February heralds the start of spring here in the UK, although officially spring begins in March. The 1st if you go by the meteorological calendar (I don’t) or the spring equinox which is on Wednesday 20 March this year. After the dull dark days of winter, February is when the days grow longer, the light lingers until late evening and sunrise is before 8 am. It is also when delicate looking bulbs pop up above ground and buds begin to open and gardeners start to get excited again. Dwarf Iris reticulata or histrioides, daffodils, hyacinths, snowdrops and crocuses are among the more common ones. In Cornwall, camellias and magnolias are making their presence known.
With all these delightful alternatives choosing one flower to represent the month is quite difficult, but I shall opt for the Camellia as it is the one flower that adorns many gardens, public spaces and churchyards in Cornwall during this month and is what I consider to be the ‘Winter Rose’.
February is the start for the collection of over 500 Camellias in Trebah Gardens to come into its main flowering season and where you will find flowers ranging from pure white to dark crimson, some double, some single, some flecked or bicoloured. So if you are in Cornwall now is the time to visit some of the wonderful Cornish gardens.