Previously we talked about January Flowers so here is the next month. A little organization and planning will enable you to maintain flower color in the garden all year round. Here are some ideas to give you February flowers in your garden. Plants are fully hardy to -15C or USDA Zone 8, unless otherwise stated. Also, the soil can be naked through the winter and they will survive.
Specimen Tree with February Flowers:
Although Acacia dealbata (Mimosa) is only a half hardy tree (i.e. will withstand temperatures only to 0C or USDA Zone 10) it can be grown in a pot and over-wintered in a conservatory or shed. This beautiful tree is relatively fast-growing and is covered in fluffy yellow balls from January to April. Although it can grow to over 15m in its native Australia a pot-grown specimen will be much, much smaller.
Shrubs with February Flowers:
Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ (Daphne) is a slow growing, upright shrub reaching a height and width of 4m x 1.5m. Deep purple berries appear after the tiny clusters of sweet-scented dark pink buds of January and February have faded.
The evergreen Daphne Aureomarginata is a small 1.5m x 1.5m evergreen shrub which bears sweet-scented pale pink flowers from December to March. Its variegated foliage of dark green leaves edged with yellow adds to this shrub’s charm.
A Climber with February Flowers:
Jasminium Nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine) with its zingy yellow flowers clinging on to bright green stems is sure to provide some much-needed colorful cheer to any February garden. It is a vigorous climber and is equally at home scrambling freely over walls as it is climbing a trellis. It can reach a height and width of 3 x 3m but can be kept in check by pruning back to the stronger buds on the lower branches after flowering.
Depending on whether spring arrives early you may be lucky and get the first few spring flowers in February. However, if not there are still some winter flowers that will flower in January and February, no matter what the weather. Iris Reticulata has a few varieties, and although only around 15cm high they will provide color with their beautiful blue and yellow-hued petals. ‘Alida’ is fully hardy and provides beautiful blue and yellow flowers amongst sword-shaped leaves.
This is a new introduction and still quite rare so a good buy for your garden if you do find it. ‘Katharine Hodgkin’, ‘Violet Beauty’ and ‘Harmony’ are other varieties worth considering.
For a cheery carpet of buttercup-colored flowers in February and March Eranthis hyemalis (Winter aconite) can’t be beaten. Although very small in height, mass bulb planting will provide a beautiful carpet of yellow flowers surrounded by fresh green leaves in late winter. After the aconites have appeared you know spring is just around the corner.