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.