Garden Views-02-February 2023

February began with a dry day with broken morning sunshine, but a keen Northwesterly wind. The Red kites were stick collecting to re-build their nest again in the copse by the stream. A few brave bees braved the cold to visit snowdrop flowers in the tyre garden, and our very tame white-flecked robin was close at hand as I sat for a while in the copse, late in the afternoon.

The first few days of the month were grey, but dry, and then just as our visiting American galanthophile friends left us, the clouds had parted and we enjoyed many days of glorious blue skies, light winds, and in spite of some very low temperatures, the garden has never looked as good.

In particular the Crocus had a field day – so often they get clobbered by February rains, and never really open.

This year, they were the star attraction for all the honey bees, and even an early bumble queen spotted along the front of the house on the morning of February 9th. But the Cyclamen coum also enjoyed a fabulous year, and the combined effects made it a February to remember, even if we were struck down with a lurgy for much of it.

This YouTube captures the delight of the garden at this time of the year, when the weather was so benign, and it was great that a few intrepid visitors made it here to see it all.

A week later, I repeated the exercise and questioned whether we were still in winter, or with the birds singing and more flowers emerging all the time, spring had sprung.

The month finished on a cool, cloudy but dry note. The rainfall total was just 31.2 mm,  our lowest ever monthly record for February by some margin. A marked contrast to the 254mm for 2022, 354mm for 2021 and 357 mm for 2020, or even 135mm in 2019 which was our sunniest February ever. Or 103 mm in 2028 or 149 mm in 2017.

The PV output of 188 KWH reflected how it was a sunny month as well.