The End of Another Grey Month, February EOMV

Just as in January, our solar panel monitor shows that this February has had the lowest amount of sunshine of all the years since the panels were installed in 2011, and barely two thirds of the sun we enjoyed at this time last year, which seems to have been an especially sunny start to the year. Although rainfall has been similar (around 60mm) to last month, it doesn’t actually feel as grey as January did, perhaps because it has been a little bit milder – I am hoping not to be switching the greenhouse heaters on again till next winter, although it is actually far too early to be confident of that.

Instead of just making comparisons in my head, I checked back on the EOMV from February 2016 before starting this post and in particular was surprised to find crocus and Tete a Tete both flowering in the streamside grass, as I really could not remember them flowering at the same time. The crocus are certainly much more floriferous now and as I have not added any bulbs they must be increasing naturally, which is good to see. Both native and special snowdrops were indeed earlier last year, and the hellebores MUCH earlier – but you can get a glimpse of Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’ in one of today’s picture, in full flower, which it is this year too. Elsewhere the usual signs of spring growth seem to be similar too although I am not sure if buds were evident on any of the Clematis alpina at this time last year.

As always, this monthly review forms a useful record – and I am going to try and keep a written record of when certain key plants or types of plant start flowering, something I have intended to do in other years but not managed up to now. In the meantime, thanks to Helen the Patient Gardener for hosting the End of Month View meme – do visit her blog for links to other gardens.

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19 Responses to The End of Another Grey Month, February EOMV

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  2. Christina says:

    Hours of sunshine and temperature do make a huge difference to when some plants flower. With some of the bulbs we often forget that they need certain periods of cold weather so a generally mild winter especially if autumn has been warm will make bulbs like tulips actually flower later; hence my chilling mine before planting.

    • Cathy says:

      This winter has been been been pretty consistently ‘cool’ here ie no big ups and downs in temperature – and I have had heaters on overnight in the greenhouse for much of the last 4 months whereas usually it’s for only a couple of months. It will be intersting to see what the tulips do here.

  3. rusty duck says:

    Cathy, the slideshow never loads for me but I am imagining the glory! I have buds on C alpina too, its first year. Exciting!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, I wonder whay that is …? I have checked on my phone and tablet and it opens up there, although sometimes there is a short delay. It probably needs Java. How exciting to have buds on your C alpina too – which one do you have?

      • rusty duck says:

        I think it must be our broadband, it’s so slow. I’m assuming it needs every photo to load before starting. But I’ve waited several minutes and just see a black screen 😦 C. alpina Frances Rivis. Bought last year so these will be the first blooms!

        • Cathy says:

          Blooming broadband! Ours was barely 2MB and as soon as fibre became available I jumped at it, despite the cost, because ‘at the furthest limit of the exchange’ we were never going to get the upper advertised speeds. It’s a consistent service now, as well as faster. Hope things improve for you – and enjoy your clematis. Frances Rivis was one of the first clematis I bought, along with Constance

  4. This strangely warm February has been kind to all of our gardens. I wonder what March will bring?? It is coming in like a Lion here. Wild thunder storms and wind. We need the rain but hate that it is coming through like a train wreck.

    • Cathy says:

      A very pleasant morning and early afternoon for the 1st of March here, Lisa, but the temperature is dropping now and we are forecast rain for later too.

  5. Pauline says:

    Your crocus are beautiful and everything else looks poised ready to perform, such an exciting time! Plants seem to change their minds about when to flower from year to year, some of mine are early and others are late when I checked with last years posts.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – Areen’t they just?! Makes me want to add even more, although they are doing such a good job of increasing themselves. I am glad I checked back because it is so easy to mislead your mind about when things flowered

  6. Linnae says:

    I had crocuses blooming this time last year, too! Though I must admit, last year was early for me. It’s exciting to see things start to come up, isn’t it?

  7. karen says:

    I’m really missing the sunshine now. Our solar panel readings show the same as yours. I’m just hoping it warms up a bit soon. I love the crocus growing in the grass. And you have a lovely display of snowdrops. I enjoyed the slideshow. All the best, Cathy. Karen x

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Karen – I am really pleased with how the snowdrops and crocus have been increasing. According to our panels, yesterday was the sunniest day of the year so far – for you too?

      • karen says:

        Yes, same here. I made bread, then did all the washing and hoovering and we were still making more than we were using. All the doors and windows thrown open. Thought that was it, spring on the way. Then today- rain rain rain! Sigh xxx

  8. Brian Skeys says:

    Lots of verdant spring growth Cathy. It looks pretty wet in the pictures.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Brian – it was late afternoon when I took the photos and it had not long started raining which served me right for not having done it sooner!

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