February Inspiration

Posted by on February 1, 2017

Lengthened daylight hours and shortened shadows are noticeable as February approaches. A winter-weary mood is elevated as light lifts the spirit. Holding onto the winter can bring great joy when we’re reminded, every season has its reason.

February, cold and cruel to some, is hope to others. After all, February touches March, the month of spring. February is a bridge month, crossing over from winter into spring. Instead of rushing forth into a new season, take one more look around at the joy and the life only February can bring.

In my garden, Helen’s Haven, the bluebirds begin building nests, bees seek the nectar of inconspicuous flowers on the maple tree, and the seed selection from a covey of catalogues is finished, allowing me to dream of harvesting summer’s bounty.

As I warmed my car for my morning commute, I noticed the Japanese maple in the vegetable garden as if seeing it for the first time. The lines of the limbs were sinuous, revealed only when bare; the silhouette against the house was intriguing. Come summer, the limbs will be covered with burgundy leaves, becoming a mere mound of its sturdy self. Driving away, a flash of red caught my eye while a male cardinal chirped the air.

Gardening with Confidence Prunus mumeThe ground is covered with the petals of the Prunus mume, flowering apricot ‘Bridal Vail’, giving a glimpse of what snow-cover looks like should the white stuff come and stay in my Raleigh Garden.

Most of my Mahonia’s are yellowing up with some varieties so scented they attract wildlife from afar. The bees will be delighted soon as another nectar source queues up to serve them on a warm winter’s day.

One look at Veronica ‘Georgia Blue’ and you’ll make way for this in your garden. Tens of thousands of blooms give way to ten-thousand more tiny blue flowers lying brightly on the ground. Robins scratch around looking for a snack, not the least bit bothered that I’m walking by.

Daffodils, timed right with certain selections, such as February’s Gold, will brighten your winter heart and home. In other areas of my garden, I can see green pushing through the meadow with a promise of masses of narcissus greeting me as I enter my driveway.

Gardening with Confidence Helleborus ×hybridusHelleborus ×hybridus, particularly my various Pine Knot Selects, are blooming their fool heads off making me want for more. You can really never have enough. Daphne does her job too by adding scent in the air, while the Iberis (Candytuff) add white along the boxwood edge. And as if in a moment of disbelief, the aconite and iris bloom side by side, making it look like I might know what I’m doing, when it was really just a lucky accident.

Spring will be here soon enough, mating-songs will fill the air, more birds will begin looking for materials to feather their nest. Sprouts will show promise of a summer sizzle. Yes, everything has its season; I shall savor winter, and the gifts she brings and remind myself, without winter, spring would never be.


Helen Yoest





6 responses to “February Inspiration”

  1. Essuzy says:

    Thank you for the reminder to appreciate every season. I really enjoyed the article about the helebore gardeners in Country Gardens magazine.

  2. HelenYoest says:

    Thank you, Essuzy, I’m bundling up in my Raleigh garden today. It’s cold and windy, but there is so much to see and do, and appreciate. H.

  3. meghan says:

    this made me smile. thank you! i do get so excited for these winter bloomers. there’s just something about em.

  4. HelenYoest says:

    Thank you, Meghan. I’m loving my garden right now, despite the freezing cold snap we are having. Stay warm. H.

  5. Dora Compton says:

    I used to dread the winter months, thinking there was nothing I could do in the garden or yard. As the years have gone by, I’ve found myself outside and loving it more than ever! I wander through the swamp in my backyard. picking up sticks, moving ferns and other plants, planting bulbs of all sorts (mostly found in the sale rack) in the most auspicious places. Places I would never dream of going during the summer months. My friends think I’m crazy till spring rolls around. Somehow this swamp miraculously turns into a picture perfect landscape They can’t imagine that I trumped through knee high mud to plant a fern or palmetto. Unfortunately, what also appears in the spring are mosquitoes, snakes and maybe even an alligator. Then, I have to wait again for winter. Luckily there always the front yard that needs attending to.
    Always enjoy reading your blogs, thanks.

  6. HelenYoest says:

    Thanks for stopping by! I grew near the Dismal Swamp, and would explore in the winter there. H

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