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February flowers for an English Garden

Itís hard to believe spring will ever come when itís snowing in February, but there are a few plants to brighten up your day, especially if you live in warmer parts of the country.

Itís a good idea to plant these where youíll see them from inside the house, so you can enjoy them even if the weather is cold!

PERENNIALS:

Helleborus orientalis or Lenten Rose is hardy to Zone 5 and starts blooming as soon as the weather gets warm. They are deer and rodent resistant.

Bergenia cordifolia or Heartleaf Bergenia is native to Siberia, so you can imagine the rough winters they can take! It likes moist to wet soil.

Primula vulgaris or English primroses start to flower in February in warmer parts of the country. There are hundreds of species of primroses, so you must really watch for this particular species.

BULBS:

Eranthis hyemalis or winter aconite has small bright yellow flowers. Itís especially nice in rock gardens.

Galanthus -- Anything called snowdrops must give you the clue that they bloom even in the snow! They have small white flowers, usually with a green dot on each petal.

Crocus is technically a corm, not a bulb. They like sun, but if you plant them in a sheltered spot, theyíll frequently bloom a couple of weeks earlier. There are also early flowering varieties, so read the bulb catalogs carefully to find the earliest ones.

ANNUALS:

Pansies and Violas are staples of the English garden, and bloom through winter in warmer climates.

SHRUBS:

Salix discolor, otherwise known as Pussy Willow, has the fuzzy gray catkins that we associate with the promise of spring.

The following shrubs donít flower in February, but their unusual branches add winter interest to the garden.

Cornus sericea, or Red Osier Dogwood, has red branches that really stand out in the snow. Cornus flaviramea has yellow branches that are also effective in winter.

Corylus avellana ĎContortaí, commonly known as Harry Lauderís Walking Stick, has contorted branches that add interest to the winter garden. If you see straight branches starting to come out, you must cut them back all the way to the trunk, or theyíll take over and youíll eventually lose all the contorted branches.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Carol Chernega. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Carol Chernega. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Carol Chernega for details.



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