It’s been a long cold winter so it was really nice to see that the Gymnospermiums that I planted last September are really hardy. These flower buds have been above the ground for the last 8 weeks during which we’ve had many nights with single digit temperatures . However this particular Gymnospermium come from Uzbekistan and seem not to have noticed the cold weather. This is a herbaceous relative of the Mahonia and you can see the flower similarity with the chain of buds forming. Its neighbor in the Alpine bed is also showing its first flowers.
The flowers on Gymnospermium darwasicum are somewhat smaller but to my eye maybe even prettier. This one comes from Tajikistan and seems equally unfazed by the temperatures.
I’ve just returned from 10 days in North Carolina and Florida (flowers, birds, and spring training). On my way I stopped at Plant Delights and took advantage of their open house again.
When I got home the Washington area was recovering from yet another week of snow and ice.
Since then we’ve had some very nice days in the 50′s and 60′s and the springtime parade is starting. The snowdrops are reaching their peak now with many clumps from previous years getting denser.
And of course the Winter Aconite are always an early contributor to springtime flowers.
These two are pretty dependable regulars. But what caught my eye this week was the little pink exquisite flower from Helleborus thibetanus.
This wonderful little springtime ephemeral was unknown to western gardens until the 1990′s and it’s still pretty unusual. The history of it’s rediscovery is journaled by Graham Rice. It’s much smaller than other Hellebores and the wonderfully fringed leaves will completely disappear after flowering takes place. I bought this one at Pine Knot Farms last spring and I’ve no idea where you would find another this year but It’s well worth looking for.
I was really pleased to see that one bud of my Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’ still remains.
It’s by far my favorite Adonis and because of the multi-petaled character it doesn’t set any seed — so I’m dependent on the plant expanding underground…