Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Garden is Awakening

We have gotten past mid-winter. One of extreme cold. But the cold can't last forever. In the next six weeks alone the daytime average should increase by 15 degrees or more and my garden is starting to awake from its winter slumber.


The witch hazel is exploding into bloom as if to celebrate the near end of winter. Each flower flaunts four petals that look like tiny yellow streamers. Yelling "its party time!"


This witch hazel was planted at the perimeter of the woodland garden late last fall and established itself enough to make it through the winter. The blooms started to bud out at the end of January. Just in time for a few warmer days earlier last week which brought out some of the pollinators.


FUN FACT: The horticultural name Hamamelis means together with fruit. A rarity among trees, the fruit, flower and following year's leaf buds all appear on the branch at the same time.


Another winter faithful is the hardy and extremely vigorous hellebore. They are just beginning to poke their heads out of the ground to say "H-E-L-L-O! Did you miss me?"


It won't be long now until they burst into bloom...


This deer-resistant, long-lived tough perennial is a stunner in my shade garden.  Their blooms come in all shades of green, pink, purple and white.


The seeds will readily germinate. However, they do require stratification and typically it takes two years before the plant will bloom.


A new addition to Southern Meadows is a Japanese flowering apricot tree (Prunus mume 'Kobai') which was an impulse buy. Surprise, surprise! But truly, what gardener isn't seduced on occasion by the beautiful plants chanting "buy me, buy me". Sometimes they even start bellowing... "Take me home! You need me!"


The downside to an impulse buy is that it usually takes me a long time to figure out just where to put my purchase and this was no exception. The flowering apricot tree grows 15-20 ft. tall so it needs space. I also had to find a spot with sun to part sun. Another consideration was the bloom color which is suppose to be red. I want it to compliment any other blooms in the area. Needless to say with all these placement factors running though my mind I just couldn't decide on the right spot. Spring passed, followed by a hot, humid and very dry summer, ensued by a dry fall and then an exceptionally cold winter. At long last, with a lot of coaxing by my husband, it got planted this January half way to the woodland garden from the back drive. And yet despite sitting in the plastic nursery pot  all these seasons it is full of buds this spring. I think this is an excellent indication that it will do very well in my garden.


Stay tuned more blooms are on their way soon.

"No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden" 
- Hugh Johnson

11 comments:

  1. I always thought party time with witch hazel too, like fireworks in the sky. You do have some nice blooms popping up.

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  2. I'm looking forward to seeing your apricot tree in bloom! It's always so rewarding when an impulse buy thrives isn't it? Spring isn't far off now...

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  3. LOL! I see that you can hear your plant talk... Looking forward to your blooms.

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  4. It looked like your garden blooms finally awaken to celebrate end of winter. Its party time indeed with those bright colours!

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  5. Now I have been inspired to run outside and check my witch hazel. The hellebores are still under ice but the snowdrops are emerging. Seeing what's going on in your warmer garden leads to pleasant anticipation.

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  6. Wow, you are right about those impulse buys! But what would our gardens be without those plants we love so much we just have to have them? I'm glad you found a good spot for your apricot tree. It looks very healthy. I look forward to seeing it in full bloom! It's so exciting to see plants awakening. After seeing yours, I've got to go check my witch hazel! Last I saw it, it didn't have buds yet, but I haven't looked in a while.

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  7. It's really a pleasure to this all those plants blooming or emerging from their winter sleep. Your macro-photos are always a great moment of excitement.
    Thanks!
    Gabriel

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  8. Thanks Donna! I do love parties in the garden!

    Cat, I am very anxious for spring. It can't get here soon enough. I'll be sure to post pictures of the Apricot tree as soon as it bursts into bloom.

    One, it is fun having conversations with the plants isn't it!

    p3chandan, the more color I can get into my garden the better. Especially during the drab winter months.

    Carolyn, I hope your witch hazel begins blooming soon. We were promised an early Spring and hopefully that will come true.

    Deb, impulse buys are a must for every gardener every once in a while. It is good for our gardening souls!

    Gabriel, I am thrilled that you stopped by Southern Meadows. I hope you will be back again. I went over to your blog and was very impressed with your photographs. I look forward to seeing more.

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  9. Glad your Japanese apricot tree survived the winter and that you found a home for it.
    I always have the problem of not enough space unless something less has to go.:(

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  10. These are moments of excitement, when plants start to bloom is like magic, will be great to see your garden in the distance.
    Lula (onbotanicalphotography.blogspot.com)

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  11. I'm waiting, waiting, waiting for my garden to wake up. Those buds are beautiful. I love apricots and wish I had one of those trees. Lucy you! :o) I am passing on the Stylish Blogger Award to you for your wonderful blog! Hooray!

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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