February can be a gorgeous month- bright chilly days, bulbs blooming in the garden, buds swelling. A chance to get outside and start planning the year ahead. Not this February. Cold, grey and often wet or snowy- sunshine has been a rare event. Buds have just started to swell this last few days, it is wet, slightly warmer - no sunshine- but days are lengthening and the plants respond, despite the cold gloom. Snowdrops are out, lasting well in the chill, but no sign of any yellow from the Daffodils - my "February Gold" will most certainly be "March Gold' this Spring.
Indoors my pot of Clivia is cheering me up no end- the shiny dark green leaves set off the bright clear red flowers a treat. The flower buds start growing as soon as the days start to lengthen after Christmas and quickly shoot into bloom.
I started by buying two Clivia plants half price about 8 years ago, have grown seedlings from them on and now I have a big pot full.
I left some seeds on the plants last year so I can grow on another pot full, it takes three/four years from seed to flowering size and with this year's many seeds I should have enough new plants for another big pot of Winter cheer, so this is the last year I shall let the plants seed and have the deep red seed pods and bright red flowers on the plants together.
The oldest of my little seedlings from previous years is about to open its first flowers, some of the seedlings are from my own plants and some I bought in that are yellow and apricot- I hope...but won't see those blooming for at least another year- waiting to see what colour the flowers turn out. Some of the seeds have only just germinated after two years, very exciting.
Days out this month and last seem to have all been to Doctor and Hospital Waiting rooms, a start to the year I would rather forget. But I'm through that now- today I am starting a lovely cold to finish the month off nicely- once March arrives on Friday, I feel can start the year properly.
I have been working on a Tulip hanging to give my hallway a bit of Spring cheerfulness, almost finished it now, just the detailing on the flower petals to embroider.
It should have been a fairly fast make, but with Rita wanting to snuggle under it and Fred to nest on top of it whilst I am hand stitching of an evening, progress has been slower than I might have wished.
It will be in need of a very good press and brush down before the final hanging up!