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