The Garden in February

February is almost over (that didn’t take long, but then it’s missing a couple of days). Things are happening in the garden, but slowly. There has been no great outburst of flowering as yet. On the other hand, there haven’t been any blizzards, sleet, floods or hurricanes. It’s been a pretty benign winter (so far).

Notable now are the following…

Hellebore "Ivory Prince"

Hellebore “Ivory Prince”

The hellebore “Ivory Prince,” which was showing only a few buds in January, is now in almost full bloom.

Primula juliae

Primula juliae

These reliable little primulas, which I’ve distributed around the garden, are finally starting to perform well.

Viola odorata

Viola odorata

As are these rather weedy but sweetly perfumed violets. They spread themselves throughout the place; my efforts have been directed to reducing their numbers, but I am grateful for them in late winter, when they exude a scent out of proportion to their modest size.

Acanthus mollis

Acanthus mollis

This acanthus is sprouting out with gloriously yellow foliage this year. I hope the colour isn’t a sign of deprivation.

Iris unguicularis

Iris unguicularis

Now that this wonderful winter-blooming and drought-tolerant iris has firmly established itself here, I will have to learn how to manage its foliage so the flowers are more visible. Perhaps cutting the old leaves quite short in fall will do the trick; the flowers will be fully visible and new foliage can grow as they fade.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

Another iris, this one very small but also welcome because of its early blooming. Unfortunately my planting of them has dwindled over the years. I will have to restore it, possibly adding the yellow Iris danfordiae, which would be a nice contrast. I seem to have a lot of things with blue or purple flowers at this time of year.

Meconopsis

Meconopsis

Finally, all eleven of the blue poppies I planted to the north of a large deciduous magnolia in my front garden are sprouting out — very exciting!

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