March Bloom Day 2010

It is bloom day, that special day in the garden blogdom where everyone posts about what is blooming in their space, thanks to an idea that bloomed in the mind of sweet Carol of May Dreams. Let us get right to it then. The star, the high point, the darling of the moment is Edgeworthia chrysantha. In this, the third year from planting the little sticks sent from Wayside Gardens, the first flowers have burst forth from the furry little round buds that have hung around all winter. The reason for the purchase, even though we had never heard of this small tree before, let alone seen one in a garden setting or even in a photograph, was the promise of fragrance that would spin your head around in late winter. It does indeed give a whiplash snap to the neck as we pass by it.

How to best describe the scent is difficult. It is like a mixture of the sweetest most wonderful flowers you have ever been lucky enough to inhale, lilacs, roses, honeysuckle, honey and baby powder all rolled into the yellow downward facing flowers of this amazing tree. These flowers have just begun to open enough for the sweet smell to waft around the garden. How long they remain in bloom will be noted, as will what happens next. Will there be seed pods of some sort, or berries or fruit?

Entering the third month of bloom and having the best year ever is Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’. Age becomes Diane, for the number of flowers is astounding. Cooler than normal temps and above average rainfall have conspired to send her to never before seen heights of splendor. On last check however, no fragrance at all was detected, and we gave as good a sniff as possible. Nothing.

On the other hand there is Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’. I checked the tag on this and it reads ‘Arnold’s Promise’, but research seems to favor plain old Arnold. Does anyone know which is correct?

Anyway, Arnold is quite fragrant and is sporting flowers up and down every branch. New last year, he has been an excellent addition to the yellow/white garden that is trending blue at the moment. That always seems to happen with these themed gardens, more colors needed.

Sometimes neglected, the Mahonia bealei continues to bloom for a third month. Under the tall Loblolly pines, it planted itself right at the base of one of the largest pines. In the beginning we tried to dig it out and could not. Then we cut it down to the ground every year to discourage it, it wasn’t fazed. Now we just let it go, and have even transplanted the various seedlings back to the Japanese garden for some evergreen pizzazz. The light blue berries are delightful to bird and human alike, so it will stay as we have declared a truce.

Of the spring bulbs, the crocus are the earliest here. One hundred Crocus tommasinianus ‘Rosea’ were planted amongst the Geum triflorum at the path edge of the Fairelurie that holds the sweep of muhly grass by the driveway .

One hundred may seem like a lot of bulbs, but our noble feline Kitty has kindly agreed to provide perspective by stepping into the shot. The shadow of the camera toting gardener also shows what a small impact this mass planting is, underwhelming to say the least. But these bulbs were dug and spread about in the area right after the shot, and will be spread each year until the whole thing is filled in with rosy cups in late winter. Or that is the vision.

Many of the heaths, Erica ssp. have been removed from the Fairegarden. The winter flowers are not very substantive and the foliage is lackluster the rest of the year. A couple have done well over in the flat garden, our most alkaline spot due to its former life as a gravel driveway for the house next door that was torn down to make way for our garage. Reported as acid loving but cuddled up against a lavender plant, this low growing heath was allowed to stay. The blooms are nice but it is the short stature that is the saving grace for this one.

Up at the top of the slope behind the main house, the knot garden is fixin’ to shine. Antique Shades Violas were planted in the gravel at the front of each quadrant last fall. In the past there has been destructive digging by the devil squirrels determined to commit mayhem as they bury then hunt for the black walnuts whose trees grow nearby. A thick gravel mulch on top of the violas and in the quads themselves has proven to be a good strategy to thwart the digging. It promises to be a good year when the Spring Green viridiflora tulips open in the quads.

Another Paph has opened since last month’s bloom day. Paphiopedilum Onyx β€˜Fancy Cherry’ x Paph. sukhakulii is always later than the others of this type.

This lateness does allow for his grand opening to be photographed out of doors since the weather has finally moderated somewhat by then. After the photo shoot he is whisked safely back into the greenhouse for another month until the orchids and seedlings can safely live outside for the summer.

The hellebores have just begun to open. An experiment was conducted with their ratty looking old foliage this year, it was not cut off as is usually done. Temps too cold for outdoor chores, too many hellebores and a general malaise that settled into the gardener all contributed to this lack of activity. The fear is that the appalling leaves will detract from the beauty of the bounteous blooms. That may be so, but it may just be the reason that cropping of images was invented, to hide the sad bits whilst allowing the good to appear impeccably groomed.

To see the March blooms of previous years click on the links below:

Time Marches On-2009 Bloom Day

Blooms Of March GBBD 2008


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63 Responses to March Bloom Day 2010

  1. Hi Frances

    Beautiful blooms indeed.

    The hazels are really something.

    Love the ‘poached’ egg yellow in Edgeworthia chrysantha.

    I hope Hellebore’s old growth blows away on the wind!

    Hi Rob, thanks so much. The Edgewothia bloom is the color of a yolk! The new growth on the hellebores is distracting from the old leather like leaves, it will be okay. It has to be for it is way too late to try to cut them off now. I appreciate your hopes. πŸ™‚

  2. gittan says:

    Gorgeous! I think I’ll have to go out and showel away some of that snow today to help spring on its way / kram gittan

    Dear Gittan, thanks. May your snow melt soon to reveal a garden full of delightful flowers. πŸ™‚

  3. Edith Hope says:

    Dear Frances, You have so much to show. What fun you must have each day spotting something new and of interest in your garden. I do not think in all honesty I have ever before seen so much blossom on a Hamamelis. I have always found them slow to grow and reluctant to flower. You clearly know what they like and where to site them.

    Thanks for visiting, Edith. The garden does give us great joy in spring, looking for the newcomers, when it is not raining. The witch hazels are having the best year ever, it is true. Diane took several years to become what she is today, but she was a mail order purchase and those are always so very small. I have since learned to be more patient and wait until we can find a larger speciment at a nursery, like Arnold. He was full of buds when purchased a year ago last January and has doubled in size, and bloom in only a year. Sun and good water with equally good drainage seem to be very important.

  4. lotusleaf says:

    So many flowers! Arnold is very handsome and seems to have kept his promise:D

    Thanks Lotusleaf. Arnold is a star, sited better than Diane and only in the ground here a year, his future looks very bright. πŸ™‚

  5. gardeningasylum says:

    Good morning Frances, You have so many splendors in your garden – northern gardeners can only wonder. Age is what my hazels need, not yet ready for their wide shots!

    Hi Cyndy, thanks so much. It took many years for Diane to look like this. We used to be able to count the blooms on one hand, when there were blooms that is. It just takes time. πŸ™‚

  6. Joy says:

    Frances girl that orchid of yours was exactly like the one I saw at our garden show here !
    I love the witch hazels .. I am also considering that for when the old lilac is taken out .. I need a gorgeous accent tree to anchor that end of the garden : )
    You people are drifting right into Spring .. I hope we follow suit soon too !

    Hi Joy, that is too exciting about seeing the orchid, this one is a real beauty. A witch hazel would be a good addition to your garden, giving you joy when it is needed most, in the earliest spring and fabulous fall foliage as well. Look for a fragrant one. Our spring is quite late, no daffs open here yet! But it won’t be long for either of us, I hope. πŸ™‚

  7. Randy says:

    Paper bush is new to me this year, Duke Gardens and Pine Knot Farms both have it in bloom. Little be known to me was they any fragrance, thanks for the heads up on that. Been getting knocked down by daphnes thought.
    Your hazels are really something too.

    Hi Randy, thanks. The Edgeworthia is not known to many, including me until a couple of years ago. It deserves to be more widely planted. Our daphne is just beginning to open, but the leaves always look ratty at the time of bloom, kind of a minus, IMHO.

  8. commonweeder says:

    Omigosh! I missed Bloom Day again. Partly because the snow is still so deep outside and partly because I am tired of showing the same abutilon, and barely blooming begonia. Even my pussy willow isn’t fattening up like my neighbor’s. Surely this will change.

    Surely, Pat, change is coming. The flowers that are normally blooming for us in March, many of them anyway, are not there yet. We are behind and it is getting to me. May the sun shine on us both.

  9. Hi Frances – So early in the gardening season, yet you have a fabulous display of blooms. Especially love the hamamelis “Diane” – it’s so different from the standard yellow witch hazel. Nothing blooming here in Southern Ontario yet – but the crocuses should open this week with some extra warmth from the sun.

    Thanks Heather. The witch hazels have been stalwart soldiers this late winter, it is true. The Edgeworthia has lived up to its promise as well. I hope your crocus get what they need to open for you this week. πŸ™‚

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Wow, you have lots blooming Frances. I love those witch hazels. Your new tree bloom is spectacular too. I have never heard of it. That close up of the orchid makes me think of Avatar. I haven’t even seen the movie but I have seen short clips that show other-worldly scenes. Orchid blooms always seem to be other worldly to me. Happy GBBD.

    Thanks, Lisa. The witch hazels and Edgeworthia have been very cheering this late winter as the other things are way behind here. The orchid would be at home in Pandora, I believe, it is other wordly to my eyes as well.

  11. Nice Frances! Our heaths haven’t been very productive this year at all. In the past they’ve been covered with the little white blooms but not this year. Love the kitty and crocus shot!

    Thanks, Dave. I don’t know what happens to the heaths, they start out great, maybe they need some kind of pruning and feeding regimen. We once dreamed of the whole hillside planted in them, and that vision has been changed and most have been ripped out. Kitty is a welcome companion in the garden, even if he wants to step right into where I am working. πŸ™‚

  12. joey says:

    Beautiful Edgeworthia chrysantha is totally new to me. How lovely, Frances.

    Thanks Joey. This little tree deserves more publicity! πŸ™‚

  13. Laurrie says:

    Your early blooms are impressive, the hamamelis makes me drool (especially as my young Diane is doing almost nothing). And there is nothing as sweet as a closeup of that purple viola. How deep purple can look demure is a mystery, but the viola pulls it off.

    Thanks Laurrie. It was several years before Diane took off, be patient, yours will reward you. Those violas are sweet, but I thought they would be more of a mixture of colors, maybe with warmer temps. We still love them, whatever color they are. πŸ™‚

  14. dirtynailz says:

    Frances I sure know what you mean about the crocus. It seems that no matter how many I plant there are never enough for that massive “drift” effect.
    Your spirits must be lifting with all that is blooming in your garden. We live near the ocean, so the water cools things down, and everything is slower to emerge this time of year.
    Enjoy spring!

    Thanks, my spirits could really use some lifting, even with all these beautiful flowers. We need the sun to shine, and it just isn’t. I feel guilty for not being happier about the whole thing, to be honest. To live near the ocean does sound wonderful, love the sound and sight of the surf. We will chip away at the crocus spreading to get that drift, too. That is a fun chore since they are so easy to plant.

  15. Lzyjo says:

    WOW WOW WOW!! Major ou’s and aah’s Frances! The “Avatar” plant Edgeworthia chrysantha is amazing, I can’t believe it has fantastic fragrance on top of it all. Wowzers!! Love everything you have going on. The tommies look great and everything else too.

    Thanks Lzyjo, so nice to see you and hope all is well with you. The Edgeworthia has exceeded expectations and is still quite young. Even after the extra cold and wet winter, it is looking fantastic and really is very fragrant.

  16. Gail says:

    My dear! Now that I have been seduced by the beauty and fragrance of Edgeworthia chrysantha I must find the perfect spot for her in my garden! Hints dear friend! I really appreciate the photo of a hundred crocus! We need thousands~your plan to spread them about is perfect. Thanks for the inspiration. Diane is a perfect flowering tree…she’s blooming here along with H vernalis (great fragrance) and I can detect just a little fragrance, but then on the warmest days only. I do hope the sun visits us again…sigh. gail

    Thanks Gail. The Edgeworthia has been a pleasant surprise, especially since we are on the northern most edge of its range, I think, and the winter was so harsh. It is planted under the most inhospitable place in the Fairegarden too, under the pines, if that helps your placement issue. You are right about the tommies, maybe if we keep spreading them, the hundred will turn into thousands. I thought Diane had a faint odor, it was on warmer days last year about this time. This year we have none of those, do we? Sigh along with you.

  17. Nell Jean says:

    Love the Tommies! I hope you’ll spring for another hundred for the far side so they can meet. I always wanted to plant Tommies in a heart shape, one of those things you see in a book and can’t forget.

    I set my Muhly grass on fire as instructed by the Eco Center folk where it came from. It has new green shoots. Setting the pinestraw mulch on fire as well was exciting too when I didn’t rake it back quite far enough.

    Thanks Nell Jean. That is amazing, the thought of the muhly afire! What a sight it must have been. And the pinestraw is highly flammable, I know. You are a firebug! HA A heart of tommies would be unforgettable. πŸ™‚

  18. Darla says:

    That fragrance was described beautifully. It does take a ton of Crocus to put on a show doesn’t it..well a big show. Love that orchid..

    Thanks so much, Darla. My words were inadequate to explain how glorious the fragrance really is. We do hope the tommies naturalize as advertised. The orchid is a beauty. πŸ™‚

  19. Sweet Bay says:

    What a beautiful post Frances. You have convinced me that I must try Edgeworthia.

    Your ‘Diane’ has been blooming for about as long as my Prunus mume, which has been blooming for 3 1/2 months now. My witch hazel seedling finished a long time ago.

    Thanks Sweet Bay. I think the Edgeworthia would do well in your lovely garden. Diane is on her third month, opening in January, even with this horribly cold and wet winter we have been experiencing. Arnold is later, but still welcome with that bright yellow color and sweet fragrance. He really stands out on these cloudy rainy days better than Diane, she needs the sun to shine. πŸ™‚

  20. Thanks for a glorious burst of spring! With your (as usual) breathtakingly beautiful shots I can almost catch the fragrance of those flowers I know. And yearn for those I cannot have, like the Edgeworthia because my garden would be an inhospitable home.

    Thanks Linda. Having fragrance in addition to color is important, especially at this time of year when the rest of the garden is still sleeping. πŸ™‚

  21. Catherine says:

    I’ve wanted to grow Edgeworthia if for no other reason than because my Mom’s maiden name is Edgeworth. It sounds like a great shrub, I wish I could smell it. That Orchid macro is amazing!

    Wow, Catherine, that is a super reason to have this tree, you need one! I think it would grow there too. When the orchids can come outside, the photos are so much better with the natural light. Isn’t everything? πŸ™‚

  22. Town Mouse says:

    Amazing! I can almost smell that fragrance from here.

    May all your crocus dreams come true.

    Thanks Town Mouse. What a happy surprise the Edgeworthia has been, blooming so young and being so sweetly scented. Thanks too for the crocus cheerleading! πŸ™‚

  23. kimberly says:

    Frances, I could’ve sworn your tulip was an orchid! Gorgeous! And I love the yellows…so bright and cheerful!

    Thanks Kimberly. I went back to look for a tulip, but do show an orchid. I may have not made the ID understandable, please forgive me. πŸ™‚

  24. 100 bulbs just don’t go as far as they used to. ;^)
    Edgeworthia has funky looking flowers, but I’d grow it if I could for that fragrance. Your witch hazels look amazing, putting mine to shame. I must be doing something wrong, as it doesn’t have nearly as many blooms.

    HA MMD, you are so right about that. 100 does seem like a lot, but they were quite tiny things. This is the first year for Diane to have anywhere near that number of blooms. She is at least eight years in the ground and we have had an incredible amount of rain this past year. She had one bloom the year after we had that killing April frost, 2007 I think. She flowers on the previous year’s growth, and there wasn’t any that year due to the frost then extreme drought. Many things were lost outright, some things just pouted a couple of years, like our Diane.

  25. Frances, Aren’t Mahonia great? I have ONE hellebore bud… but my tiny stick of a witch hazel has bloomed for the first time!!! That Edgeworthia chrysantha is awesome–I’ve never seen or heard of it, but what great flowers, and I’m all about shrubs. Alas, it’s lower end is zone 7a and even in the new scheme (I never know if places are using the new or older zones), we’re 6a (used to be 5b).

    Hooray for moving up a zone, Monica! But the Edgeworthia might still be out of your range, we are 7a here and I was concerned with the kind of cold, wet winter we are having. As time goes by, you might be 7a yet! The mahonia are sweet and the bees love them, when it is warm enough for bees. Whine. Hooray for your hazel as well. πŸ™‚

  26. Christine says:


    You have so many wonderous and wonderful plants in bloom – thank you so much for sharing!

    Looks like you have a Russian Blue, too! I was so surprised to see my Sam – I mean, your cat – stepping into the photo with the crocuses!

    I love your garden!!!

    Hi Christine, thanks and welcome. Kitty is a beautiful, make that handsome fellow, but he is just a farm cat although his lineage may be pedigreed. We love him anyway. How funny to think you your seeing your Sam in the photo. I love it! πŸ™‚

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting…I would gladly send you snowdrops via post like Elizabeth Lawrence and Mr. Kippenberg used to do!

      Oh Christine, it was my pleasure to visit you, and your offer is so very generous. I will be contacting you about that! Thanks for making my day! πŸ™‚

  27. Lona says:

    Hi Frances. Your Edgeworthia chrysantha sounds like it would have a heavenly fragrance. Your crocus look so pretty (have to get some) and it looks like kitty was joining in on the bloom tour. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Lone, thanks. The Edgeworthia has exceeded expectations. The crocus are very sweet, we just need about a million of them! HA Kitty has been in the middle of whatever I am doing outdoors lately. I enjoy his company. πŸ™‚

  28. leavesnbloom says:

    Hi Frances – trying to catch up on reading blogs as I wasn’t blogging last week. I always love seeing pics of your Edgeworthia – and it’s such a wonderful looking little tree. I really love it but have to appreciate it through viewing on the net as it would never survive my temps or get enough sun in the summer to ripen its branches. Lovely photos πŸ™‚ Rosie

    Hi Rosie, thanks for visiting and making time to come by. Much appreciated. The Edgeworthia has proven to be a big hit, even though it is a very young tree, just a twig really. The future looks bright for it as it spreads and grows. Feel free to enjoy it. There are many things we cannot grow here that we also love seeing on the blogs of others. πŸ™‚

  29. Hello Frances. I’m fascinated by your Edgeworthia chrysantha and am wondering what size each head is.


    Hi Lucy, thanks for visiting. I have to go out and measure, just a minute, be right back. Okay. The largest part, the bottom is 6 centimeters, or two and three eighths inches in diameter. The outer ring of buds are open, and the ball seems to be getting larger as each flower opens, all hanging downward. I will have to measure again once all the flowers open, if they all do. Hope this gives you a better idea of the thing.

  30. Frances, I am in love with your crocus, would have thought 100 would give quite a show, but now I can see you would need 1,000 and still it would not be enough. I think that it shall be my mandate this autumn, to find and plant many, many “tommies”.

    Hi Deborah, thanks. You are right about the numbers on the crocus. I planted all one hundred very close together, thinking it would make a bigger impact. We will spread these each year and hope they increase by themselves to become like the ones in public plantings that are years old. I got mine from Van Engelen, if that helps you fulfill your mandate. πŸ™‚

  31. Lovely photos- the Edworthia is really unusual, the witch hazels flowering their socks off, and the crocuses are so sweet. Thanks for sharing your blooms, Frances.

    Hi Happy, thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed these March offerings. πŸ™‚

  32. Goodness, I’m becoming almost as fascinated with witch-hazels, as I am snowdrops. Alas, neither of which grow in our gardens. Your witch-hazel is just stunning!

    Thanks for visiting and welcome. Glad you are enjoying the March selections for bloom day! πŸ™‚

  33. noel says:


    you have alot of beautiful blooms coming from your garden today and it looks like alot of sweet smelling blooms also…thanks for sharing….i love the first picture of the edworthia – its just stunning!

    Aloha Noel and thanks so much. The late winter blooming trees and shrubs here do have wonderful fragrance, treats for all the senses. πŸ™‚

  34. Jo says:

    Stunning & Heavenly!

    Hi Jo, thanks and welcome. So glad you dropped by for bloom day. πŸ™‚

  35. Beckie says:

    Frances, have already put edgeworthia on my wish list having seen it on another blog. And it the scent is as you describe, it will be planted in the bed nearest the back door(the one everyone uses!). I think your crocus will spread quickly with you moving them-giving them more room to reproduce bulbs.

    Your orchid is lovely and I don’t blame you for showing her off to the outside world. Have a great week!

    Hi Beckie, thanks so much. Do check to see if the Edgeworthia is suitable for your zone, we are at its northern range here in TN. You might have a microclimate where it would work, hope so! Thanks too for the support about the crocus, such a little bit of show for 100 bulbs. HA πŸ™‚

  36. The Edgeworthia is so beautiful and I love how the flowers hang upside down. I am not familiar with this plant, but I do know that I like it :^)

    Thanks Noelle. The Edgeworthia is not seen around much, I hope that will change with several of us, Janet and Les included, showing it this bloom day. πŸ™‚

  37. Stevie says:

    Wow Frances, you certainly don’t disappoint with all the interesting plants you have to show each month. Delightful!

    How sweet of you, Stevie, thanks so much. We do try to make the posts have something of interest to as many as possible, gardenwise that is. πŸ™‚

  38. Frances this is a stunning post! All of your photographs are spectacular. I love the light!! Pure magic and the way the Mahonia leaves slice the background light is fabulous! The color and texture in your close up Paph is breathtaking. Great color in all your images and your shadow play is fun. One hundred tiny bulbs do not go so far at first but they will multiply. Beautiful blooms! Lovely, lovely wonderful post! A real joy to see it! Carol

    Thanks so much, Carol. I liked that Mahonia shot too, although it is the Edgeworthia getting all the attention. πŸ™‚

  39. Les says:

    I would describe the aroma of Edgeworthia as like that of the sweetest Narcissus, but concentrated, yet without any of the sharpness of some Narcissus. Its hard to describe and best experienced by growing your own.

    Sweet is the word, isn’t it Les? Your looked to be much farther along than ours, quite exciting to see how the flowers will all be open, hanging down like a ruffled petticoat from Gone With The Wind. πŸ™‚

  40. Hurray for spring! I can’t believe Diane has been blooming for three months. What a performer. I can’t wait to see more of what’s coming from your garden in the next few weeks.

    Thanks Kelly. Diane has had the best year ever, and with our temps still so cool and the rain, she has not lost a petal. We are way behind schedule for the blooms, there should be lots coming soon. πŸ™‚

  41. Randy says:

    I noticed you featured helleborus orientalis β€˜Blue Lady’ back in March 2008. We bought it and ‘Red lady’ last year. The blooms look like the same plant to me. Do you have ‘Red Lady’ also? Taking an edgeworthia cutting from the garden I’m working in this week.

    Hi Randy. I do have Blue Lady, but decided to do a post just on Hellebores soon. She is blooming now. We also have red, but she is a younger plant and not quite open yet, so I cannot answer your question until then. Good deal on the cutting!!! πŸ™‚

  42. Jean says:

    Your Diane has been blooming for 3 months? Wow. That’s a worthy plant. I would love to smell an edgeworthia. The blooms are so interesting looking. But three years is a long time for me to wait for a bloom!

    Hi Jean, thanks. Diane has exceeded expectations and given us something besides brown to look at since early January, worthy indeed. Our Edgeworthia was mail ordered and was very small. If you could find a larger specimen at a nursery, you might even find one blooming size. Worth looking for! πŸ™‚

  43. Jenny B says:

    Your Edgeworthia chrysantha just takes my breath away. So unusual. I have never seen it before. You may not think the sight of 100 tiny crocus looks like a lot, but I’ll bet it felt like a lot when you were planting them. Absolutely love the Orchid–it’s so…graphic. I always think Georgia O’Keeffe when I see them. Happy Bloom Day!

    Thanks Jenny, glad you liked the Edgeworthia. It is very unusual and deserves to be more widely grown. It did seem like 100 crocus were a lot when planting, along with the hundreds of species tulips and others yet to even show their heads above ground. I know they will look scant, but it’s a start. The paphs are amazing, very sensual. πŸ™‚

  44. Janet says:

    Between you, me and Les the Edgeworthia has been showcased well this month. I like the touch of baby powder in the scent’s description. I am glad you said ‘Diane’ doesn’t have a fragrance ….I keep sniffing it and get nothing. The H. vernalis is sooooo wonderfully fragranced, how is ‘Arnold’? or his promise??/ hahaha
    Happy GBBD

    HA Janet, the three of us are really on the Edgeworthia bandwagon! Maybe more of this fine tree will be planted now because of it, we can hope! Arnold is fragrant, not as much as the Edgeworthia, but quite nice. I seem to remember Diane having some smell last year, on warm and sunny days. Since we have not had ANY warm and sunny days, nothing this year. So far. πŸ™‚

  45. chuck b. says:

    I hope my witch hazels grow up to be as big and fabulous as yours.

    Thanks Chuck, I know yours will get there with your good care and love. It took a long while for Diane to achieve this look, Arnold was purchased fully budded. I believe it is the difference between mail ordering a stick for a lot of money versus buying a larger specimen from a nursery for a lot of money. πŸ™‚

  46. Frances, I am intrigued by your Edgeworthia chrysantha – the scent sounds wonderful and it is not something I know – I may have to investigate. Wish you could bottle the smell and e-mail it to me!

    Thanks Karen. I wish that too. I was thinking this would be the best time to have smell o vision over the internet when writing the post. πŸ™‚

  47. Liisa says:

    A beautiful spring awakening at Fairegarden. And, I am wishing for a scratch and sniff feature after reading your description of the scent of your Edgeworthia. Diane and Arnold look lovely as ever. That Hellebore is a beauty, and I was happy to have discovered buds on my Hellebores yesterday. They were newly planted last year, and I hope to be gradually adding to my collection. Glad to hear you are enjoying some milder temperatures, and I hope you have a fabulous week! πŸ™‚

    Scratch and sniff would be perfect, Liisa, how clever of you to think of that! Your hellebores are nearly as far along as the ones here, it won’t be long before we both have loads of blooms. Hooray! You too enjoy a wonderful week, when spring returns, on paper anyway. πŸ™‚

  48. What a happily fragrant and colourwashed scene you have brought us, Frances. And nature seems to have given so many of us a gift and allowed us to share in your outdoor bounty by having an early spring-like session in our own gardens. (I’m still not calling it spring. Been let down too many times here in the past, but we’ll see what the coming weeks bring us).

    Thanks Jodi. I want to be all happy, warm and fuzzy about spring, but the truth is, it has not happened here, yet. Some flowers are blooming, but not nearly what would normally be, not that I am complaining, whining, crying, wringing my hands. Not in public, anyway. Glad that the sun is shining down on your part of the world. πŸ™‚

  49. LC says:

    Your photos are wonderful… I was especially interested in the witch hazels… I have two young plants (3′) that are blooming but the blossoms are considerably smaller… does greater size come with maturity of the plant in regards to blossoms? They are a jalena and an arnold’s promise. Thanks, LC

    Thanks Larry. I think the flowers get larger the longer they are open. Some varieties are shorter though. Diane has been blooming for a long time, and is a more mature specimen than Arnold, who just started blooming. Hope that helps. It does take patience for these are slow growers, but worth the wait! πŸ™‚

  50. Frances, I planted tommies as well and do agree that it’s laughable how small an impact 100 of those bulbs make. Your Diane witch hazel is definitely outstanding. I only have straight spring and fall native species and they are almost 10 years old but never put on a show like that!

    Hi Linda, it is laughable about the crocus. HA I do believe the hybrids of the witch hazels were chosen with number of flowers and color in mind. But the fragrance of the spring species is much more pronounced, isn’t it?

  51. Frances, I love your Edgeworthia and Diane! I was at a nursery last weekend and they had both in bloom in big pots. So gorgeous! I thought of your accolades for those — I was so tempted, but came home with a pieris Dorothy (as planned) instead of an impulse buy!

    Thanks Cameron, what willpower you have! Good for you following the plan. I don’t know that I would have been able to resist either of them. πŸ™‚

  52. Someone else already said it – Wow Wow Wow! Also can I have a scratch and sniff computer please? I want to experience that wonderful scent!

    Thanks CM. Maybe someday they will invent that smellorama! πŸ™‚

  53. Frances, if Edgeworthia is hardy in my zone I am so there. I have a spot in the stroll garden for it. My baby witch hazel did not bloom this year, but I have great hopes for next year. After all, it was a bare root baby last spring.

    Your photographs are so beautiful, you make me feel ashamed of my running out and snapping indifferently just to show what is going on. I’m so glad I stopped by.

    Now I’m bummed. I just went and looked up Edgeworthia and discovered that it is only hardy to zone 7 (according to the plant files). Dang it. I love things that make my head snap around to locate the scent when they are blooming.

    I decided I needed to give you an award today.

    Thanks so much Hands. I am so sorry the Edgeworthia is not hardy for your garden. We are on the northern edge of its range and I was worried with the harsher than usual winter we had that it would be damaged. So far so good with it. There must be other head snapping fragrant trees, some of the witch hazels are quite fragrant. Arnold Promise is one. They do take a while to get going though, several years. Thanks so much for the award. I loved learning those great scraps about you, all too cool. I wrote about my own scraps here:
    Scrappy Blogaversary.
    I will put a link to you in my awards case, er page. Really, I do appreciate your thinking of me. πŸ™‚

  54. Phillip says:

    I have been lusting after the rice paper plant for years now. It is good to hear that it is so easy to grow. I was thinking that it would probably be temperamental.

    It would look great in your beautiful garden, Phillip. Partial shade is where mine are, and rather crappy clay soil, under the mature pines that suck up all the moisture. I can imagine what one would do in your lovely loam. πŸ™‚

  55. Rose says:

    I’ve never heard of the Edgeworthia before, Frances, but its scent sounds divine. Diane looks beautiful, even if she isn’t as fragrant as Arnold. Crocuses aren’t my favorite, just because they are so small in comparison to the grander daffs and tulips, but a mass planting would certainly catch the eye. Happy Bloom Day from sunny AZ!

    Thanks Rose. You are in AZ, how lucky and wonderful! Do have a great visit, with family and dogs, and report back with tons of photos. I hope you go to the Botanical garden again. And that they have a Chihuly exhibit. πŸ™‚

  56. Anna says:

    Well that three year wait was certainly worth it by the sound of it Frances. Have read about edgeworthia and saw one earlier this winter in Strasbourg. I am not that keen on yellow but could overlook it for the fragrance πŸ™‚ It sounds breathtaking. I wonder what the foliage is like during the summer months. Must investigate forthwith.

    Thanks Anna, it was very worth the wait. I have waited longer for things to bloom before, orchids and tree peony come to mind, so three years is nothing. I am glad you saw an Edgeworthia in person, it was probably much larger and more mature than mine. I would love to see what it is going to become in a few years’ time. I believe there might be one with orange flowers out there somewhere? πŸ™‚

  57. Little Wing says:

    Your lovely garden never dissapoints! The Witch Hazels are truly stunning and I didn’t notice any ugly old foliage detracting from the beautiful blooms. Oh and that orchid makes want to try my hand at those too:)

    Thanks so much Little Wing. I didn’t include what the old leaves look like on the hellebores, still trying to decide if not cutting the foliage was the right thing to do. I know it was for my back if not my eyes. Watch out for orchids, they are addictive! πŸ™‚

  58. donna says:

    If you can promise me all these beautiful blooms, then I’ll pack up today and move to TN. Amazing plants and amazing photos.

    The post would not have been as wonderful had kitty not made an appearance.


    Hi Donna, thanks, if you move to my part of TN, yes, promise made. The state is quite diverse, we are more similar to western North Carolina than Memphis. I agree about Kitty upping the quality. πŸ™‚

  59. Robin says:

    I hope you get some sunshine soon, Frances! We’ve had some gorgeous weather and it does lift the spirit.

    Your cropped shot of the hellebore is lovely.

    Thanks Robin. The sun is reportedly going to shine tomorrow, first time since March 4. I have been keeping track. The hellebores are looking great, the old leaves not so much, but it is okay.

  60. linda says:

    What awesome blooms Frances. Your witch hazels and the orchid are gorgeous. Edgeworthia is new to me – the blooms are very sweet, how wonderful they’re so fragrant too.

    Thanks Linda. The Edgeworthia is amazing, beautiful and so sweet to the nose. πŸ™‚

  61. Weeping Sore says:

    Your blessing was as lovely as the pictures that accompanied it. I especially love your visual compositions: and not just of flowers, but of interesting and unusual foliage.

    Thanks WS, how kind of you to say those nice things. Foliage is so much longer lasting than flowers, we have tried to grow many plants with foliar interest. πŸ™‚

  62. kerri says:

    March has brought quite a few lovely blooms to your fair garden, Frances. The close-ups show the beauty of those first blooms. Diane and Arnold are really shining! How beautiful they are.
    The edgeworthia is very unusual. I’d dearly love to smell it.
    Those little crocuses are so sweet and colorful. Mine up closed to the overcast sky today. I hope our sunshine comes back soon. Last week’s springy weather was such a delight!
    Your hellebore is gorgeous and the orchid is very elegant.
    Happy Bloom Day dear Frances!

    Hi sweet Kerri, thanks. Spring has sort of shown its face here as well, and things are starting to cheer up. Diane has finished blooming but Arnold is still going strong, as are the Edgeworthias. The crocus are done, but the daffs have begun. Isn’t spring grand? πŸ™‚ Hope it is happening for you like that too. πŸ™‚

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