February in the UK is characterised by its lingering chill, but it marks a turning point as the first whispers of spring gently touch the landscape.
During this period, nature brings forth a variety of flowers that not only survive but thrive in these conditions. Here, we’ll look at some stunning in season flowers. February isn’t just for the winter blues! And since we’re on the subject, we’ll discover the choice of blue flowers available in February.
Fantastic February Flowers
There are lots of February in season flowers that emerge during this seemingly dormant period, injecting colour and vibrancy into the gloomiest of winter gardens and ensuring outdoor spaces remain a hive of activity and beauty all year round.
As the days slowly start to lengthen, you’ll see some beautiful flowers start to emerge from the cold ground, including the pearly-white crocus Joan of Arc and Cyclamen coum, known as Eastern sowbread, a hardy perennial with dark green leaves and small, dainty pink and lilac blooms.
One of the prettiest flowers in season in February is Chaenomeles, a delicate bright orange-red flower sometimes known as ‘flowering quince’, and the beautiful red and white rounded crown of the shrub Viburnum tinus with its dark evergreen leaves looks stunning against a backdrop of late winter.
Other beautiful flowers which bloom in late winter and early spring are the Daphne bholua. The Jacqueline Postill variety is noted for its wonderfully scented pink flowers and there are a couple of early flowering daffodils including February Gold and Tête-à-tête that look good everywhere from grass verges to prize-winning ornamental gardens.
The Wonders of Witch Hazel
One of the most famous in season flowers February has to offer is Hamamelis, otherwise known as witch hazel, and its ability to bloom during the colder months when most plants are dormant makes it a precious addition to winter gardens.
Even though most people associate witch hazel with its medicinal properties, it has uniquely beautiful flowers with narrow, crinkled petals, about 1cm long, that typically come in shades of yellow, orange, and red. These petals can curl up in cold weather and unfurl in mild weather – like many of us do – providing an ever-changing display throughout the winter.
Indeed witch hazel is not just significant to humans, it also provides sustenance to wildlife. The late blooming period offers a food source for insects that are active in winter, and the seeds serve as nutrition for birds and small mammals.
One of the prettiest flowers that are in season in February wasn’t, contrary to popular belief, named after practitioners of magic! Witch is from the Middle English ‘wiche’ which means pliable or easy to bend.
Beat the February Blues
There are some truly stunning blue flowers available in February in the UK, including Rosmarinus officinalis, or as it’s better known paired with a wonderful roast lamb, rosemary. It’s most famous as a tasty herb but it’s also at home in ornamental borders.
Another of the stunning blue flowers available in February is the Pulmonaria Blue Ensign, better known as lungwort. It’s a low growing plant with small flowers and they look much better than the name suggests! The early spring flowering deciduous perennial is native to Europe and Asia and there are a number of award-winning cultivars including Trevi Fountain, Sissinghurst White, Diana Clare and Cotton Cool.
In February, in season flowers can look amazing despite the cold weather and one of the most dramatic is the hyacinth. The vivid blue flowers are native to western Asia but have been cultivated all over the world and they are often associated with the annual rebirth of spring.
February might be traditionally viewed as a month of lingering chill and quiet dormancy, but it’s clear that it holds a unique magic all of its own. From the delicate hues of the crocus ‘Joan of Arc’ and Cyclamen coum to the vivid brilliance of Chaenomeles and the witch hazel, February is a month that brings its own contribution to the riotous symphony of nature’s year-long performance. While the weather may still hold onto winter’s bite, the world of flora has already begun its preparation for spring.