February is the gardeners’ waiting game. Too sodden under foot (I garden on clay and the ground is practically waterlogged) to really get stuck in and much too cold to get any veg in the ground, in reality a bright relatively warm day such as this one pulls you outside and presents an opportunity to get some of the key jobs done….and in this garden, there is much to be done.
A broken fence battered by the winds in November and January needs attention but I’m likely to get to that in March when hopefully the bed in front of it will be a little drier. However, the roses at the rear of the garden cannot wait. I made a mistake last year, I got lazy and didn’t prune back the rambling Mme. Alfred Carrière which in truth is too big for my garden but I had a love affair with it at the nursery and I had have it because it is just so beautiful. The beautiful climbing rose Iceberg also needs my attention.
The rear of the garden is perhaps my favourite part. It’s where I grow white roses and fruit trees. Scent, beauty and fruit. Now that’s my idea of romance.
I hoping for a dry day tomorrow also so that I can finish the job.
However, February is also filled with charms that makes muddy wellies and chills worth every second. I almost always forget about the little hellebore that shines out brightly from under the hedge. Her timing is perfect as her one of her namesakes ‘Lenten rose’ would indicate. I bought it as a risk as I rescued it from the bargain section at the end of season sale. She evidently loves the partly shady position I found for her and every year graces me with her slightly jurassic beauty. I love woodland plants, they are my favourite type, give me foxgloves, English bluebells and ferns any day.
I’m also glad to see that the lovely alpine onions have also made it through the cold. These have been left in a hanging basket for two years now. I think I will add to them with other alpines this year to make more of a feature of them. I love the way the stems curve and wind and the tiny flower heads are really adorable.
Snowdrops are in full bloom now dotted around the borders in the quiet corners of the garden. I like the way you have to get up close and personal with these lovely flowers to see all of their beauty. Bowing your head down and underneath their dropped heads you get to see all the glory of that green and the bright ochre of the stamens.
Finally, on my way back to the warmth of the kitchen I stop to examine one of my favourite plants Viola Odorata. Violets remind me of my childhood and Tom Thumb sweets we used to get for 10p from the local shop. I simply adore their fragrance and she flowers early in the season. I can see that she is starting to do so. I crouch down to smell her intoxicating fragrance and all at once I am grateful for late winter.
Time to head back to the sanctuary of the house and a cup of tea.