susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Spring Abloom in Winter

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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.
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Bergenia are early bloomers here, also.
They grow on the sheltered east side of my house,
protected from deer.
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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.
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The first strawberry blossoms
from a warmer area in the yard.


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Thanksgiving Flower

In the past, we have always had our first frost by now.
Killing all flowers until spring.
(Save the violets, which bloom even in snow.)
But the weather is changing.

Not only the hollyhock flowers,
but the deer have left them alone.
I speculate there is so much other greenery
for the deer to browse,
they don’t need to eat my plants.
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This pink-flowered plant is on
a different side of the house.


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


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New Year Snow, It is Beautiful

We awoke to snow falling, what a way to start the new year!
I measured 4″ (10 cm).The violets are always such a pleasant surprise to me.

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The snow looked especially pretty on this Contorted Filbert bush (aka:  Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick or Corkscrew Hazel) and the bricks.
The snow shows up the deer fence, including the fence behind on the ground,
which protects plants growing on the embankment behind.
Under the behind fences are thriving California poppies and struggling daylilies.

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The snow was quite wet and many plants were drooping from the weight of the snow.
I got a broom and walked around the house, knocking snow off branches.
Here are before and after photos of my Rosemary bush,
she is much happier after snow removal.

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There are two rhododendron bushes in this photo.
I keep pruning the one on the left, as it grows prolifically.
The specimen on the right has its growth eternally challenged.
Many years ago, our dog’s favorite place to lay was under this particular bush,
but that dog has been gone over 10 years, and the plant has not really bounced back.
I made sure to brush snow from its branches to give it every chance I can.


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First Freeze on Its Way

While the violets thrive in cold wet weather,
the Rudbekia are not long for this world.

We’ve had an especially mild autumn,
so the hardiest perennials have hung on much longer than usual.

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I noticed this spring daylily budding – way out of season.
Trying to get around Mother Nature.

Our first freeze is due in a day.  Only the violets will survive.


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Late Winter Blooms

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We’ve had rain and cold with very few hours of sun here and there.
This weather is making hyacinths slow to fully open, also the daffodils.
On the other hand, it is truly violets favorite weather, as they are thriving.

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Pale lavender windflowers, anemone blanda, growing at the base of a rose bush.
These flowers spread easily, and compliment the purple violets.

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Spinach planted last summer is now flowering.
The flowers look prettier than the leaves tasted.
I will try a spring or fall planting next try, the summer planting was strong tasting!


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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.

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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.

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Pink hellebore buds will open soon.

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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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Pink Viola

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This is a little plant and a very small flower.  It appears to me, to be a member of the viola family, but I am not able to determine exactly which one.  An alpine viola is my best guess.
In the upper right corner of the photo is a ‘normal’ violet leaf, which looks relatively large, but is not really.

A gardening friend warned me this cute little flower can be invasive.  So far, I still see it as a welcome addition to my haphazard flower garden.  Although, it is moving in freely, I have no objections as it fills space and can bloom through the summer.  I know I should be wary, as I spend too much time pulling out a plant I liked at first, but then became overwhelming.