February was a whirlwind of extreme temperatures - ranging from days close to 80 degrees, all the way down to lows in the mid 20s. On the weekends of beautiful weather, I seemed to be in the garden all weekend, making obvious signs of improvement along the way. The last couple of weekends have been nothing but wet and hovering around freezing, bringing spring-prep gardening chores to a halt for the time being.
There hasn't been too many changes in the veggie bed over the last month. I continue to harvest lots of winter greens. I cleaned up a couple of the beds that had left-over debris from last summer/fall and did some major Bermuda grass weeding in the beds (once they are in there, you never can fully get rid of them). I also planted a few new seeds for spring harvests including some lettuce, kale, spinach and green onions.
Before the cold weather hit, I ordered a LOT of mulch and started spreading it around the garden. The shade tree got a fresh new layer of the native mulch after a major weeding session. I didn't quite finish the job, so I'll need to complete the mulch-laying once temps warm up again (and more importantly, once it is dry again).
The parsley in the herb bed is pretty much out of control at this point. I can't seem to use enough of it before it is producing more leaves. I need the swallowtail caterpillars to come back and help me keep it in check. The purple hyacinth bulbs have also broken through, though I haven't seen any blossoms yet.
In these flower beds, the poppy rosettes are getting larger and the larkspurs and some other wildflowers that were planted last fall are starting to pop up. Some bulbs, ranunculus and narcissus, are sprouting up. I also planted several foxglove plants in this bed. I'm not sure how they will do, since they aren't fans of hot weather, but I'm hoping I'll be able to enjoy their English garden feel for at least a good portion of the spring.
The pomegranate bed also got a new layer of mulch over most of the bed. I still need to finish the job once things warm up a bit. The spring bulbs are also starting to push through here, including the ranunculus, narcissus, and even a few tulips.
While still bare, there has been a lot done to this bed to prep for the roses that will inhabit the area in the future. I did some major weeding, turned in several bags of compost into the soil as well as laid down fresh mulch. A couple volunteer blue bonnet rosettes have been left, otherwise the bed is a clean slate for my future rose collection.
Not much to report here. I'm anxiously awaiting the blooms of my bearded irises, which were planted last year and I'm really hoping will bloom this year.
Some fresh mulch has been laid in this bed, otherwise, not too many changes since last month in this bed.
I've done some light pruning to this area, as well as incorporated a few cast iron plants in the shady corners of the courtyard for some year-round color.
I have yet to plant a new shade tree in the center of the courtyard - still leaning towards a Texas Ash for now, unless we get a better recommendation for a good, fast-growing shade tree that won't overtake the courtyard, yet will have enough height and spread for a decent shade canopy. I also want something that will provide good nectar and fruit to my wildlife friends.
I've also been thinking about some new shade-loving, blooming vines that would be good for this space. After several years, my wisteria still hasn't bloomed, so I think it is time to remove it from the back trellis and replace it with something more interesting, reliable, and preferably native.
Front of House
Nothing new to report here this month.
Thanks to Helen over at the Patient Gardener for hosting the End of the Month view. Be sure to check out other gardener's End of the Month views!