Yes, we do have a few plants blooming in February! It was beautiful today, in the upper 60s and sunny, so we tackled some outdoor chores. I grabbed my camera and photographed some of the plants blooming today.
The pansy shown above was a volunteer, a seed that dropped from the pansies in the window boxes on the deck above last spring. It rooted in a spot without soil, among large chunks of pine bark mulch, perhaps finding a little bit of soil between the edging rocks. It grew through the heat of summer, the autumn breezes, and now it even withstands winter’s freezes. When the temperatures drop below 20, it sort of curls up, folding its petals inward, drooping its leaves as if it gives up. Then when it warms up again voila – or should I say viola? – it’s back!
When I worked at the garden center back on Long Island, everyone talked about heaths and heathers for the winter. I didn’t understand what the big deal was; I assumed that heath and heather was like turfgrass. Wrong. We planted large pots of heather throughout the garden and there is something so cheerful about seeing blooms in January and February. The cats like to nest in it, flattening the center down until it resembles a bird nest. They lay amidst the scratchy branches and sun themselves. It’s a wonder the heather springs back to life after that kind of abuse, but it does, and as you can see from the picture above, it keeps blooming.
Even the cats enjoyed the warmth and sunshine today. Pierre ventured forth, exploring his favorite hideaways around the house before settling down for a nap on the tower on the porch.
A bright, warm day in February is such a blessing. It makes me happy again and shakes off the winter blues. Unfortunately, the temperatures are going to plunge again later this week, but that’s winter for you. At least today’s warmth and finding plants blooming in February was enough to chase away the winter blues – for today.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.