|Crocuses blooming on a sunny Sproutkale day|
I was down in a rabbit hole full old gardening magazines when I ran into a tidbit or two about the month of February.
Or should I say, the month of Sproutkale?
Or should I say, the month of Solmonath?
“THE STORY OF FEBRUARY has been on the whole an ill used month perhaps in consequence of its noted want (in the northern hemisphere ) of what is pleasant and agreeable to the senses. Numa let fall upon it the doom which was for some one of the months of having, three of four times, a day less than even those which were to consist of thirty days. That is to say he arranged that it should have only twenty nine days, excepting in leap years, when by the intercalation of a day between the twenty-third and twenty-fourth it was to have thirty. No great occasion here for complaint. But when Augustus chose to add a thirty-first day to August that the month named for him might not lack in the dignity enjoyed by six other of the year, he took it from February, which could least spare it, thus reducing it to twenty-eight in all ordinary years.
Verstegan informed us that, among the Saxons, the month gets its name of Sproutkale from the fact, rather conspicuous in gardening, of the sprouting of cabbage at this ungenial season. The name of Solmonath was afterwards conferred upon it, in consequence of the return of the luminary of day from the low course in the heavens in which for some time he had been running.”
If I grew cabbage in my garden, I’d start some seeds in Sproutkale to plant out in the garden in March. I would also claim that March was not named after Mars, the god of war, but was named March to remind gardeners everywhere to march right out to their gardens and get a good jump on spring. Or maybe I would keep with the theme of Sproutkale and call it Plantpeas
One more day of Sproutkale, of Solmonath, of February and then we march out to our gardens in March, or should it be Plantpeas, to really get going for spring.