End of Month View – February 2018

18_02_24_8528The view across the garden has not really changed yet since the start of the year but elsewhere as we will see spring is beginning to burst out. It has been very cold -5c at night for the last few days and the outlook is snow so it is lucky I have taken some photos already.

Over the years we have split and planted snowdrops in a number of our beds and at this time of year they reliably put on a great display for little cost. I have never gone out of the way to buy some of the expensive snowdrop bulbs and have been more than happy with the effect that is created. There are some singles which were probably here 25 years ago when we moved here and some doubles which we introduced. The great thing about snowdrops is that once they have finished flowering the leaves etc soon die off and can be removed and the bed is ready for the next display eg tulips etc.18_02_25_8536Some of the cyclamens are also out with snowdrops and Iris Histrioides Katherine Hodgkin. These all look a bit frosted.

I had hoped for some new planting of crocus this year but unfortunately the grey squirrel has dug them up and eaten them. The odd thing is that once established the squirrels seem to leave them alone. Next year I will have to plant them in pots (out of the way of the squirrels) and effectively “plant them in the green” which has worked before.

Here are some of the Glebe House Hybrids. See Ashwood Hellebore Nursery18_02_25_8543The aconites  Eranthis Hyemalis that I planted last year have come back and are in flower. See Aconites and others spring delights18_02_25_8540Crown imperial fritillary are coming through at a great speed. They have been coming back each year for 15 years now.18_02_24_8532One of the delights of the winter border is Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ looking really good against the yew hedge. It does have a habit of running which means a bit of work later in the year to control it and maybe some free plants from the runners! However the colour at this time of year is hard to beat.18_02_01_8523One of the jobs that I have been slow to do this year is tidying up the climbing roses. This is Rosa ‘Shot Silk’  and you can see extensive vertical growth from last year. These vertical growths need to be persuaded into the horizontal. Unfortunately they are not well behaved and often you will find they have grown up behind the wires which can mean having to remove the wire, releasing all the other branches that have been fixed to the wire in previous years!18_02_01_8525In addition some of the growth has died back and this needs to be removed.18_02_24_8526After about six hours of work and many scratches then you can stand back and admire the result. To a large degree this is the main maintenance work on a climbing rose.

That’s the good news but we do have many climbing roses that all need tiding up. “Before” and “After” for Rosa ‘Alchemist’ a great rose that has been here for at least 25 years.18_02_25_8542And another one just completed, Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’.18_02_25_8545Lastly the Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ which has been trained horizontally above a lot of different spring flowers is really visible this year as there are also three Rosa ‘Jacques Cartier’ which are normally in front of the pyracantha. These had not done well recently and we have cut done right down to grown level to regenerate them.

2018 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
February 174th
Total 2018 to-date Average per week
10 70 10

So far this year we are well behind last years average of 20 hours a week. It is no wonder I am still pruning the roses! When the snow stops I must get out and do some more!

Do have a look at Helen The Patient Gardener’s blog where you fill find links to other gardens at the end of February. Thank you to Helen for hosting this meme.

18 thoughts on “End of Month View – February 2018

  1. After attending a couple of day courses on rose pruning last month, I have pruned all my roses much more drastically than in other years, it will be interesting to see how they flower. The Cornus is beautiful. hard to beat at this time of year. Your snowdrops are just the way I like them, in large clumps. Are you too far north for the lily beetle to be a problem, I understand that it is attracted to Crown imperial fritillary as well as lilies. Hope the snow doesn’t do too much damage.

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  2. Your garden is looking so promising this time of year. Amazing how wide the Pyracantha is growing. I love the rich green color against the wall. What a job it must be to loosen the wires to prune or redirect your roses. I have been inspired to keep a record of hours spent in my garden this year. I always have people say to me “Oh it must be so much work”. I don’t see it that way of course, I love being out there. I was wondering if you count the time you walk around surveying the garden , thinking about what is next. My garden is miniscule compared to your garden but I am curious about the amount of time I spend there.

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  3. Although we lack the Cornus sanguinea, we have a long section of creekside liked with the native Cornus stolonifera. It is not a garden variety; just the straight species from the wild. It looks like the redtwig dogwood, but is really there to simulate a natural environment. There might be a half mile of it that needs to be coppiced. Not only does it spread from the main clumps, but the outer stems layer, even within the same year! After getting cut back, the canes that grow out through spring bend over by summer and start rooting ‘before’ the following year! It is quite a hassle to pull them all up, as well as to cut back some of the canes that spread from the main clumps.

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    • Hi Tony, Thanks for that information. I have just read your “About” to understand where about you are located in the world. It is always interesting how different different parts of the world can be,

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      • Yes, it is fascinating; although I am getting bored with reading about all the snowdrops that we do not bother with here. Everyone else grows them! I find the Southern Hemisphere to be the most interesting. Even the similarities are half a year off.

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  4. Pingback: February 2018: End of Month View | Garden Dreaming at Châtillon

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