Things to love about February

February lacks the newness of January, there’s not much to do in the garden that doesn’t involve getting very muddy boots and sometimes it feels a bit of a “nothing” month as winter drags to a close. But, there are some things to love about February …

laying the fire

Daily rituals, like laying the fire – building up the layers of newspaper, natural firelighters (dried orange peel and walnut shells), starting sticks and logs – and then lighting it in the evening. Bill and I have different methods of laying the fire and neither of us seem able to light it easily if the other has laid it. Thankfully, the wood-burner is no longer the only way we heat our house though as we’re pretty mean about turning up the thermostat on the central heating, the fire makes the difference between sitting comfortably in the evenings or wrapping up in a rug and still having freezing feet.

frost on gatepost

Frosty mornings. This winter has been mild, with daffodils flowering back in December, but we’ve had a few frosty mornings recently. The shaded west facing side of the gatepost holds onto its white coat until the morning sun moves southwards and warms it up.

Morris in sunshine

The low winter sun shining through the windows. Sometimes, I wonder if Morris the fox terrier is smarter than me, when he spends his day moving around the house to doze in a ray of sunshine while I sit freezing in the office trying to reconcile the VAT.

primula

The knowledge that springtime isn’t far away. There are primroses flowering alongside the track in the fields and the first violets and polyanthus are just showing their flowers in the garden, even if they are tinged with frost first thing in the morning. The days are lengthening and we’ve passed the magic day when the ducks and hens don’t need shutting up until after five. I’m not sure why, but it always seems significant.

Do you like February? Or are you looking forward to March?