Here we are visiting my garden journal for the second time in 2019 with my February entries. My first double page spread was all about the week that spanned the last few days of January which delivered snowfall and the first few days of February which gave us a heavy frost.
The photos on the left hand page illustrated some of our winter flowering scented shrubs topped off with a layer of deep frost. I wrote, “The last few days of January shared a week with the first few days of February. It was a cold week cheered greatly by the appearance of flowers on our winter shrubs, which also delighted with their rich scents.”
“The delights of scented winter shrubs. Food for winter flying moths.”
Opposite my photos showed the effects of snow on our sculpture, both man-made and created by Mother Nature, the seedleads of grasses and perennials.
“The snowfall that came and went all within a day.”
Over the page my next two pages concerned with a period of strong winds and the earliest of bulbs to flower in our patch.
I wrote, “February 9th delivered gale force winds overnight so firstjob on the 10th was inspecting for damage. Luckily very little was to be found just a few minor happenings.”
“One broken stake of a support trio. Plant labels blown around the garden.
“Part of an insect home blown down. Plant protection bags blown off delicate shrub Loropetala.”
On the opposite page I wrote, “February sees the first of our bulbs coming into flower.”
“A pale crocus and an deep purple Iris reticulata.”
“Snowdrops have bulked up nicely.”
“Cyclamen at the base of our Field Maple.”
The next double page spread is all about Hellebores and we have so many.
I wrote, “Hellebore hybrids and self-seeders are blooming throughout our garden.”
“Euphorbia foetidus grows to small shrub proportions in the rich soil in our patch. Its acid-yellow bracts sit well against its deep green deeply cut foliage. It has a rather unfortunate common name of “Stinking Hellebore”, but is also called “Barfoot”.
“Even more of our Hellebore hybrids.”
Turning over the page one more time I looked at some indoor gardening related jobs and wrote, “Wet days in February afford us the opportunity to catch up on indoor tasks such as chitting potatoes, starting off Dahlias and Cannas as well as sowing seeds of perennials and a few annuals.”
I continued, “Meanwhile outside we continue to tidy up border by border. Sorting our gravel garden, the Chatto Border, is a major task so we do that work on days when Ian, our part-time gardener is around to help us. We also dug up and divided Day Lilies.”
About Crocus I wrote, “Whatever the weather, sunny or overcast, the gold of Crocus shines through, even the purple coloured varieties have spots of deep yellow, almost orange.”
Turn over and I share the surprise of a wildlife visitor, about which I wrote, “There is a surprising amount of wildlife activity in our February garden. Recent sunny, warmer than average days have encouraged our resident birds to start singing and calling. The Song Thrush calls loudly from first light along with Robins, Dunnock and Wren while overhead Buzzards and Red Kite mewl as they soar. As the light levels drop Tawny Owls called for long periods of time. Sunshine also brings out Bumble Bees and Honey Bees to feed off early flowers of bulbs and the first butterfly of the year makes its appearance. A stunningly beautiful Red Admiral rests on a wall taking in the extra warmth of the sun on the bricks.