I went into the garden today (bit early, I know - how unlike me...I mean it's not even MARCH yet is it)
...but there was a sliver of sunshine, and the grass was gleaming, and the whole thing just sort of said 'come hither'. So out I waddled, inappropriately dressed as usual, and stood next to the Lonicera, and breathed deeply. I planted this shrub three years ago, when I bought it in a small pot at the garden centre. I never dare to hope too much when it's something I truly madly deeply love, so the fact that it has shot up and out and everywhere and is now blooming its gorgeous heart out is the best feeling...like I just won something in a raffle.
If you don't have one of these, they'll be on sale NOW, flowering so you can sample that sweetly floral pong. Buy one and put it in. QUICK. It will make your Februarys sing.
There are snowdrops too.
I find it ridiculously difficult to get a good photograph of a snowdrop, but here you go. These are a slowly increasing patch of I forget which one...S. Arnott perhaps?, which are prettily scented, and which I pick mercilessly (naughty me)...but then I'm not in the garden enough over the winter to praise them like I should.
Buy them now. Put them in a pot if you don't have a garden (these come from a pot where I'd kept them, on my windowsill for five years). Use John Innes no 2 compost, with some added grit. Enjoy.
Hellebores are the very loveliest of things out now, with their speckledy petals and wonderful bruised colours..
It is for this reason alone that I forgive them for not having scent (cardinal sin) but you can't have everything...you mustn't be greedy. I grow them under my apple tree, but also in window boxes and hanging baskets, where they do well enough for me to murmur to myself 'I must've done something GOOD'.
An essential plant in any garden (sorry to be bossy, but it is true), and, as I said, you don't need a garden to have one or two in your life. Multi-purpose half and half with John Innes no 2 and you're laughing.
Sarcococca. I won't go on about sarcococca
....I blether about it far too much. Suffice to say if I had to choose between House of Cards (which I am LOVING) and my sarcococca, then Netflix would have to do without me. Here's var dignya, for your delectation.
...And yes, if you don't have a garden, then it will do perfectly gorgeously in a pot...nice and deep please. Thank you.
And an update on my indoor shenanigans:
I sowed basil and some peashoots, amongst other things, just under three weeks ago on my Crocus blog. Basil just appearing now (it takes its own sweet time, does basil), but I've been eating sweet pale green peashoots for a couple of weeks now, and they look (and taste) just DIVINE.
...it's like you can FEEL the chlorophyll, coursing through your body, doing you GOOD. Time to sow another pot I think. I also have rich micro-pickings of lettuce, coriander and dill.
Even if it's only February, my plate says it's summer time.