Snow, What Snow? — Returning from the Southland

Flowering clump of Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

Flowering clump of Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

The weatherman was calling for a last snowstorm as I took these pictures yesterday and indeed it is snowing as I type this post.  Nonetheless what greeted me on my return from spring training games and North Carolina plant shopping was this delightful clump of Adonis on a beautiful sunny day.  The Adonis have been blooming now since mid-January and I doubt that a few snowflakes today will diminish their flower power.  They have shrugged off ten degree temperatures and snow and ice in February.  The bright yellow flowers open in the sunshine and are surrounded by fern-like foliages that is pretty in its own right.

Adonis amurensis 'Fukujukai'

Adonis amurensis ‘Fukujukai’

They don’t appear to be particularly hard to grow and are spreading in a very well-behaved manner.  They aren’t carried by many nurseries so you do have to seek them out if you want to grow them.  I see that they are at Munchkins and Far Reaches, for example, this year.

Elizabeth Lawrence noted their value in her Southern Garden, “Adonis amurensis is a very difficult plant to get into one’s possession. Sought out and ordered at last, it did not come until May, and the weak growth soon died away. I thought I had seen the last of it. But the lovely, lacy leaves began to unfurl the following February, and among them was a flower the color of buttercup and with a buttercup’s sheen.” —Elizabeth Lawrence, A Southern Garden

Last year I invested in a more exotic version of Adonis, the Chichibu Beni cultivar.  Over the past year however, I had forgotten where I had planted it (am I the only one who does this?).  Fortunately when I returned from Florida I found it popping out of the ground and beside it the little white tag confirming that I had at least tried to label it.

donis amurensis 'Chichibu Beni'

Adonis amurensis ‘Chichibu Beni’

Another little gem that I had thought lost is also coming up in the garden.

Helleborus thibetanus

Helleborus thibetanus

The Tibetan Hellebore dies back each year, unlike the other Hellebores.  I had concluded that it had died — period.  So I bought another one when I was at Plant Delights.  Had I taken the time to read about them I would have realized the unusual nature of this Hellebore means that it is going to disappear every June.  I really like the distinctive foliage on this unusual species which was only introduced to horticulture 20 years ago.  I’m looking forward to actually seeing it flower this year.

Other Hellebores are doing their thing right now.  The old purple one that was our first has a fine cluster of flowers.

Dark purple Hellebore

Dark purple Hellebore

And next to it is the wonderful Green Corsican with a a very dense cluster of flowers that are bit more upright.

Helleborus x nigercors ‘Green Corsican’

Helleborus x nigercors ‘Green Corsican’

The Winter Aconite at the front of the yard have been flowering in great profusion…

Abundant clump of winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Abundant clump of winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

And there are crocus and snowdrops all around the yard.

Happy crocus on the side of the hill

Happy crocus on the side of the hill

Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'

Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’

The only daffodils so far have had the stems made limp by cold weather, the first time I’ve seen this happen.

Early Daffodil lying down on the job

Early Daffodil lying down on the job

Looking around the yard I can see that a number of the smaller consituents are getting ready for showtime.   The lovely little Draba that I got from my son as a seedling is bursting with little rosettes just coming into bloom.

Draba aizoides

Draba aizoides

The Jeffersonia dubia, a Korean relative of our twin leaf, is putting up its first buds of the spring.

Jeffersonia dubia emerging

Jeffersonia dubia emerging

And best of all, I see a lot of little flower buds on one of the Japanese Hepaticas.

Hepatica japonica emerging

Hepatica japonica emerging

I’ve never seen this one flower before so I quite interested in what the color will be.

And then finally the special Witch Hazel hybrid, Diane, is continuing to flower.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’