Fickle February. That’s what I’m calling it, mostly because it has better alliteration than Roller Coaster February. A roller coaster of weather is what it’s been. Every time it’s gotten mild, I’ve been outside walking the trails I’ve made and taking pictures. Then it gets cold and I hunker back inside. These photos are a compilation of several walks and give you an idea of what I look at–and look for–when “nothing’s growing.”We started off February with some mild temperatures (51F; 10.5C) and about an inch of rain, which melted our skimpy snow pack. The photo above shows the view from the viewing area at the entrance to the Secret Garden. One of the goals I listed for the Secret Garden to place a bench to enjoy a long view of the creek and waterfall (roughly point E on the map at the bottom of this page). I am happy to say I accomplished that goal and this was the view from that bench after the heavy rain plus snow melt: Walking back from this bench there is a place to view the back creek (but no bench yet). In this area I noticed two kinds of ferns. I don’t know which ferns they are, but I’m sure they’re common. I was pleased to see that the woodland phlox I transplanted here last fall appears to be thriving. And it looks like the hobblebush I planted is surviving. I also checked up on the fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus)I planted here. The chicken wire cage I erected to protect this shrublet from deer did not deter a burrowing creature. I see no sign of gnawing so I wonder if the roots have been eaten, or if said burrowing animal was merely surprised to see he had made a tunnel into jail instead of out of it.
Wild Apple Woods
Leaving the Secret Garden and the north side of the property, I walk across the lawn to the wild area on the south. I have decided to call this area Wild Apple Woods, although in my mind I often just think of it as the other side of the lawn. Before we come to the woods proper, we walk through a small meadow that my son laboriously cleared brush from so that you could see the pond from the screened porch. (He’s not done yet.) This is a very wet area, so he also dug little channels so the water wouldn’t just ooze all over.However, this is still a pretty wet area where moss thrives. I am still clearing paths in this area, and that’s mostly what I do on this side. I haven’t planted anything so there’s nothing to check up on.
Back to civilization
But returning back to the house a different way from which I came, I see that the tuteur in the Slope Garden has fallen over.I placed it over a wild clematis vine that was already growing there, and because the slope is so steep, only the two back legs are firmly in the ground. I will have to right it when the ground thaws and I can stick the legs back in, but there must be a better way. I’ve mentioned several other nearly blooming plants in this post, so will only show the snowdrops here. These are Galanthus ‘Sam Arnott’, my earliest blooming snowdrop, deliberately sited in a sheltered location. One of my tricks to make spring come sooner is to plant the earliest blooming flowers in the warmest spots. You should try it yourself.
What I mean by roller coaster weather
February 3: 51°F (10.5°C)
February 14: -24°F (-31°C)
February 20: 61°F (16°C)