Joseph Wood Krutch once said, “"The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February." An American writer, critic and naturalist, Krutch was born in Tennessee so that explains his view of February. The month is rather a positive one - the days get longer and we celebrate Valentine’s Day. There is actually a valid reason for all men to buy flowers.
Now, let’s jump into the answers from yesterday’s brain teasers.
The February flower is the rose. False. The February flower is the Primrose, Annie’s favorite wet meadow species, which tends to like moist, organic soils. In England, these beautiful flowers bloom as early as February. In and around New England, Primroses bloom later, typically April to May depending on the season. You can find a great selection of primroses at specialty nurseries.
The Daffodil appears in February and is a symbol of hope. False. The Snowdrop, a delicate groundcover bulb is the first to pop. Snowdrop is great to plant underneath Witchhazel and Winterhazel as these shrubs are also early bloomers. For early season interest, you can plant these bulbs around your rhododendrons, azaleas or mountain laurels. In mild winters, you may see a snowdrop or two in late February. So if the temperatures are extremely cold, you may have to wait for warmer weather for this symbol of hope to flourish in the winter garden.
Soil texture is defined by the proportions of sand, silt and clay. True. Although there are many variables with soil in terms of fertility, pH etc., the fundamental basis for classifying soil textures are by its proportions of sand, silt and clay.
February can be a good time to prune your Hydrangeas. False. In the New England region, it is best to prune Hydrangeas in the spring, prior to bud break. There are a number of different types of Hydrangeas, therefore a varied array of pruning requirements. In February, we are in the midst of the winter weather. From January until mid-March, severe fluctuations in temperatures can damage plant materials. It is best to wait until after this volatile weather period to evaluate any potential winter damage and then prune. You should always research the specific species you intend to prune for technique and requirements.
Fruit trees should be planted in the spring. True. The ideal time to plant fruit trees, especially bare rooted stock is in early spring, while the ground is still cool and moist. It gives the plant time to acclimate to the site and allows an entire growing season prior to its first winter season.
The inspirational thought for the day is by an unknown author. “The greener grass on the other side is probably artificial turf.” Just in case you were considering an exotic island over New England. Have a great Tuesday. Annie.
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