Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sunny Days and Winter Blooms


Winter is  the time we replenish our water reserve in the southeast that gets drained quickly in spring, summer and fall. This month we have been making up for lost time in the rainfall department. But today the big yellow ball finally showed itself in a brilliant blue sky and the winter blooms were plentiful.

The hellebore are in their element at this time of year...





The Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Winter Gold' that I have been blogging about is finally starting to bloom.



Witch hazel is also beginning to show its streamers


Some early daffodils were out at the State Botanical Garden when I went to my Native Plants certification orientation. 



And their Camellias' are way ahead of mine.




But the big news in gardening this week (well, other than the marriage of National Wildlife Federation and Scotts Miracle Gro) is that the USDA published their new plant hardiness zone map (click here to view). You can search by your zip code making it very user friendly. Has your zone changed? My zone moved from 7b to 8a. What does this mean for my garden? Well, our average annual minimum temperature has changed from 5 - 10 degrees to 10 - 15 degrees over the past few years.

So I now have a larger variety of plants to choose from and can include plants selectively that grow in zone 8. I certainly won't complain about that.  It also means that my frost dates have moved and my growing season will  be a little longer. My first frost date changed from April 15 to March 15 and last frost date from October 15 to November 15. While the zone is a good place to start in determining if  a plant will survive in a particular area, exposure, moisture, snow fall and humidity also play an important factor.

Since my winter has now officially been cut shorter I'd better get started on my seeds because growing season will be here a little earlier this year.

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful blooms~I am partial to any that bloom in January! gail

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  2. Am I an 8a now? Glad you got some sunshine and your blooms and photos are wonderful!

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  3. What lovely January blooms.

    My garden moved, too, from zone 8b to zone 9a. Interesting.

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  4. Hope your new class is going well. I'm a zone 6b. When I first started checking I used to be a 5a. I think my back yard is still a 5a-b.

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  5. I checked my hellebore yesterday and still no blooms. They are in a very shady place, so perhaps it is much cooler there. My hardiness zone did not change...still 7a, but I did see the current map compared to 1990 which shows the shift....very interesting.

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  6. Didn't realize the frost dates would change too - yes, sometimes it has to be spelled out to me. Now I feel really behind on starting my seeds!

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  7. Lovely winter blooms...my garden zone moved up one notch from 5a to 5b...

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  8. Still the same 6b here. The map is a great help to gardeners that changed zones.

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  9. Those hellebores are stunning. I wonder if Canada will be updating their hardiness map in the future. It seems likely we will see some changes here too, although our weather seems to be more unpredictable in all directions rather than just getting warmer.

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  10. Miracle Grow and the NWF? That seems like a weird combo. I avoid Miracle Grow. My zone hasn't changed. I'm still a 7a. YOur hellebore are beautiful. I have a few tiny seedlings a friend gave me last spring that haven't bloomed yet. I think they're too small. That's ok. I gives me something to look forward for next winter. :o)

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  11. What gorgeous blooms!! Karin, I just wanted to let you know I am awarding your blog the "Versatile Blogger Award" I just love your posts and want to show you how much I appreciate your blog!! please visit my latest post for more details on the award and where I have also linked your blog. Cheers Julia

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  12. Karen, your photographs keep getting better and better. I, too, have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award. See http://greenplace-chapelhill.blogspot.com/2012/01/i-thought-id-share-favorite-photograph.html

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  13. I’ve awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award: http://bit.ly/yhCUbI. Yay!! Looks like you got it twice due to your awesomeness!!

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  14. Karin, I feel like we're kindred spirits in photography and gardening. I'm awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award. Looks like you're triply awesome!

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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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