Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Signs of Spring January 25, 2009

Filed under: flora,winter — greenwalks @ 3:38 pm
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Signs of spring abound here in Seattle, despite continued colder-than-usual (I think) weather and even some more snow (!?!) here today. It’s dipping into the 20s every night at our house, but you just can’t keep certain plants from enjoying themselves in winter.


Sarcococca blossoms are perfuming the backyard, so it’s a good thing when I can get myself out into the cold to enjoy them for more than the second it takes to pass by on the way to the compost bin. David Perry had a nice post on his blog about actually stopping to lie down his yard and inhale this particular scent, in case you didn’t see it last week.


A few of the early-side bulbs are poking their foliage up. I believe these are crocus, no idea what color they’ll be. The haphazard gardener in me just puts stuff in the ground and forgets what it was. Hm, maybe I have more in common with my squirrel foes than I wish to admit…


This viburnum is adding to the perfume party in the backyard. I believe it is Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ but could be wrong there. It has a kind of ugly habit, at least as it has been pruned, and is naked now but for the saucy pink blossoms, but the sweet scent makes it worth keeping around.

Is anyone else seeing signs of renewal in their gardens at the moment, or is it still a ways away?


11 Responses to “Signs of Spring”

  1. Catherine Says:

    I’m the same way with bulbs. My daughter has taken to dividing clumps of grape hyacinths and bluebells and spreading them through out the yard. We get nice surprises that way. I just noticed some daffodils sprouting and couldn’t remember planting them.
    Sarcococca does have the best smell, but it’s so tricky to spell!

  2. Racquel Says:

    As you know my spring bulbs are already making an appearance in the garden. The Forsythia is full of promising buds for a gorgeous display in the near future too. Those definitely look crocus to me. 🙂

  3. Michele Says:

    We have three Sarcococca on the path to our front door and they are in full bloom and so yummy fragrant. I love the Dawn Viburnum. I had one at another house and it is so pretty and fragrant as well. Mmmm, spring.

  4. Wonderful to see, it keeps the Monday blues away./Tyra

  5. fairegarden Says:

    Hi Karen, I love your signs of spring, and can imagine the sweet scent of the flowers. It is astounding that things bloom even with those cold overnight low temps. Our winter is much colder than usual too in TN but the witch hazel is bravely beginning to bloom in spite of that, opening more flowers with each brief, very brief, warm spell. My guess is that things will bloom later this year, unlesss they are triggered by day length. My neighbor has a similar viburnum, unknown name, but it blooms with sweet perfumed pink flowers very early each year. I need one of those. 🙂

  6. Actually, Karen, I think the squirrels are digging up the bulbs you plant and replanting them in different spots–that way they keep you guessing! They’re sneaky like that…

  7. Jen Says:

    Well, the snow melted down about an inch today so at least we’re getting closer to seeing the ground 🙂
    I’m so jealous that you’ve even got fresh blossoms to smell. and it looks like you’ll be getting plenty of crocus too. How are we pronouncing “sarcococca”, BTW?

  8. easygardener Says:

    I brought some Sarcococca branches into the house a few days ago. The whole house smells of honey now. Such a lovely shrub for fragrance at this time of year.

  9. Not any significant signs here yet, but I’m watching for them daily! Thanks for sharing yours, Kim

  10. Philip Says:

    My seeds have sprouted!
    Very tiny, but there!
    Warm regards,

  11. Lorene Says:

    Ah, sweet spring…today is another sunny Monday. I’ll take what I can get knowing that many (many, many) more dark cloudy days still lie between us and the vernal equinox – and truth be told we’re really not out of the woods until the summer solstice! Sarcococca is one of those beauties that get me through. My Hellebores are blooming as well!

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