Friday, February 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - February 2013

Helleborus 'Aubergine Dream'

The weather has been unpredictable this winter. Although we have had some winter temperatures, we have had some days where the temperatures climbed into the 60's. And we had one week of straight rain. Our area has been way below the needed rainfall for the season, so the rain did help. And we finally got some snow, a little under an inch. It was a nice covering for all of the winter browns and grays.



Curled Beech Tree Leaf Filled with Snow

stats

Gardening Zone: 7a
January High Temperature: 66 degrees F
January Low Temperature: 14 degrees F
Precipitation: 2.18 inches


wildlife

The birds have been enjoying the feeders in this cold weather. 


Finches Enjoying Sunflower Seeds

I caught a glimpse of a fox in the nearby woods. It has been a while since I have seen one. I hope I can get a photo of it soon.

what's blooming, sprouting

Some of the hydrangea shrubs are beginning to bud.


Hydrangea Bud

And I can see the beginnings of some daffodils peeking through the soil.


Daffodils Emerging from the Soil


The hellebores are budding and blooming.


Helleborus 'Royal hybrid'

The buddleia plants are beginning to sprout a few leaves.


Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'


I just love the winter color of Hens and Chicks.


Sempervivum globiferum

I planted a few hyacinth bulbs indoors a few weeks ago. Now, they are beginning to bloom.


Hyacinth orientalis hybrid


Two of my African violets are blooming.


Saintpaulia hybrid

the vegetable garden

During these very cold nights, I cover the vegetables with tarps and blankets. So far, they have held up to ice and snow and cold temperatures.


Broccoli 'Arcadia'



Cabbage 'Fast Vantage'



Swiss Chard 'Bright Lights'



Mix of Arugula and Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce


Napa Cabbage 'Rubicon'


Curly Parsley


completed chores

pruned roses
pruned buddleia

chores for February

clear away plant debris and leaves
sow spring vegetable seeds indoors
prune raspberry bush

observation notes

I have had a problem with nyjer seed going rancid very quickly, so I now empty the contents into freezer containers and freeze it as soon as I get it home from the store. It keeps very well.


Nyjer Seed

This post matches the first My Garden Notebook I did last year, and it was very interesting to compare the differences between this January and last January. Because last winter was unseasonably warm, the daffodils were already blooming. This year, we are having more normal winter temperatures even with the warm days mixed in. If things continue as they have, the daffodils will not bloom until late February or early March.

What's in your Garden Notebook for February?

I am joining in the following:

Helen of The Patient Gardener hosts End of Month View. This monthly meme is where garden bloggers share their garden views for the end of the month.

Also, Town Mouse Country Mouse hosts First Views. This monthly meme offers an opportunity for garden bloggers to share their garden first views for the month.

And The Gardening Blog for Garden Bloggers Harvest Day, a monthly meme where bloggers can show off their gardens.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Calendar Giveaway

Last month I held a giveaway for two of my In the Garden calendars. I put all the names in a basket and asked my husband to pick two names. The lucky names are:

Linda of Charmed Victorian
Heather of It's Geek to Me


Congratulations and enjoy the calendar!

© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

52 comments:

  1. Hi Michelle, your garden looks very much like mine, although your hellebores are further, mine are in the shade and needs more time and some warmer weather – we have had 2 weeks of icy cold winter weather.

    I thought I was early to prune my roses first week of February – have planned to start on Saturday, but your are finished already! Hope you get some more rain, you can always get some of ours, we seem to still have plenty!

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    1. Thank you, Helene. The hellebores seemed a bit early perhaps because we had a few warm days.

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  2. Gorgeous photos, Michelle! I especially like the birch "ice cream cone." :-)

    Michelle at Boulderneigh

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. That was a lucky find. :)

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  3. A brilliant gardener and photographer! Photography is a great way to keep track of all that's happening in the garden.

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    1. I agree...it seems to keep things a bit more organized for me to have the photos.

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  4. I really enjoyed my virtual trip round your garden. That Christmas Rose is stunning

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    1. Thank you, Christine. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit.

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  5. Loved to have a look in your garden notebook. When I read your post I'm almost desparate to prune my roses too, but I have to wait a few weeks because we easily can have another heavy frost period in February. Beautiful garden pictures, your lettuce look so fresh and delicious and a Hellebore in bloom that is what we are looking for in our gardens in this time. Here they are also starting to show buds.

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    1. I used to wait until early spring, but I have found that the dormant period works best. There are differing views on the subject, but I have been doing this for years with no issues. Thank you, Janneke.

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  6. Many similarities to my garden at the moment and I even have a practically identical Hellebore which is also flowering right now. I enjoy your garden diary and reading what other people are doing helps kick me out of the occasional winter blues, and makes me feel more inspired to get out there and do some more jobs, which are piling up! Great blog post and lovely photos.

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    1. That is so interesting that our hellebores are on the same schedule, Mandy. I enjoy the winter rest, but I admit I have not really been resting much this winter. Maybe next year...

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  7. What beautiful photographs, so much colour it looks like Spring already! I really must get my buddlejas pruned before they get completely out of hand. I love to see new buds breaking out on woody stems, the promise of things to come.

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    1. Thanks, Janet. I try to prune them back before the new growth begins. We had a few warm days that precipitated some of that growth.

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  8. We had 2 foxes chasing each other in the garden the other day, couldn't get a photo as they were too quick for me! Haven't had a problem with nyger seed so far but will keep looking, thanks for the tip.
    Love your hellebore, lots of bulbs are coming up now, super time of year!

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    1. That must have been a wonderful sight, Pauline. Several years ago a fox dug a den and had kitts about 30 feet from the perimeter of our backyard. It was so much fun to watch. I had not seen any for a while, so it was nice to catch sight of that one.

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  9. Your veggies are looking really good, as are your hellebores and your hyacinth and African violets. It's still very much winter here (Iowa, zone 5). It will be a few weeks before the hellebores, crocus, snowdrops, and daffodils "arrive." In the meantime, I'm enjoying your garden's beauty!

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    1. Thanks, Beth. Your winter is still in full gear, I would imagine. We have not had any signs of spring's arrival as of yet.

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  10. That 'Aubergine' Hellebore is really stunning! Also I'm really impressed by your broccoli and cabbage, I have never had luck with those.

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    1. The cabbage seems to do better than the broccoli in the very cold temps. Seems a bit hardier.

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  11. Your garden is stunning--and I love the idea of keeping a well organized account of what's happening each month. My first daffodil appeared this week, and our hellebores have been going crazy--but I'm zone 7B, so it's a little warmer here. I, too, cover the veggies with a really simple low tunnel, so our lettuce and Swiss chard are going strong. Your photos are just lovely--thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Julie. I am looking forward to the daffodils. A few are in the budding stage, so it will not be long.

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  12. Our winter has been full of ups and downs. Makes the cold temps feel even colder though. I need to prune my roses but the winter hummingbirds hang out in them a lot so I don't want to take their protection away. I may have to delay the pruning until they leave. Your vegetables look fabulous! My cabbage and lettuce was eaten. I haven't seen any rabbits so perhaps deer or other nighttime critters. Your winter blooms look stunning!

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    1. I would be reticent to prune those roses, too, Karin. I love hummingbirds, and they would get all the protection they need. The hummingbirds do not show here until the beginning of April. Thanks!

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  13. I'm impressed you have veggies growing! My daffs and curly parsley are up, too. LOVE the hellebore. Mine are seedlings from a friend and haven't bloomed yet. I thought they might this year, but I think I'll be waiting a bit longer. I hope we both get more snow. :o)

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    1. You must love snow as much as I do, Tammy. I hope we do, too. The daffs may be blooming soon...got a few buds.

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  14. A stunning photo of the hellebore showing all the colour patterns. A great idea to post a garden notebook at the same time each year. We're covered in snow right now but it's not been very deep to offer my plants the insulation they need.

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    1. Plants do love that snow insulation. I have noticed my plants fare so much better when there is more snow. Thank you!

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  15. I will be posting my journal Monday...very topsy turvy weather in January...your winter garden is my spring garden...snow again here so February is starting cold and snowy.

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    1. I hope you did not get too much snow in the recent storm, Donna.

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  16. How nice to have veggies in the winter! I am very jealous! We've had some arctic blasts this winter--much colder than last year. But they're interspersed with spring-like weather, so it has been very disorienting. It's so wonderful to see signs of spring around the blogosphere!

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    1. We have also had a bit of that back and forth. It has not been too bad, not as bad as last year.

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  17. I love visiting blogs with gardens in milder climes. It give me a chance to enjoy an early spring, long before I can actually get outside. Beautiful photos.

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    1. Thanks! I, too, love looking at all the gardens on the blogs....so nice!

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  18. I love the hellebore and the peaks of things to come both indoors and out. Tha ka

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    1. Thank you...so glad you enjoyed your visit.

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  19. U mnie w ogrodzie jeszcze nic się nie dzieje, a u Ciebie ogród już pięknie żyje. Bardzo ładne zdjęcia. Pozdrawiam.
    For me, the garden still nothing happens, you au beautiful garden already dead. Very nice pictures. Yours.

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    1. Thank you, Giga. I am so glad you like the garden. We have not had that much snow this year.

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  20. Thoroughly enjoyed your garden notebook and such beautiful pictures. Sempervirens a good reminder for me to get some of these interesting plants this year. 66f, that is what we see as a comfortable Summer Temperature in these parts.

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    1. Your summers must be so comfortable at those temperatures, Alistair. I am happy you enjoyed the garden notebook.

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  21. The Swiss Chard "Bright Lights" is my favorite, I like the way you captured the color of the leaves...

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    1. Mine, too. Besides being tasty they are so delicious.

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  22. Love all your leafy greens - my favourite in my veggie garden by far. I am sorry my swiss chard has not done well during the hot months.

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  23. I always so enjoy your rich photos. I have precisely one daffodil blooming! Many more are sprouting though!

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    1. Thank you! I have daff buds...it should be any day now. :)

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  24. I love the shot of the birds dining with the cherubs. What a lively dinner table that is.

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    1. Thank you, Marguerite. That was a gift from my mother a few years ago. The birds seem to like it. :)

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  25. Michelle, hi! I have not been on your blog a lot of time! I love the photo of hyacinth, to watch its flowers and roots. Congrats on your blog birthday!
    Nadezda
    http://northern-garden.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hello, Nadezda! Thank you for stopping by. Those hyacinths are blooming tall now.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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