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Mid-Winter Color: GBBD, February 2015

February 15, 2015

back garden in snowSo far, February in Maine has been much colder and snowier than average. We have been getting snow every three days, and temperatures have averaged more than 10 degrees below normal for this time of year. February is mid-winter here. The mild days of fall are just a fond memory, and spring is still many weeks away. And we’re all starting to get just a bit tired of snow. Happily, recent storms have followed a track that takes them out to sea south of here, leaving us on the northern fringes; as a result, we haven’t been hammered with record-breaking snow the way Boston has.

There’s not much to see in the snow-covered garden. The blue tarp that covers my garden bench is barely visible. But the garden is happy to be covered by more than two feet of snow. The snow is a great insulator that protects plants from the cold temperatures, and its melting in spring will provide them with moisture to support new growth.

February pink cyclamen February pink & white cyclamen
For flowers and color in February, however, we must look indoors. My potted cyclamen are still blooming happily in shades of pink and white on the living room window ledge. Recently, they have been joined by the red flowers of a third potted cyclamen in my bedroom. The intense scarlet of these flowers is just what my soul needs in this white season, and I love the intricate pleats of their about-to-open buds. february red cyclamen
scarlet cyclamen flower scarlet cyclamen bud

Two of my potted amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs have sent up flower buds, promising more colorful blooms in the weeks to come.

tall amaryllis bud I think this one will bloom in February.
And this one gives me something to look forward to in March. short amaryllis bud

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the brainchild of Carol at May Dreams Gardens and is hosted by her on the 15th of each month. Visit her blog to see what’s in bloom this month in gardens around the world, including colorful summer flowers from our garden blogging friends in the southern hemisphere.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Nell Jean permalink
    February 16, 2015 9:36 am

    Aren’t cyclamen just the best mid-winter plants? Unfurling buds, bright butterfly-like blossoms are so pretty.

    We’re all waiting for Amaryllis, looks like.

    • February 18, 2015 10:53 pm

      Nell Jean, In this very cold, snowy February, I’m particularly grateful for the always-reliable cyclamen blooms. Yesterday, I went to visit a housebound friend with a bad case of cabin fever. On impulse, I stopped at a garden center along the route from my house to hers and picked up a scarlet cyclamen for her.

  2. February 16, 2015 11:34 am

    Some welcome color to help ward off cabin fever! That’s an interesting geranium leaf as well, I’m more and more interested in those every year and have picked up a few myself.
    I did my amaryllis a favor this week and repotted them, I’m hoping this wakes them up 🙂

    • February 18, 2015 10:56 pm

      Bittster, That intense scarlet color is a particularly good antidote for cabin fever.
      I usually treat geraniums as annuals and throw them away at the end of the summer. But I liked this one so much that I potted it up and brought it inside before the first frost. There are usually people selling plants grown from seed at the local farmer’s market in the spring, so I’m going to look for more with interesting leaves this year.

  3. February 16, 2015 1:28 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you weren’t hit by Boston-like snow, Jean. Your cyclamen are very cheery. I have some white ones outside but I think I almost like them better as house plants – they deserve a closer look than they get mingled in with the rest of the garden.

    • February 21, 2015 7:40 pm

      Kris, I keep meaning to plant some cold-hardy cyclamen outside, but I never seem to get around to it — which suggests that I like them better as houseplants, too 😉 .

  4. February 16, 2015 5:52 pm

    Glad to hear you are being spared the snow…we are still getting about 6 to 10 inches a storm every few days and very frigid temps….record low today. I really must get some potted cyclamen as I love the flowers and a need more plants indoors. Stay warm Jean.

    • February 21, 2015 7:42 pm

      Donna, We’ve been getting more like 3-6″ every three days. Daytime high temperatures throughout February have been consistently 10-20 degrees below normal, but I don’t think we’ve set any records.

  5. debsgarden permalink
    February 16, 2015 10:26 pm

    I have always admired cyclamen. Yours are a perfect antidote to the white outside, although your snow looks pristine and beautiful. Right now, all I see outside is brown mush. No snow for us, despite a close call, but we have had unending rain for about 24 hours. Probably will be ice in the morning. Dangerous, and I am glad I won’t have to go anywhere in the morning.

    • February 21, 2015 7:46 pm

      Deb, I guess one advantage to getting fresh snow every three days is that it keeps it looking pristine and beautiful 🙂 . It really is pretty, but the depth of the snowpack is a bit daunting at this point. Even though our recent storms have been small by Maine standards (3-6″ of new snow), it adds up. Nevertheless, I’d much rather have snow than cold rain, and especially more than ice, which is the one kind of bad weather I refuse to drive in. I hope you are keeping warm and safe in the current arctic freeze.

  6. February 19, 2015 2:35 pm

    I don’t even have a bough cyclamen this year. I don’t know what that says about my state of mind.

    • February 21, 2015 7:47 pm

      Pat, It probably says that you are getting ready to move (is that right?) or that going out to buy a plant is just more hassle than it’s worth. I know this winter is going to end in the next couple of months, but right now it seems hard to believe.

  7. February 23, 2015 12:49 pm

    We do need our color during the snowy winter’s here in New England. Each morning, I enjoy seeing my bight pink cyclamen on my bathroom windowsill. I’m glad that you haven’t been hit with the snow that we have been getting. I know we are all looking forward to the green shoots that will be peaking through the snow this spring.

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