1st February is the celebration of the beginning of spring marked by the festival of Imbolc, also called Brigid's Day. Heralding new light and new energy coming up through the earth, the essence of Imbolc stirs dormant seeds into life and brings life to hedgerows, trees, perennials and all of nature in our part of the Northern Hemisphere. There is a marked increase in the number of birds singing their spring songs from the start of February. They gradually turn up their volume as the month flows by, and by the end of February we are serenaded by the excitement and busy-ness of garden birds galore.
As we are in a temporary growing home this year, without greenhouse or polytunnel, we've been adapting our over Winter growing as we go along. With December and January being fairly mild, we were able to keep our Autumn sown seedlings - including foxgloves, sweet williams, hesperis, poppies, aquilegia, ammi, achillea, cornflowers and wallflowers - under cover in the garage, fleecing them at night when the temperature dipped below freezing. Plans had to change suddenly mid February when a blast of very cold weather hit us, with biting winds and snowfall taking over night temperatures down to -10C for a few days. Everything was double/treble fleeced. Our newly planted David Austin roses and other potted perennials went inside sheds to keep them safe.
The photo above was taken 6 days into the snow and icy cold weather. The front two beds are full of 500 tulips, with some anemones and nigella in the other two beds, and plenty of space for dahlias, mixed perennials and some spring sown annuals to be added March and April.
Just one week after the snow, our seedlings enjoyed warm sunny days up to 17C for the last week of February! An exciting month, keeping us on our toes to say the least, juggling our trays of seedlings tucked up and toasty then having them outside to bask in the spring sunshine.
Our Spring Light essence has been popular this month. It is a good essence to help move on from heavy, stagnant situations, people, places or environments which you no longer resonate with but cannot see a way forward from/see a way to leave. Refreshing you with an intense burst of new light energy to revitalise mind, body, heart and soul for you to move on, move forward and clear away old energy. Click on the picture for more information and to buy.
We are continuing our alphabetical journey through our essences at The Energy Centre Essences, this month focusing on the letter 'B' which features Bertha Bear's Magic Mixes. These combination essences for confidence, protection, peace of mind, happy feelings and big bear hugs for love were originally developed for children but have proved just as helpful and popular with adults. Which colour label/name are your drawn to? Click on each for more information and to buy.
In February, we have also set out three other no dig growing areas on the land around us where the majority of our annuals will be grown. This year we will be focusing on meadow collections such as cornflowers, calendula, borage, poppies, daisies, cosmos, orlaya, ammi, plus larkspur, clary sage, snapdragons, malope plus dahlias and sunflowers, zinnias, asters and rudbeckia for later in the summer. Lots of sweet peas too, because we love, love, love them. And there will be others that are popped into pots and grow bags as we go along, just because we cannot be without lots of colourful flowers through the seasons.
Enjoy some of our photos from our February forest walks. Remember, if you cannot get out to be with nature in person, just looking at photos of nature is food for the soul and helps to reconnect you with the healing spirit of nature.
And finally, it was Paddy's 11th birthday on 4 February. He joined us as a rescue pup, aged 5 months. Paddy Paws is a magnificent boy and loves his forest walks every day. And every walk - beach, sun, rain, hill top, valley, wooded glade. You name it, he's enjoyed it all. Happy birthday special Paddy lad.
Read about Paddy and all our border collies on our flower essence website, just click on Paddy's picture below.