February, already a short month, seems to have been very much a case of watching and waiting – watching all the spring flowers begin to emerge but waiting for confirmation that spring really is in its ascendancy and we are not suddenly going to be thrown into the depths of winter. Many of the changes since the end of January are small and imperceptible in photos – leaves breaking out on shrub and twig, shoots pushing forth from damp soil, but then there are the obvious signs of early spring: snowdrops, hellebores, primroses, narcissi and crocus.
The latter two are visible in the streamside grass on the right, but tulips can also be seen emerging in the pots on the left – and to see where these views fit into the garden as the whole you could refer to the map.
The woodland displays clear clumps of primroses but the wood anemones and bluebells are still preparing for a later display:
The left and right side hot borders, waiting for the courage to face their conversion to ‘bold’ borders (them, not me). The red polyanthus seems to have got over its aversion to damp and is looking better for it, and provides the only splash (bold and hot) of colour amongst the new growth of geum, poppy, hemerocallis and crocosmia, other than the odd flower still on the Bidens in the Baskets:
A similarly cheerful blue polyanthus (a thank you gift) does the same job in the blue and white borders, although if you look carefully you might just make out a hint of purple at the base of the corner of the wall – a flower on a new purchase of Iris unguicularis, unknown to me until I saw them flowering at Plas Newydd in December and then on various blogs:
The roses in the rose garden (left) are sporting many new shoots, but the underplanted lavender is still very tatty – maintaining beds of lavender is new to me, so I have been following guidance from fellow bloggers and hope to see fresh growth soon. The displaced urn has not yet been rehomed, as you can see! On the right hand side is a view possibly not seen before, from inside the clematis colonnade looking towards the start of the woodland edge border. I have been especially pleased in recent days to find a sprinkling of buds on the Clematis alpina ‘Constance’ on one of the pillar here, thankfully coming out of its prolonged sulk after it was unceremoniously moved during flowering in 2012:
Although outward rambles pass the species snowdrop border I have kept the photograph until the return leg, but am regretting taking it from this angle! After a disappointing 2013 there have only been a couple of snowdrops that have not been ready to flower this year, and my systematic mapping and investigation has solved a few mysteries – a successful season for this other seasonal star attraction. The addition of a couple more hellebores, still sticking to the white/green scheme, and white geraniums should extend the interest beyond the snowdrop season. Some white muscari were also added in the autumn but there has seen no sign of them yet.
The hedge border is about a year old now and is gradually coming together, but I am especially thrilled to see the buds on the Camellia japonica ‘Nobilissima’ beginning to show a hint of their white flowers for the first time. You can just see ‘Harry’, my favourite witch hazel, still in flower beyond the section of wall.
I am fascinated to look back on these end of month views, particularly now I am building a good record of them – they are so helpful to monitor differences from year to year as well as month to month – and I am grateful to Helen, the Patient Gardener, for hosting this meme. If you follow the link to her blog there will be more links to End of Month Views in lots of other gardens, so do go and have look round as I shall also be doing.