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In the February Garden

A wintry storm with bitter cold temperatures is headed our way, though whether it actually arrives is another matter. Forecasters tend to get excited and talk for days about any sort of ice or snow, but often it fizzles out and we all end up with extra milk and bread for no good reason. (The grocers in our area must be thrilled whenever winter precipitation is predicted, as everyone is obligated to stock up for blizzard conditions, even if only a dusting of snow is forecast. This is tradition.)

Yesterday, while Lou went to the store for emergency milk and bread, I went for a walk around the garden. There are a few flowers blooming in anticipation of spring, which, winter storm or not, should be here in a few weeks.

Flowering quince, Chaenomales, is one of the earliest signs of spring and will continue to bloom profusely for weeks:

Hellebores also are early bloomers, and their flowers will persist for months, all of them eventually shading to pale green:Fortunately, most of my daffodils are not yet blooming and should do OK through the winter storm, but a few are flowering. I am glad I got to see them before they got zapped:Here are some more scenes around the February garden:

You may note the Nandina domestica, growing above. This has proven to be terribly invasive, and I have pulled hundreds of these plants out of my woodland garden. The area shown here is a wild area immediately adjacent to the garden. I have given up trying to eradicate them all, and I am now content to keep them under control. My neighbors love these, and one can still find them for sale. Sigh. At least they are pretty.

I will end with a few pot shots, focusing on details, since most of these containers are empty, waiting for spring:


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Reader Comments (23)

How nice to see your beautiful garden ! Lovely colours !
Have a happy Sunday :)

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEla

We are bracing for our "winter storm" here as well, though just getting our milk today, as we are about 3.5 hours east of you. What is that bright green with little filaments in the one picture? Is that a moss?

So enjoyed the cheery shots around your February garden! Thanks for sharing! Wishing safety & warmth through the storm! xo

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

Christi, yes that is moss. It is growing on an old stump, and it caught my attention from a distance; its color was so bright! Stay warm! Deb

February 15, 2015 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Your flowers are ahead of ours. Chaenomeles is still in bud here; as are the daffs. Your garden looks beautiful as always. I hope the storm peters out, then you can make bread and butter pudding and custard from all those emergency supplies.

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Shoesmith

What a treat to see all this loveliness. All the phtotos are keepers but that moss ... wow.

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDebra

Your winter photographs are really beautiful. The winds are howling here as Blizzard Neptune passes through. Spring is looking like it has started there and your blooms are a welcomed sight.

The pot shots are quite unique! Fab selection and hopefully that storm doesn't arrive.

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

The snowstorm forecast was on the news here. I hope it won't be to bad. Your Nandina has zo many berries. Maybe if everybody in your area cuts of the berries, so the birds can't spread them around, they will be less invasive?

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

As always, a joy to read!! Hope the snow and ice stays north!

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEve

I miss my Japanese flowering quince. Sadly the cuttings didn't take - so I'll move on to a new choice.

We keep milk and bread in the freezer. Lazy shopper, and this time we've had a week without a car as the Land Rover has had a mammoth service.

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

I love the daffodil, the hellebores and the quince. I hope you avoid a wintry blast like those that have hit the northeast. All weather forecasters must go to the same school as we get warnings like that every time rain appears on the horizon - usually, these forecasts just get our hopes up, only to dash them again when the rain fails to materialize.

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Deb, your garden makes me long to wander, camera in hand...sigh.

It's gorgeous and a never ending source of inspiration. I only wish that I had some of those plants...mine are mostly hidden under the snow.


February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJen@Muddy Boot Dreams

Deb I hope winter doesn't tickle your garden too much! It has been so cold here lately.

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Really enjoyed your garden photos...I do love taking that daily walk through the garden at this time of year to see what is up through the ground and in bloom.

February 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

So lovely to see signs of spring! When I lived down south, I was usually able to get a couple shots of daffodils blooming in the snow, as there always seemed to be a dusting in late January or February. It is sad that they still sell invasive Nandinas, especially since there are sterile cultivars that are not invasive. I guess people are attracted to the berries as well. I often wonder why there are not rules against selling such plants.

February 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

The light in your images is so different from a few weeks ago; as you say even if you get a lot of snow this week, spring is definitely on its way.

February 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

My goodness, how nice it is to see flowers and such in winter! We are still in the thick of things up here in the north, but I suppose spring is not too far away for you. That shot of the grass-looking moss hiding in a crevice is quite stunning!

February 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Hi Deb! I love your pots! I have a soft spot for terracotta pots, I always buy some but then I can't water them in summer and everything dries up... The light in your garden didn't look like snowy weather to me, I hope you just ended up with some extra milk and bread and no snow BTW. Beautiful picture of the moss growing on the rotting timber.

February 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

Deb, thanks so much for your reply! I've never noticed the filaments on moss, though I knew that was how it is propagated. I will begin to look more closely!

Off topic, but do you have a "contact" page, or a way to email? Perhaps I'm missing it. Thank you!

February 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristii

Hello, everyone! I appreciate your comments very much! Christi, I have added my email contact under the section "About Me." I hope this helps! Deb

February 18, 2015 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

I''m so glad to have found a Central Alabama garden blog! I never know what to do when. I have all kinds of books but have never taken the time to put things on a calendar. Hopefully, I can ake cues from you and not just try to figure out what the professional landscapers are doing in my neighbors' yards!

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLin

I love your hellebore collage. Hellebores really do photograph beautifully.

What is the plant with the burgundy leaves in the last collage?

February 25, 2015 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Hi, Sweetbay, the plant in the last collage with the purple leaves is Nandina domestica 'Firepower,' which is one of a number of dwarf, non-berry producing cultivars. Deb

February 25, 2015 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

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