It’s the month of cooking maple syrup and raspberry jam, snowdrops on the hillside, hellebores getting into their stride, lots of germination, and the start of some serious pruning. Last year our February was packed with snow, but this year even the torrential rains we endured for the past five weeks have slowed somewhat, encouraging me to be outdoors each day.
I’ve almost completed pruning all of Coppertop’s roses. The climbers are most challenging. I’m training the new Iceberg in the rose garden on an obelisk, tying it securely. Although I’ve read that Icebergs aren’t known for their thorns, mine has bitten me a few times, despite leather gloves. Some of the half-dozen hot pink climbers that were planted all over when we moved in are about to be ousted in favor of prettier and more disease resistant varieties. More on that another time.
The biggest surprise with the new English roses is how they held onto their leaves until now. The final bushes in need of pruning are shown below — a few Princess Annes and Gertrude Jekylls. As with each of the shrub roses, I’ll strip the leaves as I prune. The second photo shows part of the other side of the rose garden, fully pruned.
Hubby’s been helping out in the orchard when we have a couple dry days in a row. So far he’s pruned the apple and pear trees. Dormant oil spraying will be next.
Many bulbs are up, from crocus and daffodils to the tips of hyacinths and tulips. It’s going to be a glorious spring!