February has once again carried on the theme of the previous month, with occasional glimpses of sunshine, followed by quite a lot of cold, grey wet weather. The garden is a joy at such times for lifting the spirits. Rarely for us, we managed to get away for several days early in the month to look at some gardens and snowdrops around the Cotswolds so missed a few sunnier days back home.
Interestingly we saw very few Cyclamen coum in all the gardens we visited, and almost no early Crocus, so it was a delight to get back to see how all ours are doing this year. even if the cold temperatures and grey skies mean the Crocus have hardly ever managed to open yet. So attempts to hand pollinate have had to be grabbed whenever the sun arrives around midday.
It’s a time of the year when things change very quickly visually in the garden, and any sunlight, given that many parts of the garden have a woodland feel, are transformed by changing patterns of bright light and dark shadows…
The 7 or 8 maturing and spreading clumps of Daphne bholua “Jaqueline Postill” continued to fill the garden with fabulous scent in February, and on our travels we managed to pick up 3 novel seedling forms from the excellent Pan Global nursery, which we hope in future might allow me to get some berries forming and try to propagate a novel Gelli variety – D. bholua really seems to love our conditions!
At last the retyred matrix garden, where a lot of our named snowdrops are planted, is looking sufficiently reasonable on a photo for me to include a few images here. Garden visitors seem to appreciate this way of highlighting snowdrop variations, and indeed having now seen how other snowdrop gardens do this, we reckon in just another few years it will become quite a unique display area for them.
However none of these images convey just how bitterly cold it has been on many days with added wind chill. The consequence is that having started really early, this season we expect snowdrops to last well into the middle of March unless the weather suddenly flips and at present the 4 week forecasts show no indication of this happening.