Monthly Archives: February 2021

Not quite spring yet.

This was the first time in months that I have been able to do any gardening outside as it is fairly mild and not raining.  Hooray!  It was mainly cutting back old, dead bits, or rotting, damp foliage from perennials.  Some of the evergreen ferns are looking a bit bedraggled so some of them were cut back too.  The huge fern in the raised bed I just left for the time being as it still looks fine.  Later on I will take the old fronds off ready for the fresh new ones to appear.

Everywhere looks rather brown and flat at the moment but there are bulbs already through like the snowdrops, and a few hellebores up and flowering (although they are still not quite at their best.  Other bulbs are pushing through, such as narcissi and tulips.  The verbena is still flowering sporadically, the witch hazel is in full flower, and there are signs of little catkins on the tortured hazel.  It is not quite spring yet.

snowdrops in flower and a tulip pushing through

We are still waiting for new neighbours on the stumpery side ,therefore still waiting for the adjoining wall to be fixed before we do any new planting in that bare, shady patch.

stumpery corner
stumpery left side

I do love all the twisty branches of the tortured hazel or corkscrew hazel (Corylus
avellana contorta)
.  Now and again, I have to take out the odd branch that has reverted to just plain straight branches and leaves in order to keep the twisted look of the shrub.

corkscrew hazel, tortured hazel, Corylus avellana contorta
tortured hazel, corkscrew hazel, Corylus avellana contorta

The raised bed will soon be overflowing with periwinkle, tulips, ferns, bluebells and geraniums. The snowdrops are flowering away happily under the main shrubs, and I planted a hellebore there last year but it is still rather small and getting used to it’s home.

raised bed Feb 2021

We haven’t seen the fox family for a few days but there was a pile of feathers in the stumpery.  Could have been either the foxes or the sparrow-hawk.  Harry is still in the middle of dismantling the old trellis and it may be some time before the whole lot is done.  He haste DIY.  I hate the way it looks just now:  it should either be all up, or all down, in my opinion.  It is so frustrating not being able to do these jobs oneself.

Foxes In February

Yet again I have been very lazy about winter gardening.  I keep the birds fed and watered, and check on the patio plants, but tend to leave everything else just to get on with things.

It is nice to keep seeing our foxy visitors through the window.  Harry took a short video this morning and I have a couple of snapshots from it.  These foxes were living in the vacant house next door, and passers by even saw them looking out the front window.  The authorities were informed and the foxes can just have to make do with the gardens now.  These 3 Foxes In February look very relaxed in the garden.  I haven’t seen any pheasants this year and it is probably down to this lot prowling about looking for some dinner.

fox on the patio
3 foxes in the garden

It has been snowing on and off over the last few days and has been very cold.  It got down to about -22 C in Braemar last night.  Only a balmy -7C in Edinburgh!  As Harry is working from home during this covid lockdown, he can easily help keep the pond from fully freezing, and  I don’t have to muck about clearing snow from the patio in order to feed and water the birds.  There isn’t as much snow this year as there was in the winter of 2010/11 and it should thaw fairly quickly.  I get cold very easily and am so looking forward to some warmer, dryer weather to have a potter round the garden and seeing how all the bulbs are doing.   The ground hasn’t been dry for months – if it hasn’t been raining – it has been drizzling and I can bet that some weeds have been thriving despite freezing temperatures and wet.

Feb 2021 snow in the garden from the upstairs window