End of Month – February 2014

Where to start?

The rain stopped. Seriously. No kidding.

And it’s actually been very nice since with some glorious days enticing me outside even though I know the ground will remain too wet for a while yet. Many perennials are showing signs of new growth and I’m itching to divide and move them to my parent’s. I just need to go easy otherwise I’ll have large gaps in the borders.

In all, things are going well so far with a nice show of spring bulbs – perhaps less than usual as no doubt some have died in the rain and I haven’t replaced any for a couple of years. The Hellebores are doing well, with a couple blooming for the first time and another couple blooming after a no-show last year. I’m a little disappointed that my stalwart bloomer, ‘Tutu’ only has the one bloom stem this year; perhaps it’ll produce some more yet?

First buds and leaves are appearing on roses, Black Elder and even a Kerria Japonica bloom in the hedge. Over the last couple of days I’ve spotted the first blooms on Drumstick Primula too, so must try to get photos of them popping up.

Below we have the Buddleja and ‘right’ borders with their cheerful spring bulbs. There’s also some new green growth such as Forget-me-not seedlings and Aquilegias. Some tidying is required but with rain due Sunday it’ll have to wait another week. I have cut back a fair amount in these borders already but the dead Cosmos still need to come out and I think it’s time to chop the Sea Holly back – btw, I think one has died completely; shame.

Next up is the Buddleja border, things are always a little further behind in this border as it’s further up the garden and doesn’t yet receive direct sunlight – I don’t think so, anyway – some bulbs have popped up but I notice a lack of Crocus and very few tete-a-tete. I’ve also spotted the tiny feathery leaves of Sanguisorba emerging too. I think it’s almost time to cut back the flat-topped Aster stems.

The cherry border is perhaps the most interesting, even if it is also one of the most shady. Hellebore niger is battling against the Ferns this year, normally the Ferns die back in the cold but with very few frosts this winter the fronds are still doing well. I’ll be lifting these mature Hellebores and some of the snowdrops to take to my parents’. Hellebores are just too expensive to leave behind.
I have thinned out some of the Geraniums, hence the gap in the centre. It’ll soon fill with Anemone, Pulmonaria, Dicentra and the Geraniums.

On the bottom image (not the one directly below this paragraph but the second) you may also spot a little Anemone bud near the pink and dark purple Hellebores and the Acer in the top right just beginning to form leaves (they’re red).

Finally we’ll round up with a little Montage of various plants around the garden.

I’ve seen my first Rhododendron blooms at Clumber Park today and was shocked to see a Hydrangea bloom on my parent’s shrub… Yet its leaves are only just coming through. Very strange.

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden

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8 thoughts on “End of Month – February 2014

  1. Your hellebores are so pretty, no wonder you don’t want to leave them behind. I just noticed our Kerrya flowering today, along with our first forget me not, all of a sudden flowers are opening where I hadn’t even noticed buds a few days ago. We are slowly drying out in Devon, hope you are too, I hope it won’t be too long before we can all get back on our gardens!

    • Hi Pauline,

      Forget-me-not blooming?? Well, that is indeed very early. I wonder if it’s a different species? I’m surprised they’re even large enough yet to bloom; mine are still seedlings, preparing to shoot up.
      We’re drying out too, but I think it’ll be another week or two of almost dry weather before I can do much. Even planting in my parent’s soil at the weekend was muddy work and they have near-perfect soil which is usually nice and drained. We keep getting bits of rain here and there; sometimes I think it’s quite heavy but it happens overnight so I don’t see it. And it’s keeping the garden damp. Thankfully it didn’t rain all day today as forecast, so we got away with something at least.

  2. You have so much green already! And such pretty little blooms. The light is so nice in your photos. We are still well below freezing and blanketed with snow but temps are supposed to hit 50*F next weekend – not sure what that is in Celsius but it’s warm enough for my first crocuses to start blooming.

    • Hi VW,

      50F? Hrm I think that might be around 10C, if so you’ll have a nice spring day to look forward to. We’ve had some lovely days recently, with nice warm sun… Cold without it though! On Saturday mum and I went for a walk in a park and it was wonderful with the sun out but we soon noticed when the sun was covered by a cloud.

  3. I doubt I’d be leaving those Hellebores either Liz. Replacing large sized clumps is a cost most of us would not like to bare.
    Isn’t it amazing just how many plants haven’t suffered this winter – the growth on my daylilies is unbelievable for February/March. I hope you get some garden time pretty soon. You’ve lots to organise. I know when I moved in spring it was almost impossible to take so many plants with me but those I could, I bought cheap and cheerful replacements just so as not to leave gaps. Is England the same in the respect that here in Scotland, when you buy the house, you buy the entire garden, including plants unless mentioned before hand?

    • Hi Angie,

      I think the only problems this winter has been the rain, so I think the bulbs have suffered although, I have spotted Tulips appearing and I had assumed they’d be the first to go! The soil at my parent’s house is far better than mine and they have lots of Tulips coming up. So perhaps the rain doesn’t seem quite so bad now.

      I assume it’s the same in England as Scotland regarding plants, although I couldn’t tell you whether there’s any specific laws as such. These plants will be gone from the garden before the house goes on the market so won’t make any difference. If any are left behind and someone asks then yes I’ll tell them that I’ll be taking the roses for example. For the most part I’m dividing things though; just roses and Hellebores I’ll be removing.
      Tbh though I’m anticipating that whomever buys the house will not even want the plants there; I’ll be lucky if a plant lover comes along.

  4. You have some lovely big clumps of hellebore, Liz. It’s a sad thought that whoever buys your house might not be interested in the plants…… Good idea to start moving things to your parent’s sooner rather than later

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