February Garden: Forlorn or Fabulous?

Ordinarily, I am proud of my patio garden.


But January 2014 was tough in Florida: two nights in the 20s and several days around the freeze point. And so the plants in my garden took a beating.  The impatiens, in spite of being covered, froze to death. The pentas bushes were reduced to black, ashy stems and had to be trimmed back. Daughter Crista, the green thumb in our family, assures me they will come back strong.

Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden. . . . It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart.

~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks

Welcome to My Garden: dead Impatiens, live asparagus fern
Welcome to My Garden: dead impatiens, live asparagus fern

If you live in Hawaii, my garden may seem forlorn. Alaska your residence? Well, then it may look just fabulous.


Wisteria and passion flower vines are gone, leaving a naked metal fence, still bent where it took a hit from a falling oak tree branch. What remains? Red sister, rose bush in a planter, aloe shoots, asparagus fern, bromeliad with perky red flower.


Soon the passion flower and wisteria vines will intertwine to soften the metal fence. The pentas will flower up, and I’ll buy new impatiens. There’s hope!

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?  

 ― Percy Bysshe ShelleyOde to the West Wind

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.    

                   Genesis 8:22 KJV

Do you like to garden with either indoor and outdoor plants?


I remember Grandma and Aunt Ruthie paging with intent through the Burpee seed catalogs in February or March each year picking out the varieties they like best. What about you?

Tell your gardening story here.



22 thoughts on “February Garden: Forlorn or Fabulous?

  1. So far we haven’t had freeze long enough to kill plants. A couple of years ago everything turned brown. My back neighbor complained about the brown just two days after. I told her it wasn’t my fault, God had a hand in it, and he would make it green again in spring. He did.


    1. You’re right–it’s all about God as per the promise in Genesis 8:22 right after the flood.

      I guess the freeze line is located somewhere between Jacksonville and Orlando, lucky you. Actually, we can’t complain. Thanks again for posting, Susan.


  2. Here in the Pacific Northwest I noticed a crocus blooming in my garden last week and the daffodils are up. We may get to see a daffodil bloom before we move next weekend! Meantime, we are attending the Pacific Northwest Flower and Garden show today. It will, as always, be food for the soul. I expect I’ll get lots of inspiration for my new garden in Canada too!


    1. Daffodils and a crocus–what a wonderful send off!

      My mother, grandma, aunt, and other relatives always raved about the Philadelphia Flower Show, something to look forward to after the long, long winter. Yes, Linda, a new garden will be food for the soul for you in Canada. And it’s sustainable too!


    1. Tulips! Something to look forward to, for sure. These blooms don’t do especially well where we live in Florida. I like to see bunches of them together, singing up a storm of praise! Thanks for stopping by today, Melodie.


  3. “We may think that we are tending our garden but of course, in many different ways, it is the garden and the plants that are nurturing us.” Jenny Uglow

    I do see life peeking up through what we north Floridians call cold. Signs of Easter Lily’s exposing their verdant leaves. Oh, to see blooms once again in my garden!


    1. I love to read your comments and this one with a quotation. Would you consider helping me assemble some quotations for a strictly “garden” post in March or April? Maybe even photos too. How about it?


      1. Would consider it an honor to be your helper. Point me in the right direction with instructions for a gardening project that warms the heart, delights the eyes and returns it’s praises back to God, I’m all aboard.


  4. From a compare-and-contrast Illinois perspective, your garden looks utterly divine! Our garden is currently resting under several feet of snow.

    However, I have five indoor botanicals whose stewardship I am responsible for. One of them, Merry (yes, they all have names), will be featured on Tuesday with Laurie at the end of February.


    1. Laurie, Laurie, quite exemplary, how does your garden grow? With Merry Bells, and . . . ! Thanks always for adding rhyme to the reason. I look forward to seeing your botanicals in a post soon.


  5. I’m in Colorado, Marian, and your patio garden is a gorgeous inspiration. My plants, cut back and mulched for winter, have been under an icy snow for so long that I hardly remember which ones are where in the original plan. But warm weather shall return…somehow, sometime. And until then I’ll enjoy others’ pictures.
    I absolutely love the sign about wetting your plants!


    1. You’ll enjoy the blooms that much more after the long winter passes as it will. About the sign–I found it in an antique shop in Atlantic Beach, near Jacksonville months ago. Now seemed to be a good time to use it. Thanks for commenting, Marylin.


  6. Looks lush and beautiful compared to my snowscape. But I know the sadness of unexpected frosts that kill the flowers and fruits. I love to garden, but every year I say I will cut back–and every year I do not. Your colors inspire me. I’m getting blooms in the house now–amaryllis, geranium, cyclamen, and Christmas cactus buds that never, ever bloom on Christmas, but always before or after. You make me want to crack out the seed catalogs.


    1. Nice to see your smile again on this post, Elaine. Your indoor garden sounds colorful: Think of all the oxygen it’s providing on snowy days when you stay inside. I’m glad you feel inspired to crack open the seed catalogs. As always, thank you for commenting.


  7. I terrify plants in all shapes and forms. Anything that blossoms would always risk sub temperatures rather than a night in a house with me. I’m pretty much the Grim Reaper for the floral world.


  8. I can’t wait for my garden to grow…just wish I could win the war on the weeds. As for indoor plants, I have a few rogue ones that haven’t killed me in my sleep yet. They’ve learned to survive on air and bloom where they are planted. 🙂


    1. During our two successive nights in the 20s, many of the weeds still managed to survive. They look pale, but not DEAD. Irksome! I love your colorful descriptions — and allusions too. Thanks for the comment, Jenn.


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