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.

March 15, 2014

Bloom Day - A Little More Light and a Little Less Cold

     I am not prepared to say we have turned a corner yet on the weather front, but we are almost at the end of the block. Just this past week crocus and daffodils came out to play, the camellias are opening, albeit slightly bruised, and the ever-resilient hellebores are fully open, late, but unphased by the hateful winter. I think I will make it, and you?

Narcissus 'Ice Follies' (1)

Narcissus 'Ice Follies' (2)

Crocus

Camellia japonica 'Crimson Candles'

Camellia japonica 'Nuccio's Gem'

Helleborus (seedlings) (1)

Helleborus (seedlings) (2)

Helleborus (seedlings) (4)

Helleborus x hybridus 'Spring Promise Sally'

Helleborus (seedlings) (5)

Edgeworthia chrysantha (1)

     There is also a lot of scenes like this going on around here. Fortunately, I have several plantings of Confederate jasmine and this is the only one sporting a brown jacket.
Trachelospermum jasminoides

     My last photo was not taken in my garden, but at Sandy's Plants in Richmond yesterday. I was up there once again with my co-workers for her open house. I have been recently admiring Iris reticulata blooming at work, and Sandy likes to see this dwarf species bloom underneath the bare stems of her hardy hibiscus. I think next fall we are going to try this at work, only we are going to plant it underneath red-twig dogwoods, or flame willows instead.
Iris reticulata

     If you would like to see how the winter season is finishing in other gardens, then join Carol at May Dreams Gardens as she hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. And speaking of winter, there are still a few days left to get your Winter Walk-Off posted, and I am taking submissions until midnight on Wednesday the 19th.  I am sure you would like to show the rest of us something of your world and have a chance to score some rich swag at the same time, not that you are they type to be swayed so easily.

55 comments:

  1. Pretty! Especially those irises, they almost seem to glow...

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    1. They did glow Renee. There is another variety with burgundy blooms I actually like a little better.

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  2. This time of year I always see all the bulbs I should have bought last fall, I resolve to buy them, and then I forget yet again. Maybe this year I'll remember. That Iris reticulata is a great early spring bulb, I had them in a previous garden. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Alison, I am hoping to get a bunch of this iris for fall planting in my own garden.

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  3. Gosh, what a nice selection of hellebores you've got, Les.

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    1. They are one of my favorite plants Denise, as is anything that blooms in winter.

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    1. Yes, I think it might be here very soon.

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  5. Lovely photos. Suddenly spring is here. You have some good hellebores. I am jealous of your Edgeworthia I can't seem to keep it going.

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    1. Chloris, the Edgeworthia is one of my favorite shrubs.

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  6. A terrific variety of hellebores! Hard to pick a favorite.
    I love the dwarf Iris under the deciduous shrub; I think of borrowing this idea.

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  7. Ice Follies, one of my very Faves. Winter has not been kind to Camellias this year.

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    1. No Jean, it has not been kind on many levels.

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  8. You have particularly nice hellebores, especially those purple and white.

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    1. Cindy, that purple and white as a whole bunch of seedlings at its base, but they are not quite so showy.

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  9. Your hellebores are stunning. Such a beautiful selection of colors. How I wish I could grow them with more success. I think maybe they need more sun. Happy Bloom Day

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    1. They do need some shade, but not complete, plus they are fairly versatile, so maybe yours don't bloom for some other reason.

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  10. You've got lots of color Les, hopefully enough to pull you along through these final days of winter...

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    1. After such a beautiful day yesterday, snow is predicted for the whole state tonight, except for my little corner, thankfully.

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  11. Spectacular pictures of your late winter/almost spring bloomers! Sorry about your confederate jasmine.

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    1. Peter, I am not losing any sleep of the jasmine. The wood is still green and I really have too much of it anyway.

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  12. Beautiful Hellebores and photos Les. The chartreuse flower is so interesting….is that a particular Hellebore variety?
    I'm glad spring is settling in to your garden!…..I've seen very few daffodils blooming out this way in Virginia Beach yet!

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    1. Meg, that hellebore is 'Spring's Promise Sally'. It just opened when I took the shot, but it is now much more yellow than green. I bought it at McDonald's last year.

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  13. Gorgeous Narcissi! I love the yellow/white bicolor ones.

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    1. Thanks Jason. I actually wish I had less of that variety. It was one of those mixed daffodil assortments that all ended up being the same kind.

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  14. Wonderful blooms but we aren't even on the path to spring much less turning a corner...snow piled high on every stitch of the garden and bitter cold. Winter lives here in central NY.

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    1. Your day will come Donna, I don't know when, but it will come.

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  15. Northern VA has 8" of fresh, fluffy snow. Spring isn't here at all! But if it's arrived for you, hopefully it will remember to come farther upstate for the rest of us. Beautiful pics, as usual. :o)

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    1. Casa M., we didn't get snow today, but I almost wish we did. I think it would have been preferable to the blowing cold, near-freezing rain we had all day.

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  16. "Oooo, ahhhh"...she said, as she viewed your photos. Spring has sprung in your neck of the woods, Les! I have hellebores, snowdrops and crocus too but the 7" of snow last night has made viewing them virtually impossible today! Crazy winter we've all had. Hopefully this will be the last of it.

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    1. I know you must be getting quite sick of snow Jan. I have stopped looking at the weather forecast past the next 24 hours. There is no sense getting my hopes up, I only need to know which clothes to wear each day.

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  17. Les,
    Enjoyed this post! The deep dark pink and white picotee hellebore is amazing.

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    1. It was just a chance seedling Randy.

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  18. I have to say that I was of exactly the same mind with regard to the Iris reticulate. I've tried them before and they never seem to stick around but they are so strikingly beautiful that I've got to put in more.

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    1. John, fortunately Iris reticulata are relatively cheap, so I plant to load up next fall.

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  19. I really like the idea of planting Iris reticulata beneath willows and such. Mine are beneath my deciduous magnolia. Hateful winter indeed! I'm so sick of winter I could scream. Fortunately, today is sunny and rather warm. I think I'll go scoop up leaves after I work. Thank you Les for the beautiful photos.~~Dee

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  20. Dee, we have had several days for cold rain and sharp wind, thankfully no snow. Tomorrow promises sun and 60's and I can't wait.

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  21. This time of year there really is a big difference between countries in the Northern Hemisphere, over here in London we have had spring since early February and in Norway where my sister lives they still have several feet of snow – and more to come. Nice to see your spring garden emerging, I am also very fond of Iris reticulate, I have 100 of them in my garden and they look well both in pots and in the ground.

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    1. Helene, I saw those iris in someone else's garden and really liked how they were used. Next year I hope to add quite a few to my own garden.

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  22. Yay for daffs and spring blooms! We still got a foot of old snow and more due tonight. Thanks for sharing your spring.

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    1. I hope by now you might be seeing a few scattered patches of bare earth.

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  23. Nice collection of Hellebores! Mine are still hiding under ice and snow (and a healthy layer of leaves). I'm getting impatient. But next week we'll have another cold snap, so it's best for them to have a little insulation to tide them over. Thanks for the glimpse of spring that hopefully will get here eventually. ;-)

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    1. I know we can't compare winters, but ours has been much colder than normal, but I think some plants have benefited, including the hellebores.

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  24. I think your title should be," Bloom Day - A Little More Light, a Little Less Cold and a Lot More Color. You really have a colorful post, that or I am just too used to only seeing white. LOL

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    1. Donna, I am responding late to your comment, and in the days since the post I have been amazed by all the is starting to bloom.

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  25. Glad to see Spring is here for you as well! My favorite time of year as all the sleeping beauties awaken from that long winters nap... My confederate jasmines are all sporting that brown coat. I am not happy as they are a favorite of mine. Anxious to see what happens with them in the weeks to come... HAPPY SPRING...

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    1. My jasmine still has green tissue under the bark Skeeter, so I am hoping it will be fine.

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  26. Les, I love your opening paragraph! I read it to my husband, and he smiled. Yes, I think I am going to make it. Here in Nebraska, though, we're not as close to the end of the block, but more than half way there. There are only a few hellebore blooms in our yard so far, and they are not open yet. You sure have some beauties!

    My light bulb hasn't come on yet to let me know what that clump is by the bicycle in my east bed, but I want to look at it again to see if it may be the bellflower that used to be farther away deciding to take hold. Still, it looks like it's been there awhile. I looked at more photos of the area from last year, and there was a hellebore there, from what I can tell. Hmmm!

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    1. Sue, I am afraid to say it, but I think the days of predictable weather patterns might be behind us.

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  27. I am sorry for the loss of Loretta, by the way. I just looked at the video of her singing along with the video of her.

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    1. Thanks Sue! We miss her everyday.

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  28. I wish I could have participated, but I am so enjoying taking the walk with the others in their yards! I came home from house hunting down South to find that the snow drops FINALLY appeared while I was gone and the hearty iris!!

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    1. Jayne, good luck on the house hunt!

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