border didn’t look very different.

Romantic border Feb 2015

Romantic border Feb 2015

I have made a big change to this border by replacing the central pink Penstemon with a Stipa gigantea. It will be a few years before it looks as good, but I am really looking forward to seeing it shining in the late afternoon sun.

Anyway, back to this year. Again not much change to the right or left from last month.

Looking right

Looking right

Looking left

Looking left

No obvious swelling of the buds on the plum tree yet, but there are some nice buds on the Clematis armandii at the right side of the fence. You can’t see them but there are also quite a few bulbs coming though – daffodils, tulips and crocuses. The sticks near the bird bath are where I planted some Foxtail lilies. They were dug up by some creature or other almost immediately but there didn’t seem to be any damage done to them so I just popped them back in. I wonder if they survived.

Elsewhere in the garden, the snowdrops are still going strong and the first crocus has opened. The heather is looking good and the monkshood foliage is emerging in a vibrant green.

Spring is slow this year, but after all the sunshine yesterday, I am expecting things to take off so hopefuly next month’s views should look rather more green.

With thanks to Helen of The Patient Gardener for hosting this meme.

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14 thoughts on “End of Month View: February

  1. Considering how much cold weather you have had, your garden is looking pretty good with lots of little plants starting to flower. Your purple phormium is looking really good too, much better than mine which doesn’t like all the rain that we have!

    • Thanks Pauline – it looked quite bare once I had taken out the old stems. Hopefully next month it will start to look more green at least. That Phormium has done so well and is now getting rather large. Do you know whether you can divide them? I would hate to lose it as it is one of the best features in the garden.

    • Absolutely, but it was the chance of seeing the owls that really did it. Was off looking at the woodpeckers this morning. I can’t understand why I have heard of so many birds around this year!

  2. Our gardens are in a real state of transition ay this time of year, aren’t they? There may be early spring flowers to differentiate it from the end of January, but the tiny new shoots will be less obvious – end of March will be very different! Don’t you just love the young monkshood foliage?

  3. Lovely .. I got excited when I read about the wool. I do that too! I use it as a border in my raised beds. Does it work .. I think that it makes it less pleasant for the slimies. I seldom see them venturing over it .. 😀

    • Good to hear someone else uses it. I will be testing it further when I put out more plants this spring. Maybe I will do a controlled experiment – that would be fun, but can I afford to lose any plants? I have started getting fresh food delivered occasionally and they use a wool matting for insulation. It is a lovely grey colour too, so I think that will be even more useful and won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

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