In My Garden – February 2022

February has seen the coldest days of the winter season with several days of hard frosts.

Frost on the deck

Frost on the deck – Feb 2022

Consequently signs of spring have been slow to emerge. There are a lot of bare spots in the perennial borders and I fear I lost some plants to the cold weather. It’s still a little too early to tell.

Perennial Island

Perennial Island

A few bulbs are beginning to show themselves…hyacinths, fuchsias, daffodils and species tulips.

The driveway is covered in pollen from the pine trees which turns everything yellow, including the cars.


Shanna likes to help with the washing.

Shanna and the hose

Shanna and the hose

She doesn’t like to waste a drop.

Casey wandered over to see what was up.

The hellebores are in full flower, a delight in this mostly drab time of year.

Remember my post about dreams of a row of bright bearded iris’ along the driveway? That was about three years ago. Well, I have given up the dream. They simply didn’t do well. It was probably a combination of damp and foggy summers, lack of water and redwood root competition. I couldn’t bear to simply chuck them so dug up as many as I could and have replanted them in half wine barrels where I have more control. It isn’t the right time of year so I doubt they will bloom this spring but maybe by next year.

Replanted Iris Bulbs - Feb 2022

Replanted Iris Bulbs – Feb 2022 and Casey

Here’s hoping that dahlia bulbs will do better in that same spot. It’s too early to plant but I have some coming next month.

Shanna likes to dig and hunt. So far she has caught two moles, a squirrel and a bird. The digging part makes her unpopular with this gardener. I am trying a new method of scattering red pepper flakes on her favorite spots. Maybe it will discourage the critters as well as her excavations.

The major acquisition in the garden is a chipper for the brush and tree trimmings. We have a lot to clear out before fire season starts this summer and fall.



My husband is having a wonderful time with the new toy.

I am unsure if I will plant much of a vegetable garden this year because of worries about lack of water. We had no rain in January and only a drop at the end of February.






8 thoughts on “In My Garden – February 2022

  1. Your garden is looking great, Liz!

    I like Steve’s new toy. Bill and I had a workhorse of a Chippewa shredder and ran 100 bags of leaves (collected from our generous neighbors) through it every fall. We top-dressed our raised beds with 4″ of leaf mulch for the winter and used the reserve in our compost bins as the 90% brown matter.

    Our rock-hard Georgia clay never stood a chance. The end result was beautifully loamy soil and 12″ earthworms!

    • Thanks Kay, I have a case of leaf envy right now. We have mostly conifers.

    • My favorites as well. And it’s wonderful that the gophers don’t like them!

  2. Your garden looks much better than Michigan! Your helleborus are pretty but looks like they have a fungus which I am sure you want to take care of. We had a heavy duty chipper because of the woods – Gene loved it and was always looking for something to “grind up” Looks like Casey could use a little exercise and chase that little puppy around your property 🙂

    • Casey could definitely use more exercise! The vet is going to do a panel and check her thyroid as we have dramatically cut back on her food. She’s over 13 now and slowing down. She also has a growth or tumor on her lungs or esophagus, they can’t decide exactly where or what it is. At her age I am not going to put her through exploratory surgery or chemo, we just try and keep her comfortable. It makes her breathing difficult and she pants a lot.

      We have had several hard freezes and that plus the lack of water has many plants looking poorly. I think that’s the reason for the blackened edges of the leaves.

      It’s good to hear from you. The puppy is definitely keeping us hopping. I have had to completely transition to audio books as I find it impossible to sit down long enough to actually read a book. I hope you are doing well.

      • I’m truly sorry to hear about Casey. Not easy when a pet gets older – I remember well as our lab put on weight near the end, had a stroke and couldn’t get up. As we are both Master Gardeners we are always on the lookout for issues in our gardens – I enjoyed diagnosing a problem and solving it (sometimes). I’m doing fine, avoided covid (so far) other than losing a treasured sister to cancer and my other sister had open heart surgery which was very serious. Only in their 60’s! Moving again as I chose not to buy the condo I’ve been living in since I sold my house. From 75 acres to a townhouse – lots of changes. Take care…

      • I am sorry. This has been a rough time in so many ways for many folks. There are so
        Many worries, personal and with the wider world. I hope you find s lovely place to live. Nature has been a healing force for me. Spending a day in the garden and getting completely filthy, that’s a good day. If you ever get to Northern California you must visit our botanical gardens in Mendocino. I just started the docent program as things open up.

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