Welcome friends to the February 2012 edition of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. This time of year often finds a scarcity of blooms to share, but years of researching which plants will flower in winter and also grow in our Zone 7a, no change with the new map, has us falling back on the stalwarts year after year. We will begin with the bulb group, starting off with Iris histrioides ‘Katharine Hodgkin’. In the fall of 2010, Kat was planted in a special place at the side of the daylily hill, the better to see you, my dear. But dastardly diggers of the vole and squirrel family ruined what should have been a grand show. Seven bulbs were saved and moved to the sunny Gravel Garden. So far, five have arisen and it is still early yet.
Also in the Gravel Garden are a couple of grocery store Iris reticulata planted in late winter 2011. These were tagged as crocus, but I could tell from the spike they were iris of some sort. The variety is unknown, but we can vouch for the dark blue color.
I didn’t remember sticking some Crocus tommasinianus ‘Roseus’ into the warmth of the Gravel Garden, thinking they were all growing and being divided and spread in the Fairelurie. But, there they be, looking quite happy. The gravel does give a nice background to the non-brown plants.
Planted originally with Katharine Hodgkin at the side of the daylily hill behind a small stone wall was Crocus biflorus isauricus ‘Spring Beauty’. The digging vandalism seemed to have less effect on these little pretties, thank goodness. Some should probably be moved to the Gravel Garden for safer growing.
There were several varieties of daffodils that came with the property. There is one type that is weeks ahead of the rest. It is shorter in stature with a medium sized trumpet and lighter yellow, slightly twisted petals. It increases much faster and has been spread more and more each year for a carpet to be someday. It might be Narcissus pseudonarcissus, or not.
Helleborus orientalis has seeded itself and is nearly as numerous as the early daffs. Whites, pinks, freckled and solid colors, we love them all. The bloom time coincides with these daffodils, but the hellebores will continue blooming until June.
Edgeworthia chrysantha is opening the little furry paw-like buds to reveal the honey scented bell shaped flowers. Downward hanging, the only way to appreciate them is to get below and look upwards. Worth it.
For the first time ever, probably due to weird weather conditions of unseasonably warm January temperatures, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ is blooming at the same time as H. ‘Diane’, whose orange blaze petals can be seen in the background here, just across the pathway.
“Hey there, good lookin’!”, says the dashing Arnold. There has always been hope of some sort of cross pollination to occur between these two lovebirds, it being so close to Valentine’s Day when they bloom and all. Maybe this year the fertility gods will shine down upon us. On warmer days, there have been bees in the area. Diane is demure and ready, in my opinion, as she answers back, “Hey there yourself, big boy!”.
There are little odds and ends of flowers at this time, bravely opening in spite of brutally frigid winds and spitting snowfall recently. The garden is still shades of toast and khaki, but green is coming, to veil the hillside in verdancy, soon.