The February Garden

My little helper, who pulls on her boots the moment she sees me fetch the kitchen door key, joins me in the garden today.

I’m so pleased to see tiny crocuses popping up in the old terracotta pots I bought from the library plant sale last year. I like the look of these old frost-hardened and slightly chipped pots far better than brand new ones. All of those marks tell a story.

Best of all, the first snowdrop of the year is in bloom! The almanac I’m currently reading puts it so well, that these graceful white blooms are “a reassuring sign that winter is moving on, and that spring will come.”

The onions are growing steadily. I find space for a pot of primulas in a nook beside the vegplot gate.

My third son is out on his scooter. The brick pathway purposefully doubles as a track, with a camber and gentle slope built in for the children. The path has unusual bends and loops as it has been based on the winding route my autistic son loved to run, barefoot through the grass lawn, until his footsteps had worn a deep groove.

In the wall planters by the patio, tiny narcissi shoots can be seen poking up amongst the forget-me-nots. This is wonderful as it means they have survived being moved around and repotted. They had seemed so delicate and I am relieved.

The elephant ear plant is in full bloom now. I’m told that my great uncle took a single leaf from a botanic garden by the seaside, planted it and it grew. It has been passed on since then. My mum’s version of the plant came from my late grandma’s garden, and mine came from my mum’s.

My daughter will continue to play outside long after her older brothers have gone in. She is happiest in the fresh air.

It will be lovely when the apple tree in this bed has leaves on again.

As the rain comes, we are back inside and I settle to write at the kitchen table. I have a little notebook where I jot down what is happening in the garden, so I can compare year on year and see what works. I also draw small pictures of which seeds or bulbs are planted where.

We are all beguiled by the tropical pineapple cake in a magazine. My second son and I make a child friendly version of the recipe (minus the rum!) together the next day – a little bit of sunshine and a taste of summer to brighten a grey winter’s day.

33 Comments

  1. Oh my, that cake looks wicked! But gorgeous πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Love the sight of your daughter tripping around your carefully tended garden. So much pleasure for both of you! And wonderful to have a bloom passed down from your Mum.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So much to love in this post – the mismatched pots, the onions, your kids tootling around, that garden journal and the sunny cake. I think I spied a copy of The Secret Life of Trees in your pile…it just so happens that’s what I’m about to start reading on my kindle.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much Jo x Yes! I’m currently reading it, I snaffled it when it arrived in the new books crate at the library πŸ™‚ Really enjoying it – looking at the woodland very differently now 🌲 🌳 🌲

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A great garden and I love the old terracotta pots. We too have a variety of old pots, some date back to the years we lived on a farm. We are now only allowed to water by watering can. The drought is starting to bite and the main Sydney water supply is down to just 42%. Next week, solid rain is forecast! Let’s hope it comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so kind – thank you x I read a book by a farmer once (called β€œUp with the Lark”) and she said her mantra was β€œget up early and keep going!” – I think of that often πŸ™‚ But I’m lucky as I work and teach from home – I don’t know how parents with a schoolrun and rush hour do it!

      With my son, my hunch is that he had worked out the best route to avoid sunlight in his eyes (which he finds painful due to sensory sensitivity) – as the path always bends north as it comes out of the shade. He spent a year mapping it with his eyes half closed when we first moved here 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Laurie x If you see my reply above I really am lucky as I work and teach from home, which I think gives me a lot of time where others have to travel about πŸ™‚ I’m always inspired by everyone else here on WP too x

      Hopefully my daughter will continue to love gardening – and will have her own leaf to grow when she is older 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully arranged garden. I love your notebook! Nice work – lovely drawings. I have a few pics of our garden in my butterfly post. A bit envious of the snowdrops you have already! Ours come about March.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much πŸ™‚ I shall take a look at your garden pics, I love seeing other people’s gardens! I have a few snowdrops in my garden, but I’m still waiting for the woodland to bloom … and then we’ll all be bluebell watching soon after that πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I liked your elephant’s ears. 30-odd years ago I put in one little cutting of this, then promptly moved house, 100 metres closer to town, but left this behind. There is now a 4×8 metre semi-circle of long-lasting pink flowers and evergreen leathery leaves, gradually stolen from the council’s grass. I’m always pleased to see how one little plant, rescued from the compost heap, has done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much – and I love that you have a story too. They are such hardy plants, they survive anything it seems – mine keeps getting knocked by the children but looks as cheerful as ever πŸ™‚

      Like

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