February – My Winter Garden

This post should contain a disclaimer, “reader beware”. If you live anywhere in the frozen North of the U.S. (or another country where it is currently a snowy winter), it could produce longings and the compulsion to move to California.

That would not be all bad,  I would welcome more gardeners with open arms.

Here in Northern California the plants go dormant in the summer, waiting for winter rains. In late February they burst into flower while it is still winter in many locations in the Northern Hemisphere.

The recent warm weather has brought an amazing transformation to my garden.

Hardenbergia or purple coral pea

Hardenbergia or purple coral pea

This purple flowering vine is native to Australia, it is flourishing in my garden up a trellis in semi-shaded conditions.

Pink Magnolia

Pink Magnolia

The two magnolias in my yard scent the air sweetly for a few weeks each February. Their blooms appear before the leaves come out. Although lovely the petals are treacherously slippery on a sidewalk. They make great compost because they break down quickly.

Loropetalum or Fringe flower

Loropetalum or Fringe flower

Fringe flower comes in pink and white, the leaves on the pink one are a lovely chocolate color.

Salvia elegans or pink pineapple sage

Salvia elegans or pink pineapple sage

The hummingbirds have established a territory around the pineapple sage, I can watch their territorial fights from my office window. Each fall I cut it back to around a foot in height, it is now about 6 feet tall.

Snow Drops

Snow Drops

The Snow Drops are in bloom with the Hellebores, which are a little late this year having been flattened by our dogs as they chase after squirrels through the garden bed.

From the edge of the deck

From the edge of the deck

From the edge of the back deck you can see into the side yard where the wild plums are blooming. These little trees product small purple plums which are quite delicious, they make the most marvelous plum preserves or plum brandy. Come late summer there is an abundance, I have to move quickly to harvest them before the deer and the birds.

And then there are spring flowers…

Borage

Borage

Dutch Iris in bud

Dutch Iris in bud

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth

9 thoughts on “February – My Winter Garden

  1. I am just a little bit consumed by jealousy or envy if it sounds better, lol! I am longing for spring, too. I have snowdrops that come up and spring bulbs…*sigh* but most of all, I miss the Lily of the Valley…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It doesn’t grow well here because it isn’t cold enough, ditto tulips unless you dig the up and store them in the fridge each year, and lilacs as well. You have your own set of charms. But I understand that it is a long wait. I love the scent of lily of the valley. Does your garden have a lot? When I lived in Virgiia it was the crocuses I looked forward to each year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lily of the valley will spread like wildfire after a few years so you have to control it a bit. It can get browned and burnt if it gets in an area with too much sun but is lovely in the shade…I do have a lot because I have a thing for old fashioned flowers. I have a bridal’s veil on the wall in front of my house that is spectacular; it just weeps down over the bricks. Lilacs, too. I’m getting home-sick; still at my folk’s house…

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