London (change)
Today 21°C / 15°C
Tomorrow 16°C / 13°C

February frost

Posted: Monday 27 January 2014
by James Alexander-Sinclair

Last year I was sitting here writing blogs for you while wearing three pairs of socks and an unflattering fleecy hat.


Last year I was sitting here writing blogs for you while wearing three pairs of socks and an unflattering fleecy hat. We were snowed in at the time. Most of us got very bored of snow and cold and travel chaos. This year, however, I'm worried that there'll be no snow or even proper frost. I'm already cutting down the fading grasses and herbaceous plants from my borders before they've had a chance to shine.

There are three reasons why I leave my garden plants standing until February. First, to let the birds take the last seeds. Second, to provide shelter for overwintering insects (although not for the benefit of the rat I found in the border the other day - there's a limit to my generous hospitality). Finally, there'll be the occasional morning where the whole garden glints with a glorious combination of sunrise and little shards of ice over every standing copse (particularly effective are plants with rounded seed heads like the phlomis, scabious or monardas).

I fear that we might have missed that particular boat as the plants can't hang on much longer. They're crumbling into wet mush and at the same time the shoots of emerging bulbs are beginning to show. Perhaps winter has passed us by this time and we'll only get rain instead of frost or snow.

Or maybe by writing this I've jinxed everything and before I write for you again our gardens will be blanketed, the trains delayed and your windscreens will require 10 minutes of scraping every morning. If that's the case then I apologise.

There's one thing we can always be sure of: when it comes to the British weather, nothing is ever certain.





Discuss this blog post

Talkback: February frost
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step