Things are looking up around the late winter Fairegarden.
The leap of faith required when planting annuals right before winter is paying the dividends. Violas that have barely hung on through snow, hail, wind, torrential rain, sub-freezing temps for weeks on end and dark of night are now perking up. The ornamental kale, shown in the opening shot, that was nearly pulled when the centers turned to brown mush after being blanketed with snow and ice for a month are regrowing. Hallelujah!
What was thought to be volunteer parsley seedlings turned out to be volunteer cilantro seedlings. These have been covered with snow, endured the exceptionally cold winter in a raised box and have provided many an accoutrement to fine meals of Mexican and Spanish descent. Perhaps there will be parsley babies later? I distinctly remember sprinkling the seeds in there.
Have I told you today how much I love Annie’s Annuals? The addiction to buying plants takes a hit during the depths of the short days of January. Annie’s is the go-to place to fill the need, sending healthy and even flowering, well rooted pots of plants to a snow covered Tennessee home. Heuchera sanguinea ‘Sioux Falls’ was held in the greenhouse along with several other must have purchases until it seemed the time was right to plant them outside. It was feared that the blooms would be frozen when winter coughs up a few last hairballs of cold, but so far, so good. The red flowers are being entered into the gene pool of Heuchera hanky-panky that goes on around here. Planted in the trough to replace the seedling H. ‘Faire Piecrust’ which has been repotted to grow on to a larger size for division, the bright green leaves and brilliant blooms bring happiness already.
A recent severe thunderstorm that kindly left the preternaturally blooming Sioux Falls unscathed was not so kind to Faire Diane, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’. This photo was taken right before the storm hit, showing the full formal regalia. After the violent clouds moved on and the sun came out, not a single petal was left on the witch hazel. That has never happened before, it is hoped it never happens again. At least we have these images as a reminder of her good if brief show in 2011.
The slope behind the main house, to the right of the wide concrete stair pads, has been colonized with Hellebores. The flowers of most hang downwards, asking an inquisitive photographer to crawl on her belly for a looksee. This seedling has a brighter outlook, facing the world head on. There will be more photos to come as the numerous Helleborus orientalis open fully.