Flowers in February

The quietest month in the garden. No more snow has fallen again in the past weeks, but frosts graze the garden and leave blocks of ice where water once stood.

Along the fronts of the borders, snowdrops hang their delicate heads. This is their first year, and they stand solemnly in ones and twos. I look forward to watching them multiply in the years to come.

primrose vulgarisThe common primroses across the garden have a year’s head start on the snowdrops. They were divided and resettled last year in situ, and sit in satisfyingly dense clumps, sprinkled with their pale flowers.

knautia, pulmonaria, cyclamen coum, winter heather, rose

Winter heather in small pots is adorned still with dainty bells; pulmonaria blooms, some in the ground, others like this one are still in pots waiting to be planted out. The Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden’ plants are still a delight of painted foliage and butterfly flowers, and nearby the knautia macedonica continues to push out splendid crimson buttons. The tentative rose in the front garden has been punished by the hard frosts, yet its partly unfurled parchment petals stand testament to its will.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'

I was delighted to find a single spidery scarlet bloom on the young Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ which I planted in the autumn. Although opinions on planting witch-hazels in small gardens can be harsh due to their vigorous growth and unexceptional appearance the rest of the year, I hope that this one will be a blessing in the centre of our biggest border, particularly at this time of year with its burst of colour. I still find myself pondering where I could add ‘Jelena’ with its tangerine curls, or ‘Pallida’ with its lemon yellow flowers, but the space is not forthcoming.

first daffodils opening in February

In the front garden, the first daffodils are beginning to open their golden trumpets. I suspect that these are the Rijnvelds Early Sensation that I bought and planted in the autumn, although I did rather lose track of what ended up where after hours spent digging holes for handfuls of various bulbs, both bought and rescued from the original garden. Already I love their pure golden tones; with the evenings beginning to lengthen ever so slightly, I am avidly watching the front garden light up day by day.

These days are still surprisingly busy for us; I have a mountain of blogs to catch up with and whorls of words whistling around my head waiting to escape onto the screen, so apologies for my sporadic presence online.

To see what is flowering elsewhere this month, visit here.


20 thoughts on “Flowers in February

  1. Oh it’s so encouraging to see all these signs of life. I know what you mean about not being too sure where each bulb will be…I planted lots of bulbs last Autumn but the squirrels then dug them up and those I could salvage just went into the ground anywhere I thought would be safe!! But then that’s part of the fun of gardening seeing what emerges from the soil…

    • I am thrilled by each sign of life: the tiny nubs poking above the ground that reveal the dicentras to come, the buds on woody stems, new leaves pushing up around the base of dead sticks standing. Lovely. I think our bulbs stay where I plant them, and as I worked I knew what combinations I put where, but now I could not say where most of them ended up. Time will, indeed, tell…

    • It is another reminder to make more notes to myself! I love the snowdrops, thrilled that they have settled in so fast, from the tiny tiny bulbs I thrust into the earth in two’s and three’s in the autumn.

  2. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ is one of the plants on my wishlist. I am still working out exactly where I can put it – but the colour of those early blooms are just wonderful. I am still trying to decide between Diane and Jelena, so think you should absolutely have both of them!

    • They are both lovely colours. A few more ‘spiders’ have opened on our small ‘twig’ in the past few days, so vivid. It should look (and smell) amazing in years to come.

  3. Tricky things, witch hazels, so utterly beguiling at this time of year and yet so ordinary the rest. I assume one could grow a clematis up it once it is big enough? Besides, I think even small gardens have room for at least one thing with only a short season of interest when that season is winter. I can’t believe you have Knautia flowering! Even my primroses are still sulking at the moment.

    • I do like your clematis idea. The witch hazel will form a backdrop for more interesting plants in other seasons – definitely worthwhile for the splash of colour and scent in winter. Our knautia hasn’t stopped flowering since I planted it in the summer!

    • Too true! In my head I have already filled acres with the plants I would like to grow, whereas our plot is far from that, and will already be oversubscribed this year I suspect! Ho hum…

  4. I think you’ll LOVE the Witch Hazel once it gets bigger…they aren’t much to look at in summer, but, as you said, their blooms and their AMAZING fall foliage are just unbeatable!

  5. your cowslips, pulmonaria, daffs and knautia are waaay ahead of ours .. so interesting to see what’s blooming in other parts of the world .. i look after a winter flowering garden here on the west coast of canada ( and you might enjoy seeing what’s happening there ..

    • They all add a welcome splash of colour here at the minute. I look forward to popping over to your site as soon as I have a chance. Thanks for commenting.

  6. some lovely blooms Sara, I like your hamamelis I always see yellow and orange ones on other blogs didn’t know there was red, I think like others anything that gives winter blooms is worth making room for and I understand hamamelis have a wonderful perfume too, the green foliage can be used as a backdrop for other flowers later in the year afteral so much flowers in the other 3 seasons, Frances

    • Thanks Frances. I was rather drawn to the red, and indeed looking forward to enjoying the scent too once the flowers are more substantial. I agree that the foliage should make a great backdrop in the summer, I don’t think there will be a shortage of flowers elsewhere in the border, it will be a good respite for the eyes!

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