Looking for colour in the February garden

I find the garden subdued this February. However, the cold and cloudy weather cannot stop the bulbs from pushing through.

The Hellebores have been well frosted this year.

But they are coming up in abundance now, untouched by the cold weather.

This is not the case of the anemones. This autumn I planted anemone bulbs expecting them to flower in the late spring. In fact, they started to flower in December but the cold and frost soon damages their petals. This has not bothered the bees who have little regard for the aesthetic qualities of the flowers they visit. Can you see the black pollen the bee has gathered from the anemone?

I am still disappointed with my Chimonanthus praecox. It’s common name is wintersweet because of its perfume but it needs to be planted in a sunny position to enjoy this wonderful perfume on sunny days. We have not had many of those days this year and, despite the plant being hardy, the flower are damaged by the rain and frost.

This year, more than ever, I have been grateful to my Choisia “Sundance” for bringing light into the garden.

Likewise, my willows (Salix alba “Chermesina”) light up the back garden.

I have still left the old flowerheads of some of my sedum in places but I will have to cut them soon as there are shoots of the new plant already pushing through.

I quickly took a photograph to show the garden with a blue sky yesterday. There have been too few bright days recently and we are back to totally gray skies again today.

I am glad we decided to insulate the beehives again this year. I am not convinced that modern, conventional beehives offer the bees sufficient protection from the cold.

Our girls are off out of the hive, as soon as there is sunshine and the temperatures allows it. Some seem glad to just spread their wings in flight but others are busy bringing in pollen and nectar.