The last days of February signal the end of winter. We'll still get some cool days but can expect more warm than cold weather to come. We've been lucky this year, the wind has blown mostly from the South and kept the temperatures generally in double figures. Last winter, our first back in Bodrum for 12 years, was one of the coldest on record and as one mega electricity bill followed another, we wondered if our dream of semi-retirement was going to be over before it got started. Our meter was read yesterday and our February 2013 bill is almost exactly half of the same month in 2012, despite price hikes. So either we have become considerably hardier or we've not needed the heating much.
It's easy to imagine summer's on the way when all the fields are full of anemones and daisies and the citrus blossom is beginning to release its heady perfume.
February is the month for the grapevines over our courtyard to get a short back and sides, leaving only three buds left on each branch. This should ensure a good crop of grapes through July and August and provide enough greenery to block out the sun. In March and April, the new leaves will be just the right size to stuff with rice, or deep-fry in a tempura batter.
By June, the vine will hopefully look like this again.
The pruner's mate wasn't much use. He kept bringing back all the discarded branches.