February Bloom Day 2011

It has begun for real.
(Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’)

The blooming and the warm up.
(H. ‘Diane’ in sub-freezing temps, petals curled tighly for protection)

Although there will be more cold.
(Bee hind quarters are better than no bee at all.)

There is a warmth to the sun that cannot be denied.
(Crocus chrysanthus ‘Violet Queen’)

The flowers have been waiting, as has the gardener.
(Crocus tommasinianus ‘Rosea’)

It seems later this year, the coming of the warmth.
(Viola ‘Antique Shades’)

It is so welcome.
(Viola ‘Antique Shades’)

It was warm enough for the orchids to be whisked outside for their photo shoot.
(Paphiopedilum Denehurst ‘Surprise’ x Caucus)

(Paphiopedilum Raven ‘Forever More’ x Paph. curtisii ‘Imperial Purple’ )

( Paphiopedilum (Starr Warr x Maudiae) ‘Pisgah’ x Paph. Dark Spell ‘Wolf Lake’)

Newcomer to the group, a Valentine present from me to me.
(Paphiopedilum Pinocchio ‘In Charm’ x P. In-Charm White ‘Co-operation’)

The big finish on the wall behind the main house. But we won’t be putting our coats, gloves and woodswoman hats away just yet. The Paphs will go back inside to the safety of the greenhouse/sunroom until the night temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, around mid-May. Perhaps sooner. But until that glorious time arrives, we wish you all, dear and gentle readers a very happy Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, courtesy of friend Carol of May Dreams Gardens.


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25 Responses to February Bloom Day 2011

  1. Victoria says:

    Gorgeous photographs, Frances. The pansies look so beautiful bathed in sunshine. Not long now till spring!

    Hi Victoria, thanks so much. The flowers all loved being bathed in the warmer sunshine we are having at present. So does the gardener! 🙂

  2. Carol says:

    Witch hazels, violas, and crocuses were quite enough, but then you had to show us those orchids. Much going on in and around the Fairegarden in early spring!

    Hi Carol, thanks and congratulations on five years of Bloom Days! It seems like a lot with the photos, but perhaps you noticed all the brown in the background of the long shot of the orchids on the wall? We are getting there though. Hooray! 🙂

  3. Eileen says:

    I have hope seeing all those beautiful blooms.


    Hi Eileen, I hope you do too, sooner rather than later! Spring really is coming. 🙂

  4. A good showing Frances. Love ‘Diane’ I need to go check on mine…BTW, you rock, rocks!

    Hi Helen, thanks. Diane is a beauty, she will continue blooming well into March, too. As for the rocks, hope you like the look of the pea gravel! 🙂

  5. gagarden says:

    Frances, you had a great bloom day with so much color and interest. The witch hazel is a wonderful plant, plus your lady slipper is planted outside…I am so jealous. Mine is a lowly houseplant yearning to be outdoors. I need to separate mine, but never have done it. I was wondering if you could let me know if it is an easy process. I did this with one of my Phals and lost all three of them, mom and two kikis, so I am a little worried I might lose this one as well. Donna

    Hi Donna, thanks. But no no no, the orchids are NOT planted outside! They were whisked out on a warm day and then right back into the greenhouse after the photo shoot. There is nothing better than natural sunlight for camer shots. I did seperate the paphs one time. Bad idea. I put them back together! They do like to be repotted every year or two, and can be kind of pulled apart with the dead stuff cut then. I do the repotted in the fall before they come back inside. I don’t grow Phals, though, so can’t really give advice about them. Paphs are my drug of choice. HA 🙂

  6. Sharon says:

    Everyday when I go outside and look at my bulbs coming up seems a new one has broken from the ground, although no blooms yet, neither the crocuses nor the daffodils are tall enough just yet. I’ve never tried to grow orchids. My first rose seed did not make it, however more have sprouted and are doing much better. When I placed the rose seeds in the refrigerator I also placed other seeds such as some seeds from my Mom’s ‘white’ hostas and a lilac bush from my Mom’s neighbor. My mom’s hostas always have a lavender flowers, I’m not sure why she calls them white. They were dug up from Kentucky where my Dad grew up. His Mom had most likely planted them. She died a long time before My Dad met my Mom. The hosta seeds have begun to germinate along with a lilac seed. I didn’t expect the lilac seeds to do anything, the branch the pod was on looked like it had died. I decided to find the seeds anyway and plant them. I thought most of the seeds to thin to germinate. My store bought tulips are fading, I attacked them with a paint brush so the pod is now getting thicker!

    Hi Sharon, thanks for these updates! It is still early yet for anything but the winter bloomers, like the tommies and chrysantha crocus. Many of my daffs have not broken ground and only the species tulips are just poking up. But things happen fast now, more daylight, warming trends that last longer. How cool about the hosta seeds, and good luck with the others. You never know and it is always worth the effort to try! 🙂

  7. Ah– I knew it must be time for your lovely ‘Diane’ to return! 🙂 I hope your weather is as warm as it is here. It may even hit 80 degrees here in a few days!

    Hi Cameron, thanks for stopping by, so nice to see you. We are not that warm, barely 60, but that feels plenty spring like. I can’t be inside for long when it is like this! 🙂

  8. Carolyn♥ says:

    Ahh, your post gives me hope for my bloomless gardens. We need a little more of that warming sunshine. Beautiful post, Frances. I shall think of those sunny blooms all day!

    Hi Carolyn, thanks for stopping by. The warming sun is magic, especially when it comes a little early in the last throes of winter. What would we do without the early crocus and Diane! Or the orchids. 🙂

  9. Nell Jean says:

    Love the Tommies! All spring bulbs point toward a colorful time in the garden.

    Hi Nell Jean, thanks for visiting, so nice to see you here. I am in love with the Tommies all over again. Last year all 100 tiny bulbs went into one hole. After bloom they were spread about a larger area. I want to see a field of them! 🙂

  10. Janet says:

    My one Witch hazel is blooming, nothing like an 18 inch stick with about 6 blooms on it! I do want to plant some more Witch hazel in the wooded garden area. The one I have is told to reach 12’x 15′ so I am leaving room…for the future! Patience is so hard sometimes.

    Hooray for your witch hazel! Do leave plenty of room. Diane is too close to the Chamaecyparis hedge and I have to cut the hedge constantly. Of course Diane will not be cut, but she started out about the same sized stick and took a couple of years to bloom. More, yes. Patience, yes. 🙂

  11. My Kids Mom says:

    Leaves of daffodils and crocus and other bulbs, but only Lenten roses to show yet. Maybe a few more days of these wonderful 60 degree temps will convince a few of them to open for me!

    Hi Jill, isn’t this weather wonderful? No Hellebores open here either, although color can be seen on some of the bulbs. It won’t be long now! 🙂

  12. Nancy says:

    Re: your present to yourself from yourself – on Palm Sunday weekend each year I make the 40 min. trek to a farmers’ market to buy absurd quantities of pansies and Johnny-jump-ups from Mennonite growers who bring them from Lancaster. I fill pots for my garden, for my daughters’ gardens. I’d fill up the claw-foot bathtub if I didn’t think it would confirm what my husband has suspected about me for years. Counting the days……

    Hi Nancy, thanks for joining in here. Pansies and violas are just the best, worth the time, effort and cost. I bet those are some finely grown plants. There is a farmers market some ways from here like that. I have never been, but this might be the year to make the trek. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

    ps, a bathtub full sounds heavenly!

  13. Very nice. I almost bought a Witch Hazel last fall, but they were kind of pricey and thought I should wait. Not even a sign of crocus yet. The “warm” and sun might get things going, but I can near rely on another snowy winter blast.

    Hi Christopher, thanks for joining in here, so nice to see you. The Witch Hazels are not cheap, that is for sure, but the winter blooming is priceless. I have never seen them go on sale, either. These early crocus help it seem like spring faster, too. The larger, C. vernus are not even showing yet. It has been warm all week, hope it continues, but know that we will get a couple of blasts, maybe with snow here as well. But the bulbs are coming up, more every day. 🙂

  14. Catherine says:

    Seeing those Violas reminded me of your Viola beauty pageants. The orchids are all so pretty.
    Here winter has decided to return, can’t wait until it gets warm and stays warm.

    Hi Catherine, thanks for visiting. The Violas are wonderful, with each face unique, like people. Sorry winter has returned for you. We are having spring like temps for a while, but I know winter isn’t done with us either.

  15. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Wow Frances, you have lots going on in your garden. Love seeing the blue sky and the bee behind too. Happy GBBD.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by. Now is when we really appreciate blue skies and bee behinds! Happy Bloom Day to you as well! 🙂

  16. Beautifully written Frances. My ‘Diane’ is just starting to show as is ‘Arnold’s Promise.’ I think I want ‘Jelena’ next. I love those witch hazels. I also adore your orchids. Happy Bloom Day.~~Dee

    Thank you, Dee, I appreciate you. Hooray for your Diane and Arnold. I noticed today that Arnold and Diane were open at the same time here, he is usually later. Maybe there is hope for a love child from them! HA Happy Bloom Day to you, too. 🙂

  17. Town Mouse says:

    Happy Bloom Day, Frances. Love the photo with the bee butt — yes, I agree, better than no bee at all. Hamamelis was my mother’s favorite, I always have to think of her when I see yours.

    Hi Town Mouse, thanks. The bee and my timing with the shutter just could not be coordinated, and the bee seemed annoyed at my efforts while he was trying to get the job done! That is sweet about the Witch Hazel, your mother must have been a garden lover. 🙂

  18. Lola says:

    Those sure are some pretty blooms. Those orchids are magnificent.
    I saw my first daffodil about 2 days ago, now I have 2 blooms each on opposite sides of the yard.

    Hi Lola, thanks. Hooray for your daffs! That is great news. 🙂

  19. It’s great that we can see the garden through its seasons and round again. I remember your Diane from last year – and your pansy beauty competition.


    Hi Esther, thanks for stopping by. And thanks for remembering old posts. The garden posts are similar from year to year with the garden stalwarts. As the blog ages, so do the plantings, and the gardener. Fun to compare from year to year for me, and see the mistakes along with the successes. 🙂

  20. Kat says:

    I love how you take your orchids outside for their photo shoot. They must feel so special.

    HA Kat, I love your funny comment! The orchids are special, for sure. I try to take everything outside to photograph it when possible. There is nothing to compare to daylight for a point and shoot on auto gal like me. 🙂

  21. Rose says:

    Diane is just beautiful! Lovely blooms, but they look even better against the backdrop of your sunny skies. I know winter isn’t over for us either, but these past few days in the 50’s have been a welcome relief.

    Hi Rose, thanks. The sunny warm days have certainly been appreciated here as well, although we know winter is not nearly done with us. I am glad you are enjoying some good days too. 🙂

  22. Alistair says:

    Frances, I am so used to the yellow Witch Hazel I almost forgot about Diane, lovely photos. I love your Orchids, wouldn’t it be marvellous to be able to grow these outdoors.

    Hi Alistair, thanks so much. The color of Diane changes as the season progresses, darker reddish in the beginning and fading to lighter orange with yellow highlights later. I have seen orchids growing outside in southern Florida, on trees even. Sort of startling, actually. 🙂

  23. Karibaskets says:

    Love the white Paph. I’m going to Hawaii in May but am afraid of going to see the orchid sellers. (At least I can rule out a few varieties not suited to my conditions. Do love Paphs and Phragmipediums though.) and oh to see enough ground to even think about crocus!

    Hi Kari, thanks for visiting. Enjoy your trip to Hawaii! We are used to the early crocus in February in our zone 7 garden, but still have winter left, and possibly snow. I have admired the Phrags from afar, unsure if they would be happy in our conditions. The Paphs seem to like it, but oh those Phrag blooms, so exotic! 🙂

  24. Dreamybee says:

    I hope your orchids enjoyed their photo shoot. I just envisioned them primping and preening and standing up a bit straighter right before being whisked outside for their closeups. 🙂

    Hi Dreamybee, thanks for visiting, nice to see you here. The orchids were just as happy as the photographer that there have been days warm enough for them all to be outside for extended period. Stand up straighter, HA, good one! 🙂

  25. Les says:

    I see things are not so bleak where you are. Those orchids are beautiful!

    Hi Les, thanks for visiting. Not bleak, but not as colorful as it will be in a month or so. The effort continues to make the garden more interesting in the winter months. We are getting there, but still have plenty of room for improvement. 🙂

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