February Column: In the Garden

February 07 2013
February Column: In the Garden

I have been looking forward to the late winter/early spring flowers that we should see.

February Column: In the Garden

I have been looking forward to the late winter/early spring flowers that we should see. In the first week of January  the hellebores had grown about 12 inches and had plenty of flowers showing. Snowdrop

We had a group of snowdrops, Galanthus Woronowski, a large type, flowering in one corner of a bed, G. Elwesii just showing next to them, and G. nivalis all over the garden  where they have colonised, showing about 2 inches of growth. Nivalis the common snowdrop  always flowers the first week in February. The Rocco Garden we are not but we do have a good show in spring.

Have you noticed Viburnum Bodnantense anywhere? I have seen several fine specimens. A good upright bushy shrub, it carries its pale pink small clusters of flowers before the leaves appear. Unfortunately not in our garden.  And surprisingly six or seven good polyanthus in a border under some big shrubs. And one contender, the winter flowering Jasmine, bright lemon flowers climbing up the trellis. All in January.

Jasmine or Jassamine

I never know which.

Jasmine sounds terribly, terribly rich.

And Jessamine, somehow, sounds terribly poor;

I picture her over a cottager’s door,

Her head in the thatch and her feet in a ditch

While Jasmine prefers a more orthodox pitch.

Jasmine or Jassamine?

I never know which.

December is a month when not much happens in the garden, and what would normally get done, didn’t. So we carried it over to January and some better weather.

Having had some decent weather the large fruit trees are tidy,  the hedges inspected ready for March, the lawns checked after being waterlogged, and the hard areas and path slabs reset. Is it my imagination or did everything grow more because of the abundance of water in the autumn?

January brought a surprise. Did you think the snow was lovely/horrible? (Delete as necessary.)

Nothing to do while the garden is covered in snow? Think again. Four inches of snow  on the branches of the conifers and disaster struck. A main branch of our big conifer broke near the trunk, bringing down with it a big branch of laurel, all of it resting on the very light roofing of the shed and covering the door.

With help I managed to cut back the branches to the trunks and clear the door. The upside is I shall have logs to burn. I was prompted to check all the remaining shrubs and remove most of the snow. A large tamerisk looked very elegant draped in its snow mantle, but it was drooping rather seriously. The garden did look neat and tidy under the snow. 

Quite a lot to do in February. Some nicely scented plants by the back door make an incentive to go outside. Sarcococcas are a fine scented plant, as is Daphne Bholua. Both of these flower in February and March. Have a look at the grass and do not forget the mower.