Things to love about February

February lacks the newness of January, there’s not much to do in the garden that doesn’t involve getting very muddy boots and sometimes it feels a bit of a “nothing” month as winter drags to a close. But, there are some things to love about February …

laying the fire

Daily rituals, like laying the fire – building up the layers of newspaper, natural firelighters (dried orange peel and walnut shells), starting sticks and logs – and then lighting it in the evening. Bill and I have different methods of laying the fire and neither of us seem able to light it easily if the other has laid it. Thankfully, the wood-burner is no longer the only way we heat our house though as we’re pretty mean about turning up the thermostat on the central heating, the fire makes the difference between sitting comfortably in the evenings or wrapping up in a rug and still having freezing feet.

frost on gatepost

Frosty mornings. This winter has been mild, with daffodils flowering back in December, but we’ve had a few frosty mornings recently. The shaded west facing side of the gatepost holds onto its white coat until the morning sun moves southwards and warms it up.

Morris in sunshine

The low winter sun shining through the windows. Sometimes, I wonder if Morris the fox terrier is smarter than me, when he spends his day moving around the house to doze in a ray of sunshine while I sit freezing in the office trying to reconcile the VAT.

primula

The knowledge that springtime isn’t far away. There are primroses flowering alongside the track in the fields and the first violets and polyanthus are just showing their flowers in the garden, even if they are tinged with frost first thing in the morning. The days are lengthening and we’ve passed the magic day when the ducks and hens don’t need shutting up until after five. I’m not sure why, but it always seems significant.

Do you like February? Or are you looking forward to March?

32 thoughts on “Things to love about February

  1. homeslip says:

    I like wherever we are in the calendar. Your red painted walls look wonderful, animals are so clever. I’d forgotten about using orange peel as firelighters so thank you for that reminder and I too love laying a fire. I had my annual bonfire at the allotment this lunchtime, so satisfying.

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      The best thing is that we get something different each month. I love bonfires and should probably be tidying up our garden – these recent sunny afternoons have certainly been good to spend outside.

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  2. nanacathy2 says:

    February is the last month of winter and I always feel faintly relieved to have made it through the cold, which this year has been easy with barely any snow or frost. Not my favourite month!

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  3. andreamynard says:

    I’m enjoying February now we’re having frosty starting bright days, rather than mild but wet/grey ones! Have to admit I succumb to lighting the wood-burner earlier in the day than you – though maybe I should shiver a bit more during the day, I may be a bit more alert while working! Enjoyed reading your enthusiasm for February.

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      I agree. I’d rather have a blue sky and frost on the ground than those dreary grey days. I don’t light the wood-burner very early, but the aga is on all the time in the kitchen so there’s always somewhere warm in the house.

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  4. Gerlinde says:

    February here in California means springtime, the almond trees are blooming . I hope we get some more rain. I love the way you start a fire using orange peel and walnut shells. I have to remember that the next time I start a fire in my cabin in the mountains.

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  5. Nancy |Plus Ate Six says:

    I’ve spent most of February in Melbourne enjoying the last of the summer – it’s been bliss. I’m heading back to Shanghai and winter on Friday – that’s OK too. I get the best of both worlds 🙂
    P.S. Morris is a smart cookie.

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  6. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    Oh the fine art of laying a fire…we all do it differently don’ we? Freezing feet are my biggest problem in the winter and I am sure your temperatures drop far lower than ours. That red wall with the winter light is a beautiful thing. Of course, dogs always find the best positions don’t they? I wonder if freezing, home offices are universal? That is certainly my experience in the winter too! x

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      I used to be a travelling farm secretary so spent all my time in farm offices and of all the ones I visited, there was only one warm one. As an added bonus, I also used to get a cup of tea with two different sorts of cake each time I visited that farm.

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  7. garybuie01 says:

    I don’t like February and having my birthday in it doesn’t help much because the weather is invariably unpleasant. I’d like to be like the queen and have an extra, official birthday; maybe June!
    Christine

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      At least you know the weather will be unpleasant for your birthday, rather than planning something outside and being disappointed. I think we should all have an extra birthday – my birthday is in the autumn so I’d quite like a spring one to counter balance. What’s stopping us I wonder?

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  8. Helen says:

    Yes, I like February. But I like March more 😉

    I am thinking about getting a wood burner but having read your post, I wonder how effective it would be at keeping us warm.

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      Getting the wood-burner is one of the best things we’ve done. It heats the room beautifully, instead of sitting with hot faces but freezing backs in front of the old open fire. It’s just that it’s secondary heating now whereas before we lived in a house where a wood stove was the only heating, so it had to be kept going or we froze.

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      • Helen says:

        Okay, thank you for the clarification. I have an open-plan house and so was hoping one would do the job of heating the whole lot (it’s a very small house).

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  9. anna warren portfolio says:

    I think February is one of those months that can go either way – leaping forward to the new season or lurching back to the previous. Here in Sydney it is starting to cool down a bit, the mornings are a little darker and morning and evening there is a little briskness in the air. But I know there is no reason why we won’t get a high 30s day before the month ends! I do envy your lovely crisp frosts and the spring flowers, those I really do miss!

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  10. e / dig in hobart says:

    I am looking forward to mark for different reasons – for it to get cooler! for my garden anyway; it’s been hot and dry, and i’m really looking forward to the relief autumn may provide my garden.
    your dog is very clever indeed 🙂

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      It sounds as though you’ll be pleased to see the end of February then.
      On the other hand, it gives you plenty of time to read books like The Clever Cookbook. Congratulations on publication.

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