February is typically the coldest month of the year in the UK and the beginning of this February was no different. It brought the first snow of Winter 2018/2019 and for a few days, the garden was blanketed in a billowing and pristine white.
It’s been a couple of years since we had a “heavy” snowfall and it came as a sudden surprise to me that snow carries weight, it’s heavy stuff. I was worried for many trees and shrubs in the garden that had grown rapidly in the fertile soil and perhaps in their race to shoot upwards, hadn’t put as much into the strengthening and ripening of the wood as they should have so that it mightn’t take much to cause damage.
So that I could sleep easier, we knocked the worst of the snow off the camellias and the bay and thankfully, there weren’t any signs of broken branches and limbs that I could see, just splayed edges that I hope will straighten up again.
After the snowfall, we had clear skies and stunning wall-to-wall sunshine (which isn’t for very long in a northern hemisphere winter), but there was enough heat to quickly melt the snow and erase any trace it was ever there after 48 hours.
Now, at the end of February the weather couldn’t be any more different. We have actually sat outside in the sunshine, enjoying lunch on the patio while the sun shone and there is real heat in that sun now, despite it still being relatively low in the sky – sun hat definitely needed. The greenhouses need to be open as soon as they come out of shade and it’s triggering the plants to start budding up. We’ve even had the curry-leaf plant (the real, edible one) out!
I’m still far behind on winter jobs and the most urgent one at the moment is the rose pruning and hedge trimming. I also need to make up my mind about what I want to get done in the garden this year and plan accordingly, decide which areas I want to clear, which borders I want to dig, and so on. However, it all seems so far away and while the warm sun shines in what’s supposed to be Winter, my motivation to get on with the business of gardening melts away as quickly as the snow.