Despite freezing cold weather this week, there are signs of life in my London garden. Here and there plants are becoming awake and even starting to flower! First rhubarb leaf is about to appear, daffodils and tulips are poking their green spiky heads through the cold soil, blueberry Sunshine Blue is growing new leaves and Camellia buds are heavy and swollen and will soon be flowering profusely. Here are my six February garden highlights.
Do you have this urge to check on your seedlings every spare minute? It makes me happy watching them grow, from the moment a tiny head emerging in the pot covered with a seed shell to the moment first true leaves appear and seedling is ready to be potted up in a bigger pot and start its own life.
My chillies are enjoying sunshine on the bedroom windowsill and making good progress but Hungarian Hot Wax, Santa Fe Grande and Jalapenos are being lazy with each variety developing only one plant. I will have to sow more seeds this weekend which is fine by me!
Nature is so unpredictable and wonderful! I was surprised to find Scabiosa flowering in the garden. All the winter rain, snow and wind and one annual plant pushing against the odds, all its energy concentrated in a tight fist (ok, enough of martial arts:)), in a beautifully sculptured flower. It even has a delicate, almost unrecognizable scent.
I am dreaming of growing some oriental hybrid Hellebores in the near future, but for now Scabiosa is my winter flower!
Fortunately, I didn’t go overboard with my tulip planting last autumn. I ordered modest 60 bulbs, 10 of each variety, from Peter Nyssen and planted them in two containers in November. April collection in the first planter have vibrant and pompous orange and violet colours of Apricot Emperor and Ronaldo tulips combined with apricot pink and coffee tones of Belle Epoque. May flowering tulips in the second planter are Spring Green, Angeliue and Menton. This is much softer and delicate white and pale pink collection with a hint of green.
A small army of green soldiers is lining up in the containers and I can’t wait for the spring display!
4. Alpine strawberries
Strawberries are the easiest plant to propagate! Wild strawberries don’t produce runners but you can divide plants carefully in autumn and increase your strawberry supply for free! I have eight mature bushy alpine strawberry plants in the garden and twelve baby plants I separated and potted. Little strawberries don’t seem know it is winter and are flowering and producing berries (green and inedible) non stop!
5. Romanesco cauliflowers
I am still waiting patiently on my Romanesco cauliflowers and Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli.
I can just about spot tiny pine cone shaped cauliflower heads and they look pretty cool! I love to find Fibonacci spirals in nature. But…
…these brassicas were a proper nightmare throughout the growing year: first eaten by caterpillars which had to be collected daily with tweezers and then falling down constantly toppled by strong autumn winds. My plan for this season is to have just two early PSB plants in the front garden as from a design point of view, they form a good match with Red Star Cordylines.
6. RHS selection day
Tomorrow I am going to RHS selection day which is held at Lawrence hall in London. In the programme, besides being excited about visiting RHS horticultural hall for the first time, a customer care workshop, RHS plant quiz and mingling with other volunteers. At the end, I hope to get a volunteer position at Chelsea or Hampton court flower shows.
It is impossible to tell if I will manage to get selected, so here is my story about volunteering at RHS Hampton show last summer and helping to create a beautiful wild garden for children.
How does your garden look at the moment and what are your February gardening highlights? Leave me a comment below together with a link on your Six on Saturday post.
Till next time, bye, bye.