Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring is Here

Just when it seemed like spring would never come, suddenly it is here. Last Saturday we still had a foot of snow on the ground and temperatures with highs around 45. This first phots of snowdrops just emerging from the snow was taken then. It was in a very sunny spot and these were the first flowers we saw this year.
Literally within days, the snow was mostly gone (only a few piles of snow in very shady spots and where it all came off the roof next to the house) and snowdrops seems to be every place. Most of ours are the double flowered kind. We dug up a lot that were getting too crowded 2 years ago and sprinkled them through the woodsy places. These clumps are still small, but increasing. Just when we were saying we were so tired of seeming white on the ground, here are the snowdrops, but despite the fact that they are white, they look really nice.
The next blossoms to appear were these early crocuses. They are almost a translucent pale lavender blue. Not as showy as they larger ones that will come later, but just lovely and coming up in all sorts of places. These are small, but have attracted all sorts of insects seeking pollen.

These were in the very back of the gardens and could easily have been overlooked since they are so tiny. I have always liked the striped ones.

Winter Aconites (this one is Eranthus cillicia) make large clumps where they are happy. This is the 3rd year for this one, so I guess I have done something right. These are growing in a shady place under conifer in a woodsy soil where they get minimal sunlight. My other good clump grows in gravelly soil in full sun, so I don't have a clue to where the best place is to plant them. I'm just glad I've found a few places they like because they are so cheery in the spring.

This hellebore looks pretty much like an average flower, but it is different. It is a seedling and we noticed from across the yard since the flowers are almost 3 inches across. Just huge for a hellebore. The second day the blooms were out they started turning pink. This was also one of the first to be in full bloom, but there are buds everyplace and with the inch of rain we got overnight, I expect there will be plenty of blooms in a day or two.

This smaller pink hellebore if from Tibet. I have several different clones, this one being the palest pink. It is usually the first to bloom, and they goes dormant in the summer, unlike our other ones that keep their nice green leaves all year.

More flowers coming every day. I worried a bit when we had snow on the ground most of the time since mid December, but it seems to have done a lot of good. I know snow cover is good for things, but this was so deep and icy, I did worry a bit. It seems I had nothing to worry about. Our biggest problem was with broken branches (that we're still cleaning up) from the weight of the snow and ice.
I'm going to keep up with the medicinal plants thread on days when I have time to write and I don't have new spring flowers, but I expect that there will be lots of new blossoms to photograph for the next few days. Tomorrow I'll post all of the lovely Witchhazels that are filling the gardens with the lovliest scent right now.

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