Garden Views-02-February 2015

February began in winter’s grip, with hard frosts, wonderful sunny days and sunrises, and very limited occasional wintry showers. SDIM0178 (2)The many flowers which had popped up early in January were stuck in suspended animation. But a rare day on February 4th, when the sun shone and the wind dropped, saw honeybees out and about with a few visiting some Crocus ‘Snow Bunting’.S1050067 (2)SDIM0340 (2) Then the clouds rolled over and temperatures were stuck below about 5 degrees C with variable wind – fine for outside work if you kept moving. Very few opportunities to admire open snowdrop flowers, with such low temperatures. SDIM0177 (2)SDIM0204 (2) By mid month temperatures warmed a little, and some rain fell again. The total for the month was a fairly low 108 mm. And at last Crocuses began to carpet the ground, and snowdrops illuminate the autumn’s leaf litter. And all the while, the fabulous winter stalwarts, Cyclamen coum and Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’, kept flowering into their third month. But winter held sway to the end of the month, with wintry showers of sleet and hail and low daytime temperatures, and occasional nigh time frosts. Strong winds developed to blow the month out. A fairly typical February, I guess, with hints of better things to come. But for the first time in years, no photos of bumblebees in February.SDIM0208 (2)SDIM0166 (2)SDIM0133 (2)S1050005 (2)S1050031 (2)S1050015 (2)SDIM0218 (2)SDIM0212 (2)SDIM0156 (2)SDIM0143 (2)S1050019S1050059SDIM0323 (2)SDIM0331 (2)SDIM0299 (2)SDIM0305 (2)SDIM0362 (2)SDIM0411 (2)SDIM0372 (2)SDIM0406 (2)SDIM0387 (2)SDIM0383 (2)SDIM0394 (2)SDIM0378 (2)SDIM0399 (2)SDIM0400 (2)SDIM0380 (2)SDIM0367 (2)SDIM0408 (2)SDIM0471 (2) Later in the month there was great delight as the fruits of years of hand pollinating of early flowering Crocus, and scattering the seed through the garden started to show up in several attractive single, or clumps, of lovely colour variants…SDIM0477 (2)SDIM0479 (2)SDIM0562 (2)SDIM0570 (2)SDIM0567 (2)SDIM0569 (2)SDIM0601 (2)And at last the daffodil walk above, is beginning to develop an earlier season of interest, whilst snowdrops do what they quietly do over the years – bulk up , and begin to carpet the ground, but still show areas of deficiency.  SDIM0593 (2)SDIM0589 (2)SDIM0592 (2)SDIM0580 (2)SDIM0583 (2)SDIM0582 (2)Finally, the loss of an iconic landmark (the copse on Bryn Coed Cwm Ifor, to the South East), which began before Christmas, was complete by the month’s end, but recorded against some stunning sunrises. We await the possibility of a less photogenic machine in its place, in due course.SDIM0609 (2)SDIM0614 (2) At the end of the month I witnessed, for the first time, how a 2,500 or so starling flock works a field. Dawn and dusk starling flock fly pasts are always a feature of mid to late winter at Gelli Uchaf.S1000085 (2)S1000098 (2)S1000001 (2)SDIM0637 (2)SDIM0644 (2)SDIM0629 (2)SDIM0656 (2)SDIM0590 (2)Only a few Narcissus ‘Rjinveld’s Early Sensation’ were out in time for St. David’s day.SDIM0684 (2)

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