greentapestry : End Of Month View ~ February 2014

Friday, 28 February 2014

End Of Month View ~ February 2014

A four letter word to describe my February - FOUL! It wasn't just the weather (although we have been extremely fortunate here) that dripped incessantly but my nose too. No I've not had a cold but a number of unexpected and quite dramatic nose bleeds. The last one was like a scenario out of a horror story, when having just about to step into the shower my nose started to bleed and on this occasion was in no hurry to stop. It was great fun getting dressed again with one arm at my disposal. To cut a long story short I ended up travelling via ambulance to the nearest A&E department where the offending orifice was eventually cauterised. This sounds painful but was just uncomfortable - touch wood the procedure seems to have worked. We left A&E late at night with some antibiotic cream and advice to take it easy and not to stretch, bend and to try to avoid being exposed to contrasts of temperature for the next ten days. So all in in all February has not been a month that will be remembered for its gardening activities.

In fact I even too grotty for a couple of days to make the short journey from house to greenhouse so that I could peruse my special snowdrops. That situation did not last long I'm glad to say and after muffling my nose in a swathe of woolly scarf I ventured out for a daily inspection. These snowdrops gave me great pleasure this month. A few more have arrived in the post to swell the ranks so hopefully I will be able to show you some of them from late autumn onwards. A couple of them are very early or late flowerers, depending on which way you look at it.

Meanwhile the garden has carried on doing its own thing without any interference from me until the last week when I've ventured out for some gentle pottering. The snowdrops in the garden are now at the point of going over but there are hellebores, irises, crocuses, primroses, little daffs and pulmonarias giving some welcome colour. It seems that everything is ahead of last year but then last winter was so prolonged so it's not a good comparison really. There has been a tiny bit of planting this last week which must have been the driest week we've had for weeks. I've introduced some of the special snowdrops in to the garden and himself has done some tree planting under my supervision. We've moved a couple of pear trees back a few feet and have introduced a new companion- malus 'Red Sentinel' to them.

I can't really say anything about my allotment plot other than I have not been there. Hangs head in absolute shame! I have sown some beetroot and broad beans in the last couple of days so it has not gone out of my mind altogether. Some spuds arrived in the post yesterday and have made it as far as the unheated back bedroom.

An area that I plan to feature regularly this year on these EOMV posts  is our north facing courtyard which you can glimpse above. It has been sadly neglected of late and the plan is to give it a good tidy up. I used to have a regular display of seasonal containers there which seem to have petered out over the years. The plan is to have mostly foliage interest. I also want to make use of the chimney pots, a gift from my sister - in - law - the twin sits on the other side of the front door. Before considering the planting I need to get to work on these bricks which as you can see from the below photo have definitely greened over with moss and weeds over the last few months. I do not like using chemicals so any suggestions other than getting down on my hands and knees scraping it out would be most welcome ~

Plant purchases this month - more special snowdrops, malus 'Red Sentinel', pittosporum 'Irene Patterson', a small amelanchier lamarckii, and a couple of ferns namely dryopteris atrata and dryopteris erythrosora var. prolifica.

Without a doubt March is going to be busy. Thanks to Helen as always over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' who enables us to share our end of month views.

PS Having just popped outside for a few minutes I realised that I omitted Mahonia 'Soft Caress' from the list of plant purchases - please forgive the shortened name. It is headed for the courtyard but presently awaits a suitable pot.


  1. Goodness, those nosebleeds sound nasty. I've never had a nosebleed so I think it would shock me greatly to have one like that. I hope it's all sorted out now. It's nice to see all the bulbs starting to make an appearance, spring is definitely on the way, I can feel it even though it's got much colder again today. I don't have any suggestions for getting rid of the moss, but I've got a similar north facing front garden which looks very similar so I'll watch your comments with interest in case someone comes up with something.

  2. I am glad to hear your nose bleeding saga seems to have finished. I think I read somewhere that salt is good for getting rid of moss but there is a strong possibility I may have remembered that wrongly

  3. Sorry to hear about your nosebleeds (my sister used to suffer terribly when younger) but glad that you're on the mend now Anna. The wet winter has had the same effect on the paving and capping stones of the raised brick borders here - I've got sprouting moss everywhere (it's quite beautiful in sunlight!). I've got a rubber broom with bristles on one side and a blade on the other - when sweeping up leaves in the veg patch last week, I found the blade was very effective at swiftly (and painlessly) removing moss and couch grass from between the paving slabs. (Just checked, you can get them easily for less than £10, google 'rubber broom'!)
    I'm intrigued that you've moved a couple of pear trees! How old were they? I need to move one but, as they haven't yet fruited (fingers crossed for this year!) I'm loathe to put it back too much (or kill it). The trees here were planted 5 years ago as bareroot maidens and are now about 10ft tall.

  4. Hope you are feeling better, Anna! I have had one cold or sinus congestion after another this winter; I think it's the changes in temperatures that have caused them. All the dry air from our furnace hasn't helped either. Such lovely hellebores! And I love those chimney pots; I hope you'll show them again when you have planted them.

  5. The nose-bleeds sound horrible but hopefully they won't return. the courtyard looks intriguing, foliage sounds a good way to go and if it is north facing watering shouldn't be a great problem, you can feature it on GBFD as well as here.

  6. I' m keeping my fingers crossed that your nose will behave itself now.
    I wonder if a pressure washer would work on your moss?
    You have bought some lovely plants this month.

  7. Glad, you're feeling better, Anna. Pretty scary such things. I like your fountain man....and Soft Caress is such a beauty. How is your gabion wall coming on? Take good care and have a good sunday :)

  8. Hi Anna - I think you may have overtaken me in the snowdrop purchasing stakes this year,by the sound of it! Those rubber brooms are really useful although I haven't tried mine on moss - but will do so after Caro's suggestion. I think a hoe would also get rid of the worst of it. I caressed a Mahonia 'Soft Caress' this week - a very apt name!

  9. There's so much to do suddenly as Spring spins in! Sorry you had a rough month, and hope March is much kinder to you.
    We have lots of moss and weeds to clean, on the stones that wrap around our house from the driveway to the patio - little and often, I think, or it is a very daunting task!

  10. What a saga with the nose bleeding thing but glad to hear that it's sorted now. Spring is just around the corner and although you may feel you have missed out doing some gardening in February now that its March and you're feeling much better you can more than make up for it :)

  11. Hope your nose makes a rapid recovery in time for spring gardening! I have seen people here using a special kind of gas burner/blow torch to get rid of weeds and moss between cobbles etc. I have never tried it myself, being a bit scared of burning my toes, but probably will have to as our driveway is also looking extremely green this spring! Look forward to seeing the north-facing yard develop... I also have a north-facing spot which is hard to use as the slugs and snails love the cool damp conditions!

  12. Oh Anna, how scary. I had a friend at uni who used to have regular nose bleeds. Perhaps the most unfortunate time was at our graduation ball. Hope you're feeling better and that an upturn in the weather and the lighter nights are at least making you feel a bit more perky. As for moss. I just use a really stiff brush. but you could try this Look forward to seeing how your courtyard area progresses over the year. x


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