February Garden Flowers

posted in: Gardening | 54

February is a difficult month to predict.  Years ago in my previous garden I would have started to mow the lawn the end of the month but in Perthshire things are much different. Especially when it comes to February garden flowers.  Sometimes winter doesn’t even arrive here until February.  This past week alone we’ve seen rain, sleet, snow and frost along with a few little glimpses of sunshine.  It’s been wet … very wet though we’re not building an ark just yet despite living on a flood plain. So many further south have been affected badly by the floods … we’ve been very fortunate this time.It’s great  that the daylight hours are getting longer and there are signs of spring all around the garden.   Plump buds are appearing on the bare stems while fresh green leaves hug the sodden soil

… every time I go through my back door I can faintly smell the Sarcococca.  Get up close and personal and the tiny insignificant white flowers really smell superb.  Though bring a sprig with 5 or 6 flowers indoors and the smell can be much too overpowering in a room!

This time last year for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day we were covered in snow.  This year it’s not much different though everything is flowering earlier.  The clumps of lenten roses are looking great at the moment with their nodding dark pink flowers.  This photo below was taken a few days ago when I managed to get out with the camera during a brief dry spell of weather. 


February Garden Flowers

Lenten roses in flower in February
February garden flowers – Lenten roses

I’ve lots of coloured primroses in flower but there’s nothing quite like the little pale yellow ones.   They remind me of childhood days wandering down ‘The Fairy Glen’ and finding the wild ones growing in the hedgerows.

Primula vulgaris  ‘Emily’ grows in little clumps all around the gardens and I really like the combination of this yellow primrose intermingling with the Stipa grass.   I’ll be moving a few more clumps of these little primroses next to the Stipa grasses over the next few weeks.

Primula vulgaris 'Emily'
February garden flowers – Primula vulgaris ‘Emily

Just in case you’ve never heard of Primrose Replant Disease – Monty Don advices that if you’re moving fresh primroses or polyanthus into a planted container it’s best to add fresh new compost as the new plants won’t thrive in compost that previous primroses have been grown in for a long time.


Winter Flowering Shrubs

More of the Hamamelis | witch hazel shrubs are starting to bloom.  Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ was featured in last months post The Winter Garden Flowers and is still in flower today.  While the new flowers in February are from the Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ and Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Beauty’.

witch hazel Diane and witch hazel Orange beauty
February garden flowers – Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ – left
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Beauty’ – right

These shrubs are still young and quite small and won’t make much of a colour impact in the winter garden for a few more years.

It’s hard to photograph flowers when the weather is so awful.  Recently I’ve been cutting a few flowers and bringing them indoors to enjoy on my kitchen windowsill.  It’s much easier to photograph them indoors under a macro lens.   I can control the light and don’t have strong winds and sleet to contend with.


The Winter Flowering Bulbs and Corms

February garden flowers – Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’

Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ has already started to flower and it has such pretty blue and yellow flowers.


February garden flowers – Galanthus nivalis | Single snowdrop

Little single snowdrops are in flower all over our hedgerows as well as in the garden.  All of this wet weather doesn’t deter them as they like damp conditions.  This year they don’t really  need their natural antifreeze qualities to break through the soil as it’s sodden.

February garden flowers - Crocus sieberi subsp. sublimis 'Tricolor'
Crocus sieberi subsp. sublimis ‘Tricolor’

These tricolour crocus are one of my favourites of the season with their scented and colourful blooms.

February garden flowers - cyclamen coum
Cyclamen coum

The nodding flowers from the Cyclamen | Sow bread are in full bloom at the moment and their tiny little flowers brighten up the shadier areas of the garden.  They too don’t seem to mind the rain.  Their natural habitat is in high rainfall areas of the Caucasus and they don’t like to be too dry during the summer months.

The Winter Flowering Herbaceous Perennials

February garden flowers - Helleborus hybridus
Helleborus hybridus

Many of the hellebores have started to flower including this one that I’ve taken with me every time we’ve moved house.  It was originally from my granddads garden and now many of its offspring have crossed with the dark pink lenten roses and have much pinker petals.  While below is a picotee type hellebore that I bought a few years ago.

February garden flowers - Hellebore anemone Picotee macro flower
Hellebore Anemone Picotee

Today in the garden Pulmonaria angustifolia ‘Rubra’ along with pink and white Erica carnea heather are also in flower.  I’ve no photos of these just yet as it’s a bit too cold to be venturing out just yet and I’m much too comfortable here on the sofa.

Finally here’s an early morning snapshot of the wintry back garden this morning 15th February 2014.  It’s not very clear but  if you look just above the blue arch to the right you’ll see the 9 foot  Witch hazel ‘Jelena’ in flower. This is just a small section of the garden that I photograph from the same position nearly every month of the year.  You can see much more of the garden here: The leavesnbloom garden.

Perthshire winter garden in February
the garden in February

What’s in bloom in your garden today?


Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. She also writes and shares her nature images on www.irelandbirdphotography.com

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54 Responses

  1. Rosemary

    Dear Rosie – I am visiting you via Rusty Duck – I love the botanical profiles that you have shared here – beautiful.

  2. Commonweeder

    I never realized Scotland could be so much warmer than a Massachusetts hilltop. Beautiful photographs of beautiful flowers. I

    • Rosie Nixon

      hahaa I think that also depends on which part of Scotland you're living in. I'm so glad we're not having the low temperatures you've been experiencing recently- it must be pretty rough trying to get about with all that ice and snow. Many thanks for the visit today Commonweeder.

    • Rosie Nixon

      I can't even imagine what it's like to be under 5 feet of snow Val. Hope your snow thaw's slowly that you don't end up with floods.

  3. Kalantikan

    Hi Rosie, even if your garden seems to be bare, there are still some lovely flowers looking very fresh and healthy. I thought snowdrops emerge when snow is still there, your snow seems to be finished melting. What about that violet crocus, is that the species producing the very espensive saffron?

    • Rosie Nixon

      Hi Andrea – this year the snowdrops emerged from puddles rather than snow. No it's not the saffron crocus. That one flowers in my garden in the autumn time though over the years they have depleted in number – I didn't even take a photo of them last autumn when they were in flower.

  4. Jane Rutkowski

    Very pretty. I am so tired of looking at mountains of snow. I planted a new row of daffodil bulbs in the Fall and I can't wait to see them once Spring finally decides to come. I know there is so much beauty hiding under the snow. Thanks for sharing, Jane

    • Rosie Nixon

      Thank you Jane and I'm sure you'll really appreciate seeing those little flowers finally blooming. At least they're nice and snug under all that snow 🙂

  5. bookworm

    My garden, including my two hellebores, are under a blanket of snow here in upstate New York. I've been hearing about the floods and, having had my neighborhood flood twice in the past 8 years (but not in winter!), I feel for you across the ocean. And, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the closeups of the hellebores and the overall shot of your back garden. So wonderful to see green. Happy GBBD.

    • Rosie Nixon

      Many thanks bookworm. It's heartbreaking to watch all the floods on the news at the minute – so many people having their properties damaged and the storm damage to road and rail affects so many businesses too. I'm glad you liked the close ups and I managed to get outside this afternoon and photograph some of the flowers in the garden. A little bit of sunshine enticed me outdoors and I'll probably be sharing those over on my facebook page.

  6. Marianne

    Refreshing post! I actually felt a little chilly air 🙂 And Beautiful images, as always. Our landscapes are such polar opposites!

  7. rusty duck

    I can see exactly what you mean about the combination of the Primula and the Stipa grass. That picture looks like it could have been taken on the top of a remote bit of moorland somewhere. And your last photo of the Picotee Hellebore is just stunning.

  8. Pam's English Garden

    Like you, Rosie, primulas bring back my childhood. They grew freely in the hedgerows around my home in England. Of course, I grow them in my Pennsylvanian garden, but they wont make an appearance until April. I so enjoyed yours and all your Bloom Day flowers! P. x

  9. jeansgarden

    Rosie, I love seeing all your February flowers — especially since we are buried under feet of snow on this side of the pond. Thanks for the lovely reminders that spring will come. -Jean

  10. Jane Scunthorpe

    Signs of Spring all over, Rosie! What fantastic photos with your Macro lens, and what a good idea to bring them inside to photograph. I was outside yesterday on my hands and knees in the freezing cold, trying to get good shots and it was virtually impossible. Love your Hamamelis 'Diane', it looks as if it is on fire !

    • Rosie Nixon

      Oh it's so hard in the winter isn't it. I'm hoping that I won't have so many closeups and macros for March 🙂

  11. Angie

    You tease us all so much with your photography Rosie – I swear each time I visit your blog my wish list gets longer!
    You've lots going on and isn't it great that we've not had too bad a time this winter. Your picotee Hellebore is gorgeous and I'm pleased you showed a picture of your whole garden with Jelene it gives me a better idea of size which is often difficult to judge as many pictures of her on line is in fact close ups of the flowers. Hope you've had a reasonable weekend, I had a peacock butterfly visit the garden today.

    • Rosie Nixon

      Jelena does need some space at each side. I probably could have done with planting the cherry and callicarpa much further away.

  12. Anonymous

    Nothing to see here in eastern Massachusetts but snow! Actually, the Witch Hazels are in bloom and some Pussy Willows, but anything on the ground is under snow. My "Arnold Promise" Witch Hazel which bloomed so beautifully last year had no flower buds this year at all.

  13. Anonymous

    Yours is one of the few blogs I read, and today I was captivated by the "Katherine Hodgkins" Iris, which I first saw about 15 years ago at Berkshire Botanic Garden in Stockbridge, MA when I was speaking there one April. We never have it as early as February, but it still counts as one of the first spring blooms.

  14. Janet/Plantaliscious

    How wonderful to have a hellebore with such a rich history Rosie, and it is a beauty too. There is something particularly precious about the flowers at this time of year, they tend to be subtly colored, which is why I agree and definitely prefer the native primroses to the brighter colored cousins, they seem to jar, to me, with the general air of quiet hopefulness in the garden as winter begins to loosen its grip. I'm going to have to pinch that primroses with stipa combination too…

  15. Rose

    I think I've fallen in love with your Picotee Hellebore! That's the trouble with reading garden blogs–I always have a bad case of plant lust:) So nice to see all your lovely blooms, Rosie. After reading about all the flooding in the UK, I'm also glad to know it's not so bad in your area.

    • Rosie Nixon

      Thanks Rose – I forgot to consider snow melt from the nearby mountains as our river became extremely high but thankfully didn't burst its banks in this area.

  16. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening

    Your blooms and macros are AMAZING! The photographs of the Hellebore and Iris look just like a painting! We are a winter wonderland here buried under a blanket of snow so your photographs are a sight for sore eyes! Happy Bloom Day!

  17. Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy

    Some flowers are best looked at close up – hellebores among them. A few days ago I I took a photograph of a purple crocus growing wild (not a wild crocus – just a domestic one which had turned up in an odd place). When I got it home and put it up on the screen I found there had been a hoverfly sitting on the petals and I hadn't noticed. Although this isn't really a sign of spring – it felt like it.

    • Rosie Nixon

      Thanks Lucy 🙂 it feels more like Spring every day here. I saw my first honey bees and solitary bee today in the garden.

  18. myaberdeengarden

    Hi Rosie – I love your macro photos – they give me something to aspire to with a new macro lens I got for my birthday. Bringing the plants indoors is such a good idea too in our climate. We don't have any snow at the moment in Aberdeen, but it is too miserable to stay out very long taking photographs. We have a few things in flower here: snowdrops of course, 2 iris reticulata with lots more still to flower,a few crocuses and pansies in pots, a couple of vinca major flowers, blue anemone wanda, heather and my Erysimum Bowles Mauve is absolutely covered in buds. I think the next few weeks will make a big difference in the garden especially if it stays so mild.

  19. Alistair

    Rosie, in spite of the wet conditions, seems like there is a lot going on in your garden for the time of year. Fabulous picture of the Iris Katharine Hodgkin. We never had any success with Cyclamen in the East coast, cant wait to give them a try here in Cheshire.

  20. Advard

    In February month you can see the different kind of colourful flower bulbs in garden because spring is the season of flowers growth. Above describe flower bulbs are really looking good and attractive. I think tulip is also one of the best flower bulb which everyone love to grow in their garden.

  21. Millymollymandy

    Oh gorgeous photos and that cyclamen is to die for! It's amazing that there are irises flowering in mid February. I've just read up about that kind and shows how little I know, I didn't know there were irises that grew from bulbs! Oops. 🙂

    • Rosie Nixon

      Hopefully I'll have some broader shots of the cyclamen for my next post Mandy. I've now got darker blue iris in flower but they scattered around the garden rather than in a nice clump so don't have as much impact in the winter/early spring border.