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They do it to me every year. Containerised (potted) plants that I bring into the garage or the basement in late autumn/early winter for overwintering…start sprouting in February. That is, now.

Sigh. It’s still too cold to realistically put them outside and there’s no space left in the house where they’d get enough light to thrive. So every year I invariably end up with a front hall full of leggy plants.

I say it’s too cold, but right now it’s practically tropical for February in these parts. Despite forecasts of a more “normal” winter a few months ago, this winter has been another mild one for the books. There were a few colder spells, but overall it’s been mild. The temperature is forecast to drop again in several days, but still to above-average temperatures for the end of February.

So right now the ‘Black Star’ calla lily (Zantedeschia ‘Black Star’) is sprouting, as are one of the lotuses (Nelumbo cv.) and a water lily (Nymphaea cv.)…all things that need lots of sun, and in the case of the water lily, a pain in the arse to keep alive indoors. It’s a good thing I checked them, which I only did because I expect this to happen (and hope it doesn’t). That’s what I get for listening to long-term weather forecasts – if I’d overwintered them in the garage (not the calla lily), they’d probably have stayed dormant longer, but I wasn’t sure they’d survive the colder temperatures that were predicted. At least the dahlia tubers and other calla lily tubers (wrapped up in newspaper) haven’t started sprouting too. Yet.

Also, the hellebore ‘Winter Dreams Black’ started sprouting with a vengeance, but hellebores like cold weather, so I put that outside. Hopefully that will slow it down, but at least I know it will survive. You might be wondering why on earth I’m growing a hellebore in a pot – well, the shady spots in my garden that hellebores prefer not only have completely unsuitable soil (hard clay), but are not places I could easily enjoy the flowers at the end of winter/beginning of spring, when hellebores bloom.

You love your plants, you look after them, you do your best for them – and this is how they repay you. By growing.