Returning to Spring

Winter Aconite 'Eranthis Hyemalis' detail

I returned to Maryland late Wednesday night and on Thursday morning made a thorough tour of our hilltop.  It’s amazing what a week of warming temperatures can do.  I found many bulbs popping out and green growth everywhere.  When I left for Florida there were still patches of snow a foot deep and by Thursday only a tiny bit remained.  The Winter Aconite are always the first to really display their talents.

A nest of Winter Aconite

The original 5 bulbs continue to expand slowly and for a couple of weeks they are a cheery sight when you turn into the driveway.  Gradually they have been naturalizing in other parts of the yard.  This year I found yet another volunteer in a completely separate part of the yard.

Winter Aconite naturalizing into other garden beds

They are far from invasive and I welcome each little flower that I see.

Of course Crocus are also appearing in various parts of the yard – just the species types and not the big hybrids yet.

Crocus opening

It looks to me that are multiplying in the places where I manage to avoid prematurely mowing the foliage.

Crocus multiplying

The Snowdrops are continuing but now their distinctive green markings are more visible.

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) with distinctive green markings

It’s incredible that they have been in bloom since early January.

It was delightful to discover that the first of the Primulas is also in bloom.  We have several small patches of Primula vulgaris that we planted after seeing them in the wild in England.  One little plant under the apple tree seems to be ahead of the others.

Primula vulgaris under the Apple tree

I took a little walk down through the woods, not really expecting to see much yet.  But, much to my pleasure, there is a little patch of what I think must be Scilla siberica in bloom.

Scilla siberica 'Alba' in woods

This is always a delightful experience.  To discover that which I must have planted but have no memory of at all.  Maybe that’s what my garden year is — just creating surprises for myself for the years to come.

I noticed that the Hellebores are not quite in bloom yet, but they are exotic in the way that they emerge from the ground with big buds that are beautiful all on their own.

Hellebore emerging

Similarly the Drumstick Primrose are coming back from last year and they make an interesting image as they emerge.

Primula denticulata emerging

I planted a couple of the plants that I brought back from Plant Delights before the rains came upon us.  One was this Helleborus hybrid ‘Green Corsican’.

Helleborus x nigercors 'HGC Green Corsican'

And then as I looked at a nearby planting spot I ran into one of the dangers of planting at this time of year.

A perfect planting spot under the Crepe Myrtle

As I mentioned earlier one of the delights of spring gardening is discovering something that you had forgotten that you had planted.  Another pleasure is discovering that a plant you had given up on was nonetheless coming out of the ground.  So it was in this case.  I had given up on the Adonis from last year because the plant disappeared so quickly after planting last year.  My reason told me that it was just plain PDP (prematurely dead plant).  But my hopes kept me returning to the spot to see if by chance something would come up anyway.  Well, I had given up and with trowel in hand I approached the spot and to my amazement saw the emerging Adonis.

Adonis amurensis emerging

So, no flower yet.  But I am hopeful that this may yet be the perfect spot for spring Adonis blooms.  And a cautionary tale for withholding that springtime trowel.

2 comments on “Returning to Spring

  1. Les

    That Primula denticulata looks like it clawed its way out of the cold earth.

    1. jw

      That’s a good description of the Primula. It does look almost more animal than plant. I was relieved to see it return because I would like to add some white dentatas as well. They were featured on the cover of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Magazine this month.