According to the calendar, February is the shortest month of the year, but honestly, it goes on and on and on and on. It starts out bad by celebrating ‘Groundhog’s Day’, (groundhogs and I do not get along) and this year it ends on a bad note by being a leap year and being one day longer. It’s a cruel month with its hash cold and windy days followed by its harsh cold and windy nights. Then when you least expect it, a couple of unbelievably warm days will come along, teasing plants and buds and people. Plants begin to emerge from the ground, buds swell, an occasional daffodil is sighted, and people wander outside in less layers of clothing. Then WHAM! Brutal cold, snow and ice drive us all back inside and turn those poor, early plants to brown.
Not much good can be said about February. The previously mentioned groundhog celebration goes without saying, and then there is Valentine’s Day. Chocolate + cold weather = weight gain.
Blooms are rare, except for the spectacular Camellia japonicas and the incredible array of Helleborus. There is also the exotic fragrance from the blooms of Edgeworthia and of course the Witch-hazel’s wild looking flower. And let’s not forget the stunning stems of the Red-twigged Dogwood. Okay, so February may not be a total loss, but pretty darn close.
About the best thing I can say about February is that it is followed by March and March signals the end of winter and heralds the coming of spring. I will end this article in an upbeat manner by saying; we celebrate Pancake Day on February 21, so bring on the Maple syrup.