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February 2006

While I don't have any February pictures to post as yet when I write this, I can tell you that January was an extremely wet month for us. We set new weather records: for most days with rain for the month of January with 29 days as well as setting a new record for the amount of rainfall for the month, 283mm. Soon as I have taken some shots over the weekend of Feb 4/5 I'll post them.

Helleborus Ivory PrinceWell, it stayed dry long enough on the 4th for me to take this shot of Helleborus 'Ivory Prince' but the bulk of the day it was quite unpleasant outside, it was definitely an indoor kind of day.

VioletsThe next day however was rather an improvement. While it wasn't particularly sunny, it was dry and there was not much wind, in other words a great day for some work around the yard.

As you look around the yard you find more and more colour, like these violets for instance. This clump provides nice contrasting colour to the two Helleborus on opposite ends of the bed on the North side.

PrimulaThe front yard has lots of Primulas providing early spring colour. And as you can see, they also provide early spring fodder for slugs, snails and weevils.

Hosta PatriotHostas too are showing signs of awakening. This is one of our 'Patriot' roots, last year it had just the one bud, looks as if we'll start the year out with 3 this spring. This particular one is in a 5 gallon pot, located in the north side yard. An arrangement of 3 pots -the others have a 'Gold Standard' and a 'Sum and Substance'- are located in the north-east facing corner of the fireplace chimney where they have stayed quite moist over the winter; not necessarily because of all the rainfall -which we've seen a lot of- but mostly the high humidity, the soil in these pots has been very moist all winter long, an ideal environment for moss, as you can see.

Hosta So SweetThis 'So Sweet' root is even farther along and it looks like at least 5 buds compared with 2 last year. It must like where it is and obviously is settled in nicely.

If you look in the top left-hand corner of the picture you will see a snail shell. Fair question as to whether or not it's alive or do we just have skeletal remains here -and I have since taken a close look at it in the garden bed and it is skeletal-, must admit I didn't notice it until I had downloaded the image onto the computer and was about to scale it down for the website. If it is alive it would go some distance towards explaining as to why the buds all look as if they've been nibbled on. You cannot see the damage that well on this shot, but the one below of the other crown shows it much better.

Hosta So SweetJust look at the bud in the center and the damage is plain to see. Time for the Epsom Salts -slugs and snails don't get along with it, but the plants sure love it! Then again, I have no visual proof of molusks being responsible for this damage, could easily be a weevil of some sort that shoulders the blame for all the chew marks we see around the yard at the moment.Then again, I saw Ace this evening licking at and spitting something which looked like a small slug, so they're out there.

A week later we see the first of our Crocus in bud in the front garden bed. There are lots more in leaf, this however was the only one in bud. It serves as an excellent reminder that the annual spring 'Purple Haze' -or should that be 'Purple Blaze'- is not that far off. I'm looking forward to it.

In the backyard I discovered this lily doing its best to convince me spring's just around the corner. While I have seen lots of others breaking ground, this one must be close to three inches up already.

Dicentra spectabilisAt the rate this Bleeding Heart is shooting up it will be in full bloom by the time our first plant sale happens in mid-April. Which isn't such a bad thing at all; when people see what the flowers are like, plants sell better and for more money.

It sure seems as if every weekend in February I can find plenty more things to photograph. This leads to the February page becoming a bit too long and for loading speed for our friends still on dial-up it is best if I break up the month more or less in half and we'll continue our month of February 2006 on the next page.