Well it’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for one of the best month’s of the year. In addition to the daffodils that are starting to appear, there are some really choice additions that are making themselves known on our hillside. The little Draba shown above has to be sought out but it rewards careful inspection. It’s among other little plants that claim my attention right now.
The Hepaticas are starting to bloom including one that I got from Seneca Hills when that nursery was still active.
And one of the Hepatica japonica seedlings is just beginning to open with what looks like double flowers.
The Adonis continue their flowering with the standard Adonis amurensis.
As well as another bud on the Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’ that is actually an underground runner from the original so I’m pleased to see they are propagating.
The little Scillas are getting into the act too with the Tubergeniana coming into bloom with their lovely blue veins.
The first of the Anemones is also showing color.
And of course crocus are everywhere, including these Ruby Giants.
It’s late so I’m just going to share a few more flowers and then hit the sack…
And then finally an illustration of the daffodils that represent spring for so many people.
What’s blooming in your garden?
I should take a minute to share my visit to two Carolina nurseries as part of my annual Spring Training trip to Florida. I stopped at Plant Delights on my way south and then again at Plant Delights and Pine Knot Farms on the way north. Each time the weather was on the cool side. In fact on the way south it was a miserable 37 degrees with cold rain falling. Plant Delights was not nearly so crowded as I’ve seen it on other occasions. They even had a portable oil fired heater set up just so the people at the checkout stand could work without gloves.
But it did mean that I had my pick of the plants.
On my return north I stopped at Plant Delights again and picked up my plants which they had graciously agreed to hold for me over the week (a few more jumped into the car while I was there) and then I went another hour north to the Hellebore Festival at Pine Knot Farms.
Also at Pine Knot Farms was John Lonsdale who maintains a choice set of unusual plants at his Edgewood Gardens in Pennsylvania. His website is well worth exploring if you want to indulge in plant lust. He had brought with him a variety of cyclamen and I had already decided to expand the range of cyclamen that we have so it was a very good fit indeed.
By the time I got home there were four tubs of plants in my Prius…
At this season the showiest newcomers are probably the Hellebores.
But there were some other very interesting additions as well. A dwarf Lily from Japan’s Rebun Island which is already in flower at 5 inches high.
A nicely detailed version of the table fern
A Begonia that might possibly make it outside here with just wonderfully hairy stems and pretty foliage.
An interesting old print and description of this “Hog-weed Begonia” is found at a branch of the American Begonia Society.
There is also the very lovely little Viola Dissectas that I picked up from John Lonsdale. I can think of a lot of places in the garden to tuck in these little beauties.
I’ve also started to get very enthusiastic about trying some of the more exotic Oxalis since seeing one in bloom over the holidays in California. I couldn’t miss the unusual foliage of this Palm-Leaf False Shamrock. It’s said to be tough to get to flower but with these leaves the flowers would just be a bonus.
And while I thought I already had enough Canna in the yard with last year’s planting, I could turn down the vivid orange in this specimen.
Finally, I grew up with ice plant in Southern California. They were everywhere because they grew where many other plants wouldn’t. We played with them (they squish with lots of water released). So I have been reluctant to take them up. Besides in a cold climate they must freeze right? But apparently they are hardier than I thought and I can now start to image how these little sunlit jewels fit into a rock garden…
Anyway, that’s some of what I did on my spring vacation. Now I’m looking forward to making gardens they can fit into…
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.
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.
Another little gem that I had thought lost is also coming up in the garden.
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.
And next to it is the wonderful Green Corsican with a a very dense cluster of flowers that are bit more upright.
The Winter Aconite at the front of the yard have been flowering in great profusion…
And there are crocus and snowdrops all around the yard.
The only daffodils so far have had the stems made limp by cold weather, the first time I’ve seen this happen.
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.
The Jeffersonia dubia, a Korean relative of our twin leaf, is putting up its first buds of the spring.
And best of all, I see a lot of little flower buds on one of the Japanese Hepaticas.
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.