The slope on Thursday February 5th

February for me always feels like the worst month of winter, even if in reality winter only started at the very end of December, I’ve already had enough of the cold and wet.  This week we’ve had hail storms, rain, thunder, grey skies and one beautiful day on Monday when the sun shone all day, strangely as I mentioned in my post on Monday, just 5 miles away it snowed heavily and on speaking to friends even later in the day when the snow had stopped it wasn’t a particularly nice day so it seems I was living on my own private island of weather!

The low temperatures mean that nothing much is happening in the garden; neither I nor the plants feel like doing much.  Luckily it also means that not many weeds are growing either!

The usual view

The usual view

Looking up from the gate

Looking up from the gate

The rosemary and Teucrium are flowering but as the flowers are small they aren’t making a big statement, their forms are really their more important feature.

One thing I have noticed is that the Euphorbias on the slope and elsewhere in the garden aren’t looking very good; they have long stems with sparse leaves at the top of the stem.  I think I will buy some fresh seed and sow some more; all of the E. wulfenii characias were grown from seed or were seedlings found in the garden.

Euphorbia - maybe need replacing

Euphorbia – maybe need replacing

Have you found that Euphorbias lose their lower foliage as time passes?

35 thoughts on “The slope on Thursday February 5th

  1. Our December was mild without much snow….January was frigid with some snow….but February is trying to outdo the other months with frigid temps and almost daily snow….2 ft, 6 inches, 10 inches and a few more feet to come by the end of the week….forecast not much better for rest of month….so I absolutely know what you mean….Feb has always been the worst month for me in winter….hopefully the weather will break for all of us and we will have a wonderful spring, summer and fall….I know I am dreaming.

    • I know I spent last winter saying we needed some cold weather but I thin I have become a hot house plant and it feels very cold; I think the damp is making it feel colder than it really is because in truth the temperatures are about 8 – 10°C which you will think is warm!

  2. You still have so much green – lovely to look at even in your least favourite month (which is almost a quarter gone already 😉 ) I am always trimming bits of my Euphorbias and some die down in winter. I don’t have the same one as you though. I wonder if you could prune yours? Certainly worth looking into while new seedlings get established.

  3. Hi Christina, how’s it going? I’ve started missing the gardening-blog-life lately and I’m thinking about start writing again…
    Your garden always looks great even in this bad time of the year… Very soon averything will come back to life again, you’ll see! 🙂
    Could sound odd to you but I kind of like old euphorbias getting naked on the lower part… it gives them even a more exotic look.

    • Hi Alberto, how nice to hear from you after so long. I have wondered what you were doing and how your garden is progressing. I do hope you start blogging regularly again.

  4. There may be nothing much happening, but the pictures are still lovely Christina! Re euphorbias – some in my garden are like that, and close by one is lush. Here, I put it down to the fact that the thin bedraggled looking ones are growing on ground which is exceptionally stony – almost soilless. The lusher neighbour has a more normal root-run, though still very well-drained. I decided mine were starved.

  5. Just yesterday I watched a movie set in Italy called Shun Li and the Poet. Ever heard of it? February can seem like the dreariest winter month just because we have all become so tired of winter. I don’t think it necessarily is really the worst. In a good year we might see snowdrops and hellebores by the end of February.

  6. Even though it’s chilly and cloudy, your view is looking lovely and green. I find that for these types of Euphorbias to keep looking their best, that cutting the flowering stems back to the ground at the end of summer works; they soon put on good growth again before winter. If you can deal with all the sap you can propagate these by divisions in early April. That may give you stronger plants earlier than fresh seedlings

  7. I think the Euphorbias, especially wulfenii and ‘Persian Velvet’ have a life cycle. I plant to dig out several this year and let the seedlings take over. Unlike Matt, I find the volunteers to be quite vigorous.

  8. I think euphorbias get a bit leggy after a while and need replacing.
    8- 10 degrees sounds quite warm, we are getting very cold weather at the moment. Still, I like February. The days are getting longer, the birds are singing and every day in the garden there are signs of renewed life.

    • I have becomed used to the hot weather of summer and now I really dislike the cold, whereas when I lived in England I didn’t mind the cold at all and wasn’t keen on hot days.

  9. The photos you profile show a quite beautiful winter garden–lots of variation in color and form. The colors may be soft/muted, but I think your garden looks wonderful.

  10. I am sure the winter must seem harder when you know that you have all that lovely hot weather to look forward to Christina. Back in the Uk there are no guarantees except that the temperatures will be a little higher so winter is not so bad. Your slope still looks gorgeous & a lack of weeds must be a positive. I am sure that spring will be with you very soon!

    • I feel that winter will be longer than usual just because it was so early last year. But certainly by the end of March it is unlikely that there will be a frost, hail can happen any time so I can’t worry about that.

  11. I think I am just bored of winter and greyness by February. I am longing to be able to do more than scurry from the greenhouse to the house.
    I was interested in the responses to your question about Euphorbias. I seemed to acquire a few last year which are getting taller and I had been wondering about how to keep them more compact. I think I will take Matt’s advice and cut them back at the end of summer. I was also toying with taking cuttings of the ones I like. There was some advice about dipping the cut end in sand or boiling water to seal the sap but I think I need to do some research to make sure I have remembered that correctly.

  12. I only grow Euphorbia Mellifera, cyparissius and palustris. E. Mellifera is more of a bush and I just cut away the stems that have flowered, E. cyparissius gets pulled out at the end of winter, top growth always comes back, E. palustris is in the bog garden and likes damp soil, it gets cut to the ground each year.

  13. Yes, it should be Spring, but its isn’t. Snowdrops, winter aconites, small irises and hellebores- they are all there, but the east wind means they don’t get visited very often. A beautiful bright day yesterday meant a brisk short walk, very brisk and quite short. Lovely photos as always Christina.

    • I had thought my Iris reticulata had not come back this year but today I found one flowering and what looks like the shoots of more. Enjoy your snowdrops when they open!

  14. I have no advice on the euphorbia, but I’m sure a sunny day in the greenhouse and then some warmth in the garden will change your opinion rapidly! I’m sure your gray days are numbered 🙂

  15. February ranks along with November as my least favourite month of the year Christina. I cheer myself up by repeating the little mantra ‘February is only temporary’. It’s dire and foggy here today so spring still seems a long way off. As you say though the weeds aren’t growing 🙂 I’m afraid that I can’t offer any suggestions regarding euphorbias – I like them but my skin doesn’t.

  16. I am not fond of February either! It is stressful for plants here with warm temps one day and subfreezing the next. Opening flower buds are zapped with frost, but our weeds seem to do just fine!

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