In February there is not much to do in the garden apart from releasing the bushes from the weight of snow, if there is any. Spring always feels extra far away and winter keeps its grip as if to tell us that it will not be time for the thawing to begin for quite a while. The salvation is to build a stock of spring bulbs and to sort through the ordered seeds and go through the ones I gathered myself. One seed I am especially curious about is one that I brought back with me from a visit last summer; it’s from a wild variety of a Dahlia, sp.Merckii (Bedding Dahlia)

You use what you have and here is an old memory card cover for my camera being used as a seed collection unit. It is going to very interesting to see how the flowers turn out, how much they will differ from the mother plant.

I have to admit that I am not a seed collector in a big way. So far at least. Somehow there never seems to be enough time and often I prefer to just scatter the seeds into the flowerbeds and let nature do it’s thing anyway. However, I do tend to stop the most obvious seed spreaders by collecting the drying seed capsules. Here is a very nice, simple and low poppy in a beautiful mid purple to the left and Ivorine to the right.

I like the clever and beautiful seed set of the great Masterwort (Astrantia).

There will only be a small selection of vegetables as ‘gravy’. Chard is on the top of the list. I am giving up on the brassicas this year. It takes too much time to deal with all the attacks. One solution is to let them grow as flowers in the flower beds to attract the pests; I have done this occasionally. I always plant sugar snaps. ‘Shiraz’ is a variety that is hard to resist, being so beautiful in salads. I also like the old swedish variety ‘Märta’, which has pale yellow pods and stalks and the most bonny flowers. Together they make a salad look beautiful and luxurious. A handful of summer flowers and perennials always manage to find their way into the greenhouse although there are less of them nowadays. There are always a few favorite ones that I can’t be without. One of them is definitely the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’. Another one is Sweet peas. No gravy until March. That’s when it all starts in the greenhouse. With a small fan and a heating mat it works well even if the temperature drops to minus 10 – 15 outside. You have to build a type of incubator with the heating mat underneath and bubble wrap like a tent around the seedlings to drive off the cold. This year I will be late with sowing due to a longed for vacation in March. It will be what it will be.