Gardening where the sidewalk ends

A Few More Late Winter Bloomers January 22, 2010

Filed under: my garden,winter — greenwalks @ 8:16 pm
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Laid low by a horrendous cold, I have been unable to enjoy the warm temperatures and great gardening weather that nature offered Seattle this week. Even with the unseasonable rise in the mercury (on target to be the warmest January on record here, apparently), the plants seem to be pretty much on schedule.

Many of us want spring to come earlier than is does, but now that it seems to have, I am finding myself having missed winter a bit. Yes, I said I could deal with no snow at all after last year’s giant endless heaps of it, but not one flake? One pretty, quick-melting dusting would have been nice.

I was going to entitle this post “Signs of Spring” but really, these flowers reliably bloom in late winter. They allow us to look ahead to warmer, sunnier times even if, in a typical year (is there such a thing anymore??), that is still a ways off.

This Hellebore was a new addition last spring, I got two of them and now wish I’d sprung for more. Maybe I’ll go look for some purple ones next week as a present to myself for getting over this annoying cold.

Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ Ivory Prince

Helleborus 'Walhelivor' Ivory Prince

First crocus! Not the most exciting variety, but I always love to see the first and this one won the race this year. I noticed some little purple species crocus the other day but didn’t have my camera handy and haven’t been outdoors in a few days! Hope to remedy that tomorrow.

First crocus of 2010

I never seem to succeed much with snowdrops, no idea why. Do they require something special? I’m pretty sure I put a bunch of them in this spot, and only two came up so far. Hm. Thoughts? I’m horrible about keeping track of bulb names despite good intentions, but I think these are Galanthus elwesii (Giant Snowdrop). I love that little upside-down heart.

Galanthus elwesii (Giant Snowdrop)

Sweet-smelling pink blooms of Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ are a winter stalwart. This plant has a rather ungainly habit but can take pruning and I think it’s worth having for the unusual combo of pink flowers and delightful scent in the dead of winter.

Viburnum X bodnantense 'Dawn'

Are you ready for spring now, whatever the calendar says?


11 Responses to “A Few More Late Winter Bloomers”

  1. Melanthia Says:

    Looks like you have plenty to enjoy right now. Love the snowdrops, I need to add some of those to my plant list. Hope you’re feeling better.

  2. Bonnie Story Says:

    SO glad you are powering thru the cold. That’s just awful. Great post in any case! I have not one Hellebore here and that has got to change! You have lots of buds there, nice. I agree about winter — I almost don’t want to jinx it, but a little snow would be quite welcome. This year, after the last two absurdly snowy winters, we are totally ready, provisioned, generator all tuned up… and… nuttin’. Well OK, it’s been hassle-free that way.

    I am totally hyper about Spring this year, because I will have so much more time to enjoy it. Last year was just very hectic with finishing the house, moving in and truly endless caulking and painting.

    So bring on Spring, let’s get to April already and get past that last-frost date!!! I’m ready to boogie down with the neighborhood mega-veggie garden, and continue my own home landscaping efforts right here.

    Have a great day, and here’s a toast to your feeling much better Karen – *clink*– Bonnie

  3. Deirdre Says:

    I must be in some kind of cold microclimate because everyone seems to be ahead of me. None of my crocus have bloomed yet, nor have my hellebores.

  4. Catherine Says:

    I’m very ready for Spring! I love seeing signs of it in your yard, even though you’re right most of these are winter bloomers. I somehow missed your bloom day post, you’ve got quite a bit blooming!
    I’m horrible about remembering where I’ve planted bulbs, I think I forget the very next day 🙂

  5. easygardener Says:

    Your Spring is slightly ahead of ours. My elwesii hasn’t opened fully yet. I do agree with you about the Virburnum – one of the best perfumes around.

  6. Spring…bring it on!!!! Lovely pictures Karen!

  7. Megan Says:

    Can you believe winter seems to have passed us by in the PNW? At least we got one night of snow in Portland, but Seattle has been completely spared? I feel a little out of sorts that this is it, now it’s 50s and sometimes sunny. But if the weather says it’s time to think spring, who am I to argue? I’ve got early leaves too, which is how I measure the arrival of spring.

  8. easygardener Says:

    Thanks for the info about not using pet hair treated for fleas as nesting material. Probably safer not to use it after all – something I had not thought through. Devious cats!

  9. Jen Says:

    Not even a flake?! There’s still time…. I’m ready for spring, though. Looking at these great shots, I’m even more impatient.

    Wondering if snowdrops are deer resistant? I also planted Hellebore last year and am eagerly awaiting buds. None yet, though. Sorry to hear about your cold – hope you feel better!

  10. jean Says:

    What nice blury backgrounds and focussed plants. Looks like you are making your new camera work for you. Envy…

  11. Grace Says:

    Hello Karen~~ Colds suck. I hope you’re feeling better. The weather has been awfully warm here and California got hammered by all the rain. El Nino they’re saying.

    Galanthus: I’ve read that you must plant blooming or green bulbs. The dry, packaged bulbs won’t break dormancy which has been the case with me too. I let mine go to seed and this seems to help them naturalize.

    Your photos are fabulous. I love this Viburnum too. You’re right about its growth habit though. I have practically murdered mine with my pruners. It looks great in summer too with the deep green foliage with hints of burgundy. Take care.

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