garden ponderings

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Spring Abloom in Winter

Violets bloom all winter long here.
They look beautiful in the snow,
but no snow this year, so far.
These blossoms have naturalized in many of my beds.
* * * * *

Bergenia are early bloomers here, also.
They grow on the sheltered east side of my house,
protected from deer.
* * * * *

Hellebore are also growing in a sheltered east-facing area.
The ferns came up naturally,
and keep these flowers shaded.
While the white flowers are in full bloom,
the pink ones are just beginning.
* * * * *

The first strawberry blossoms
from a warmer area in the yard.



An Early Bounce from Spring

We took a two week trip to visit grandboys,
missing a snowstorm, cold and rain while gone.

Upon our return home, I took my camera
around the house to see what had bloomed in my absence.

These hyacinth bulbs are in the same bed.
Photos confirm that white hyacinth flower before the blue ones.
I love the scent from hyacinth, even though it can be strong.
* * * * *

In the same bed as the hyacinth above are these bloomers.

The windflower anemones shown are in various stages of bloom.
They have self-multiplied all through this bed,
and will flower for at least another month.

Our local weather has sun and cold rain in spurts (significantly less sun),
which has extended the bloom time of early spring flowers.
Tons of daffodils are planted in front of the house.
They are starting to bloom at not-exactly-the-same-time.
I am not sure if this is the soil or the particular micro-climate.
Those are clumps of bluebells coming up near the daffodils.
* * * * *

More purple flowers!
Just a small bunch of miniature iris here.
Up close, they show some weather damage, but are still pretty.

Anemones are short, but sweet, flowering.
There is a bud behind and to the left of this blossom.
* * * * *

I have shown this batch of flowers already this year, but am doing so again.
Bergenia are blooming in many places – they were easy to divide.

Pink hellebore are finally blooming, much later than the white.
There are still buds on the pink-flowered plant, and
the weather forecast has enough cool rain to keep these around for awhile.


Early Spring

We have had a bumper year for rain,
which after a drought is very welcome.
As soon as the rain lets up,
plants (including weeds) reach for the bits of sunshine.

I have been watching my crocus for years
and observed the various colored flowers bloom in a specific order:
yellow ones first, then the lavenders, next come purple and white striped,
then purples, and the pure white ones last.

Here is a crocus fact that I can vouch for from experience:
If you want to move the bulbs, wait until the blossoms are spent,
but before the leaves have died.
It is a short window of opportunity,
but the bulbs are easy to locate in the ground.
* * * * *


Bergenia are starting to bloom.
This large-leaved groundcover has such pretty, delicate flowers.
* * * * *

I know a little about hellebores,
like deer do not eat them and they love shade.
In contrast to the crocus, the white blossoms come first,
while the pink flowers are still budding.
* * * * *

I have planted and divided and planted hundreds of daffodils around our plot of land.
All I see around the house are emerging leaf blades.
What a surprise to find these flowers near the driveway, closer to the county road.
On a south-facing slope, with little shade from trees,
the micro-climate here must be quite a bit warmer.


Blooms & Buds in the Dead of Winter

Between the rain and cold most flowers are dormant in this season.
It is called the ‘dead’ of winter for good reason:-)

Purple violets bloom through the winter here.
I think they don’t mind the cold, and must love the rain,
since these often sleep through the summer heat.

* * * * *
Snowdrops are the first bulb to bloom in the calendar year.
This lone specimen is my only sample.
It will soon be hidden by the daffodils whose leaves are just emerging behind.

* * * * *
Pink hellebore buds will open soon.


Evergreen leaves can be susceptible to snails, I have heard.
My problem pests are voles who have eaten leaves and left me stems.
A vole is similar to a mouse, but with a shorter tail.
I catch them in mousetraps in the garage and shops.

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Hellebore in Full Bloom

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A multitude of blooms on the white-flowered plant indicating it has been in the same location for a much longer time than the pink-flowered plant, gives me an idea of what can be expected in a few more years from ‘pink’.

These flowers grow funny, as they hang down and do not look good in a vase.  Makes me wonder how they evolved to be like that.

This is usually a very slow season in the flower garden, but we have had an unusually warm and mild winter.  So many flower plants are budding way before normal times.  After a very rainy week,  this next week is expected to be dry and warm, so I’ll see what will bloom next.


Hellebore – Pink & White

Hellebore Pink near


These two hellebores are neighbors near the edge of an east-facing deck. Pink flower is a bit north of east, and the white one is a touch south of due east.


My white hellebore had a baby!  Over to the left, a seed germinated and a new plant was born.  The baby is a minimum of 2 years old, because I noticed it growing there at least that long ago.  Behind the white blossoms, the ferns under the edge of the deck, are naturalized.

At a friend’s house recently, I saw a multi-flowered pink hellebore in a pot.  It was beautiful.  She lives and gardens in the shadow of some very tall evergreen trees.
I had ‘plant envy’.  How did she get her hellebore to bloom so prolifically?



?????????? ??????????

Bergenia and Hellebore – both are in bud this early in the season!  The sun was shining yesterday, a warm 45 degrees F (just over 7 degrees C), as compared to a cool 45 degrees when the sun is not out.  Interesting, isn’t it, how the same number of degrees can feel so different to one’s body depending on the sun?

There is also a white-flower hellebore, almost adjacent to this pink-flower one, but its buds are not as developed as these pink ones are.  I will have to keep my eyes open for an example of a white flower opening before its colored counterparts.


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SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAPink flower buds are peeking from the fern fronds.  The distinctive leaves of hellebore confirm that the young plant has survived the winter.

I found these flowers in the garden of an elderly neighbor.  After she passed, her son let me dig up a plant for my garden.  The mother plant is not in a fenced area, and I’ve seen many deer pass through those flower beds. I need to get brave and plant one of these outside my deer-fenced area, to prove to myself they are deer resistant.

Once I tried to give a vase of these flowers away, and learned the hard way that they are not ‘cutting’ flowers. They look best on the plant and in the ground. They merely droop like sad-sacks when in a vase.

The fern pictured  trying to hide the hellebore above is one of a group of ferns that took up residence at the edge of an east-facing deck.  I see them in nurseries, but find them to be almost a pest here.  They require pruning a couple of times a year, to remove dead fronds and show the flowers I have planted underneath.

Well, I just noticed that I already had a post on hellebores.   These are some of the same comments by me.  I think I’ll leave both posts as a reminder to myself of ??

Have spent some time recently, on non-rainy days, pruning and weeding.  So much to do.  Dry days in late winter have been the best time to get a jump on busy spring days.  Still have plants I bought last fall, to get into the ground, and a number of other plants to move around while the rainy season is still here.


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I think this is such an interesting plant, it blooms at a strange time of year and the flowers hang down in an odd way.
One time I tried to cut the flowers for display in a vase, and that turned out to be a bad idea. The stem wasn’t strong enough to hold up the flower, and I wanted to say “stand up straight and hold your head up” to it.

I like the fact the leaves stay green all year. The good-sized, older leaves sort of mat down and keep the ground cover at bay.

A year ago (or so), I dug up a pink-flowering hellebore from the yard of an elderly neighbor. It isn’t flowering yet, so I was wondering if this is another example of the white flower of a species blooming at a different time than the other colors. I have to watch this year to see if the other white flowers bloom before the other colors. I’m thinking of examples as crocus, hyacinth, iris and armeria.