End of month view for February

Hurray!  February, my least favourite month of the year, is gone and March is here and surely it must be spring?  Early spring maybe, but spring nonetheless.  I am joining in again with the end of month view posts, hosted by Helen at Patient Gardener.  The discipline of taking photographs at month end is really useful and the record really interesting.  I am so glad I did it last year.  Especially when you are making a new garden, it is easy to think nothing is changing.  These photographs show that things are growing, the garden is filling, never mind that it is so slowly.




Here is the side garden.  The first photograph is last month's view at the end of January.  The garden still feels quite empty to me now and yet the two photos side by side show that foliage is appearing and the beds are filling.  The grass has not started to regrow yet and is still churned to mud on the way out to the field.  One day we will have a hard path going through the gate so that we don't descend into mud every winter!  The hellebores are out.  These are the flowers you can see in the foreground of the picture.  I love them, would love them whenever they flowered but at the end of winter they seem quite extraordinarily beautiful.



There is not a lot to see in the little orchard, although there is this cat in the big apple tree.



Get close enough and you can see daffodils pushing up.  Here in the field they are Tenby daffodils, narcissus obvallaris, the Welsh native daffodil.  They are small and upright, more robust that the other native daffodil, narcissus pseudonarcissus, which was Wordsworth's dancing daffodil.  These flower early and keep their flower well until the taller white Thalia begins to take over.  Around the swing there are lots more: February Gold (which never flowers in February and is in fact a couple of weeks later than the Tenby daffodil), Sweetness with a strong, sweet scent, more Thalia and some of the old double daffodil, Telamonius, which has been flowering in gardens in Britain since the early 1600s when our house was built.  It has been a labour, planting daffodils for the last few years, but a labour of love.  I have a record somewhere of how many I have put in but I don't want to think about it!  I want them to spread and naturalise and take your breath away.  They aren't doing that yet but they are beginning to clump up a little, flowering in fives and sixes rather than ones and twos.  It's a plan for the long haul.


Nothing happening in the cutting garden, zilch, nada, nowt.



The grandly called "Native tree walk" is beginning to show the snowdrops around the dogwoods.  I shall plant more snowdrops here, and winter aconite, and wood anenomes.  I must get ordering quick while I can still get them in the green.  I order from John Shipton and daughters in West Wales.  It's not a great website but it is a great nursery.  Send for their paper catalogue if you like native bulbs and flowers and while away a cold evening making lists and getting your tongue around the beautiful Welsh names.


By the drive the snowdrops have been joined by crocuses, crocus tommasinus, another one to spread and taske over I hope.


There is not much happening on the sunny bank yet although walk down to the stile and you will find that the heather is open for early bees.


The kitchen garden is the tidiest it will be all year.  The hellebore argutifolius, terribly prone to blackspot so kept well away from the hellebore orientalis in the side garden, is looking at its best too.



Signs of life, signs of spring.

Comments

  1. what lovely colour..I feel that your garden is like a coiled spring!

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  2. I'm definitely in the camp that waves a grateful good-bye to February. Bring on March and the daffs! Daffodils are the one bulb that I haven't put in my garden -- only because they were already there. (I don't know what they are, though.) I still don't have any blooming, but my house is absolutely filled with arrangements of them. I love how you can buy them in super-cheap bunches at this time of year.
    I also have lovely arrangments of pussy willow and the acid yellow forsythia branches that I took out of a sprawling bunch in the back garden. My hellebores seem to be doing particularly well this year, but maybe I've just forgotten?

    My gardener and I pruned the roses this week. They were already getting new growth! I still haven't been inclined to do any weeding, though. Maybe when it gets a bit warmer . . . the garden may be coming alive, but it is still COLD. Despite the grayness, though, I do always feel so grateful for how early spring arrives in England. A friend in Maine says that they don't get their spring until May!

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  3. It all looks so tidy which is amazing considering everything you had had to deal with recently. If I had your views I would just sit and look at them and forget the garden

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  4. Everything at your place looks ready to burst into flower, with no messy bits still needing to be raked and swept. Our garden has suffered from cold, snow and neglect these past months and now the piper will want to be paid. Despite the work looming, I am eager for spring.

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  5. I too am looking forward to some dry days, some sun, and grubbing around in the garden. It amuses me that we have so many of the same things growing, despite our enormous geographic separation. It's all hellebores right now and I wish I had even more of them. I'd have them in every bed if I could. My garlic is up, planted in the fall, and our fruit trees are budding like crazy. The rest of it is still mud though! I'm planning on making moss tea this weekend, for my shady and cool areas. Washington has dozens of lovely native mosses, and when I'm in the forest I am transfixed by them and their green gold colors, so I'm going to try the moss-plus-buttermilk in a blender trick!

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  6. S W France and Mid-Wales seem to be in sync'. The only difference I could see is that ours is a Grey Tabby, and he sits in a Quince tree. Roll on April.

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  7. Your kitchen garden does look immaculate! THe pictures make me want to rush outdoors even in the cold - it all looks so beguiling at this time of year. I have to stop myself rushing out to prune and move things as it is still too early.

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  8. I'm longing for Spring - this year's been all uphill so far!

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  9. Your kitchen garden looks so inviting! And the views - wow! Tucked in the bottom of a Suffolk valley behind our big wall we may be sheltered from the biting winds off the North Sea but we miss the big views.

    Celia
    x

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  10. All very lovely and springlike... bet it doesn't look like that this morning though? 8-)

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  11. Inspiring!

    Also a mark of aging - that I can remember your parallel photos last year.

    Lucy

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  12. It is still cold - and today we are under a blanket of wet grey cloud. Hopefully, as yesterday, the sun will burn through and I will feel glad to be alive.

    Day on day I do see things coming to life - and this is where your blog is so valuable. After a month the small changes are bigger ones - and visible. Hard to believe that the garden was under snow - was it only 2 months ago?

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  13. Cat in the apple tree! How cute is THAT, I ask you?

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  14. Love those double hellebores! Also love that marmalade cat - trust it to find a sunny comfortable spot to bask.
    My argutifolius doesn't doesn't get blackspot - shall have to watch it carefully this year.

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  15. February is my least favourite month too ~ always delighted to wave it on its way. I like those spotty dotty hellebores - wonder what sort of offspring they might produce.

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  16. Beautiful, I loved hearing about your dreams of drifts, and that lots of them will be Welsh natives. I didn't know there was a Tenby daff, it's one of my favourite places, so I may have to buy some! The kitchen garden is enviable and overall your garden is lacking the dishevelled end-of-winter look sported by most of us. Fabulous, looks a great place to sit and stare (if warmly wrapped...)

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  17. Mary, a coiled spring is just the phrase! Everything is just waiting for the off!
    Hi Bee - yes it is still cold in the morning but there is real warmth in the sun by lunchtime. I adore daffodils too but can't bring myself to pick any of my own until a bit later on when I start to get blase about them!

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  18. I like the idea of taking photos at the end of each month - I must do that with my new garden. Plants keep appearing now we have cut back the mass of overgrown trees - loads of bulbs suddenly came but they look weak and none of them seem to flower (someone told me they'd 'gone blind' whatever that means - I presume past their best)

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  19. I love your double hellebores too. Our are all singles, although in a variety of colours and patterns.

    Your garden looks so full of promise!

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  20. I love the cat in the apple tree. Your garden looks great - raring to go. Thanks for the reminder about and the link to Shipton Bulbs - you've mentioned them before. They are not far from me here and it really pleases me to buy from local nurseries. My garden needs daffs. We have the Tenby sort growing wild across the farm but nothing in the front garden. I feel an order coming on...

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  21. Love the kitchen garden - so ordered and lovely,love the marmalade cat and the spring sunshine. I'm weeding, and more weeding! Creeping buttercup never stops growing.

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  22. Helen - I do find that I can often just sit and stare. I try to tell myself this is thinking time.
    Pondside - you must remember that I have control of the camera and if I don't want to show you the messy bits, of which I have plenty, I just turn the other way!
    Frith - I love the sound of your mosses. We don't get moss up here much, it is not damp enough. I quite envy you the idea!
    Cro - oh yes, roll on April and warmth and sunshine. Like the idea of the tabby in the quince tree.

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  23. Spring is springing and here is the proof. You have such a lovely garden. Our daffs always flower late. I think they are English daffs and so come out for St George's day in April

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  24. Arabella - I am just the same every year. I can't wait to get going even though I know that things sown too early never thrive.
    Chris - you and me both. It will be better when the sun is warm on your back.
    Celia - I have never had a view before. Now I am not sure I could live without it.

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  25. Broken biro - we had a lovely couple of days when it looked like Spring. Yesterday it was like living in a misty grey hole. Today is bright and cold as cold.
    Lucy - how lovely to think you were reading my blog last year! Thank you. I like seeing it all come round again.
    Mountainear - it is a great way of reminding yourself that winter is on its way out. I find it quite easy to get fed up in February but little by little things are waking up. Can you imagine, it will be May?

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  26. Marcheline - I know. The cat is very beautiful. He is also greedy and cross but you can hardly tell.
    Weaver - the double hellebores are amazingly lovely aren't they? Actually all hellebores. I am a bit smitten.
    Anna - I haven't tried to experiment with the hellebores. You are making me wonder if I should!
    Janet - well if you love Tenby you should definitely go for the Tenby daff. It is short and upright, with a smallish but beautiful flower and a general air of cheeriness.

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  27. You are so lucky, in my country it was snowing all the month. You have Beautiful weather...

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