An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

February 15, 2010

Bloom Day - A Glass Of Whine

You can either complain about the weather, ignore it or try and do something about it, but the results are always the same.

Unlike last February, I have very little to show for this bloom day. My garden has been snowed on more in the past month then it has been in 10 years. Fortunately the snows have melted fairly quickly, and I am so thankful that we did not get the amount many in the state or further north received. In light of what they have been through, I have little to complain about.

When applied to people, Pansy is a derogatory term, but the plant is tough. I put in about a dozen this year, including the one below from the Delta Tapestry series. They have been flattened numerous times from cold and snow, but as soon as the temps rise and the white stuff has melted they pop right out again.

Viola x 'Delta Tapestry'

Last year at this time, I had a hard time picking which Hellebores to show for Bloom Day. This year the choice was easy as I only have two in bloom and, although the others are not far behind, they are not here today.

Helleborus orientalis

Helleborus orientalis

Helleborus foetidus

Helleborus foetidus

So where are the other blooms that were present a year ago?
  • Camellias - a few damaged blooms, but buds in waiting
  • Narcissus - foliage poking up through the cold soil, no sign of flowers
  • Quince - all opened flowers damaged, a few buds remain
  • Lilac Daphne - deceased June 2009, another victim of SDDS (sudden Daphne death syndrome)
  • Snowdrops - despite an abundance of snow, they are still a no-show
  • Edgeworthia - budded and holding

If you would like to see how this winter has been affecting other gardeners, visit Carol at May Dream Gardens for a chilly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day tour, better yet, participate yourself. Maybe next month I'll be drinking something else.


  1. A title after my own heart :-)

    I may not be able to see the pictures for an hour or so, but I am already smiling.

  2. Les, It has been a harsh winter...We have 23 degree and more ice and snow. The pansies are gorgeous~Priscilla Peahen ate mine. We will be glad when she moves to her new home;) gail

  3. Love the quote about the weather. I'm so glad you have a few blooms to show. I've got nothing but 3 feet of snow...but I've found a way get my flower fix. (Greenhouses! Not mine unfortunately) Thanks for sharing

  4. Your blooms are spectacular! Hope the big melt comes your way soon.

  5. Your Hellebores are certainly lovely. My Edgeworthia is in suspended animation too. We have been painting all weekend, will have to think about what I can do for GGBD. Have a good one!

  6. Hello Fellow Southern Coastal!

    My bloom day post is all the snow all the time. Yeah, it is melted, but it was a once in a decade snow for us!

    Time to plant some Kale today.

    Anyway, your pansy pics are bee-you-tee-ful. And, isn't that strange about the word "Pansy." I feel that we gardeners should launch a counter-attack.

    But, then we'd have less time to garden. Oh, well.

    Hang in there. Spring is ON THE WAY!

  7. Your list of things to come holds so many promises.

    Pansies are among my favorites. I planted more violas than I care to admit, to stave off whining.

  8. Those pansies are spectacular! They never disappoint, do they? I managed to keep a foetid Hellebore going for a few years, though it never bloomed. I loved the foliage and will have to give them another try. They are a bit marginal here.

  9. My Helleborus foetidus was covered in snow; now it's encased in ice that has dripped from the roof line. It will probably survive, but it won't be a pretty sight.

  10. Not much here for bloom day either Les. We've had so much cold and snow. I won't complain. I did have one Hellebore. I have a question, Do you like your Hellebore foetidus? I've wondered about planting one.~~Dee

  11. aloha,

    what a celebration for bloom day, i love your detailed photo studies. I enjoyed reading your beautiful post today:)

  12. Would you believe that as I write this note, it is snowing--this very minute!!! Can I please scream! aarrgghhh!

    So, nothing to see outside--everything is covered. Inside, just a few houseplants with no blooms. Not sure I should even put up a bloom day post;-/

    Love your hellebore bloom,,,and the buds too. I might have put in some pansies or violas or something
    but my darn knee has prevented me from getting out there! I haven't even been shopping yet to see what's out there.

    Well, on that note, happy bloom day;-) I am (almost) certain that March's bloom day will provide more eye candy for all of us! (In this area, anyway)

  13. The wind ripped apart my favorite garden sculpture, but otherwise, viva winter. In a month I may have a bloom or two as you do, and I can wait. Give me the seasons, and give them to me in full measure, so that I may live my life and know my world all that much more.

  14. I want to whine too because I don't have much blooming either. Of course in a few months I will be whining about how hot it is - lol. So I guess I'll just get over it and get on with it:)

  15. You have to respect pansies, they are tough. Beautiful shot of the Hellebore.

    Forget the glass, just pass the bottle.

  16. I know the feeling Les. This year things are a bit behind but I also really really like the cold and snow-it means I can relax out of the garden! Ha! I like that and might try to do it more often during the growing season. The pansies are precious and tough for sure. What would we do without them.

    I'll keep an eye out for Aoyagi. I googled it and it sounds interesting though not really out there a lot.

    P.S. Loretta is so funny!

  17. Jo,
    I will tell you I limited the photos to 3 just for you, but the truth is, that was all there was fit to show.

    When you first shared Priscilla with us I thought it would be cool to have one around. The fact that she eats plants changes my opinion.

    Thanks for coming by. I am not sure where I heard that, who said it or if I added to it.

    We are not so much waiting for things to melt, as we are to get out of this pattern of 40 degree days and 20 degree nights. Where are the winters of yore?

    There is so much that needs painting here. If you finish it want more to do let me know.

    Thanks for visiting. I hope you are right about spring being on the way.

    I hope my list comes true and soon.

    The blooms are such a cooling green color, but I think I like the foliage better.

    They are tough and there will always be next year.

    I do like them. The blooms are not as colorful as H. orientalis, but the foliage is nice. It does have a tendency to occasionally flop, but it is not a big deal. I try not to deadhead so I can get seedlings.

    Thanks for visiting. It was nice of you to leave your island warmth to visit a cold Atlantic winter.

    I heard from my cousin who lives near Dulles. They are quite sick of the snow.

    I like the four season as well, but prefer them in different portions. If I had to chose hot and sweaty or cold anything, I'll take the hot and sweaty.

    Thanks for coming by. Please read my comment to Benjamin.

    Sweet Bay,
    The cork is already off.

    I got Aoyagi from Monrovia last year, so it should be a little out there. Yes, Loretta is funny, but I don't think it is on purpose.


  18. Seems like it's been a tough winter for many of us. But it looks like spring is slowly arriving in your garden. Love the photo of the Helleborus orientalis - so pretty.

  19. Yeah, why DO people use "pansy" as an insult? :-)

    I also love your weather quote. Will have to remember that one when the death star heats up again.

  20. You can always count on Pansies! We had one little blue bloom hang on all last winter and then the plant went gangbusters in spring. Man, I hated to pull that thing out when it got scraggly & petered out in fall. We had snowdrops last year this time, too. Nothing now. Hope your plants don't protest the cold too long.

  21. Les, I hear you! Quite the different winter patterns this year... we have been having it milder with not much snow. I love you sweet pansies and your hellebores too ... all the photos would lift anyone spirits. ;>)

  22. Very lovely blooms specially the pansy ans the background one is even more pretty.

  23. We shall tolerate no Whining. That's a gorgeous hellebore and it's probably happy to be the star of the show! Seriously good post...

  24. Absolutely stunning pictures! The blooms are beautiful in their own right but the way you captured them makes them doubly so!

  25. Snow has become a dirty 4-lettered word in VA this year! We had planned a VA visit this past weekend but opt out due to the unpredictable weather.

    Pansies are tough little buggars and I so admire them in the spring and fall. I have had them last from fall until the following summer but not with a weird winter such as this one....

    Portsmouth looks like a wonderful place to visit some time. I must add this one to my list of places to visit in the future....

  26. GardenJunkie,
    We are in holding pattern, but ready for launch.

    I guess calling something, or someone a Pansy will only make them tougher.

    We are doing OK here. Temperature wise, it actually got colder last year, but warmed frequently. This year it is just cold.

    I am glad to contribute to any spirit lifting.

    Thanks for travelling so far to see my paltry offerings.

    These Hellebores are just the opening act, the stars are waiting in the wings until the crowd warms.

    Thank you for the kind comments. My fat head is already swelling.


  27. Funny title. It’s so strange to read about our winter on your blog. We’ve had no snow this February in Maine. We don’t have flowers either. I do like pansies. I hope yours survive.

  28. Beautiful flower portraits, Les! I've got nothing, nothing! blooming in my garden right now....whine.