February Bloom Day 2013-It Begins

February 9, 2013 058 (2)
Here we go…

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The blooming has begun for real. No more flowers playing hide and seek with the gardening photographer trying to find something to share for Bloom Day.

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In case you don’t know, Bloom Day, officially known as Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day was invented by sweet Carol of May Dreams Gardens on February 15, 2007. Click here to see that first post inviting one and all to share from their own gardens on the fifteenth of each month.

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Bloom Day is the reason that I jumped into the blogdom myself on December 7, 2007. Not a single month has gone by since then that there was not a post for Bloom Day. Sometimes they were late, sometimes early, but always there was participation.

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There was a digital camera, check. There were photos of the garden going back to fall of 2002, arranged by month, check. I still archive them using that system, in fact.

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But enough ancient history, there are flowers blooming here right now!

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There are bulbs, the earliest crocus and daffodils. There are heaths, Erica ssp. and primroses.

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There are hellebores of various pinks and whites and one darker Helleborus orientalis ‘Blue Lady’.

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There are fragrant shrubs like Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’, click here for an in depth story, and Edgeworthia chrysantha, click here for more about this one. With scent that strongly suggest honey, the Edgeworthia is now in a new position in the garden, the better to smell you, my dear.

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Formerly located in the prime real estate of the yellow/white garden was the witch hazel Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’. I say was because part of Arnold, the root stock has taken over his persona, leaving but one stem of yellow curly petals, and even that branch looks diseased. But happily, it seems that Arnold has reverted to become the native Hamamelis vernalis. The above photo displays both old Arnold and new vernalis sporting the tall, straight stems and smaller apricot flowers. H. vernalis grows to become a larger tree than the design of the white/yellow garden would allow, so the executive decision was made to dig up Arnold and trade places with the lower Edgeworthia, one of two growing under the tall pine trees. It was a big job for me to do all of that digging, but January was the perfect time for such a task. The soil was soft and moist and both shrubs would have the best chance for survival with plentiful rains in the forecast.

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That move leaves dear Diane, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ without a boyfriend. It was hoped there might be some sort of cross pollination between Arnold and Diane, but she is now a single lady, once again, and appears to be loving life and living it to the fullest.


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23 Responses to February Bloom Day 2013-It Begins

  1. Lea says:

    Beautiful! Beautiful!
    I love the way you have captured the sunshine highlighting the blooms!
    Happy Bloom Day!
    Lea’s Menagerie

    Hi Lea, thanks so much. When the sun comes out in the early morning is my favorite time of the day. Also good for photography!

  2. Jean says:

    Gorgeous Frances! You have so many lovely things blooming. Makes me want to get more hellebores. Surely one can’t have too many??

    Hi Jean, thanks so much. There is a lot blooming here now, especially since I began spreading those earliest daffodils to nearly every single bed. The Hellebores have spread themselves from seeding over the years. It was a slow start with that, but now they have world domination in mind!

  3. Lola says:

    Fantastic. I love the way you describe your subjects. Beautiful blooms as always.

    Hi Lola,thanks. I think of them, the plants here, as more like my children than my subjects, but I am sort of in charge of them.

  4. What a great day weather-wise here in east TN to celebrate Bloom Day and your pictures are the perfect way to start things off. Enjoyed reading about the saga of “Arnold Promise” and how you have resolved the issue of his inability to sustain being the guy you thought he’d be. Hope his departure from Diane’s proximity didn’t totally ruin her Valentine’s Day. Maybe at some point, the brain and brawn behind Fairegarden’s version of match.com will come to her rescue and attempt for a second time to resolve her single lady status.

    HA Michaele, thanks for making me nearly spew my tea! It is indeed another most gorgeous day here and I can barely stand to be indoors for even a minute. I am wondering if the species native H. vernalis might actually be a better suitor for Diane, being a natural kind of guy and all. Diane does bear fruit sometimes. I should save it and plant the seeds and see what happens.

  5. commonweeder says:

    Your blooms and photographs are just gorgeous. I dreamed of hellebores last night. I had a garden full full full of blooming hellebores I had transplanted, but when I awoke snow was still deep on the ground and I knew that once again, I did not have hellebore bloom to look forward to. Maybe next year.

    Hi Pat, thanks for sharing your sweet dream here. It sounds like a good one, and may indeed come true in the future. Hang on to your hopes!

  6. Christy says:

    Oh Frances, your flowers are just gorgeous! You have so much variety! Spring in so close and I can’t wait!

    Hi Christy, thanks so much. We do have a lot of variety here, as I am an avid plant collector. If I don’t have it, I want it! Spring comes in spurts here in our zone 7a Southeast Tennessee. Today is a spring spurt, tomorrow winter returns. But the flowers will be fine. They have withstood this kind of rude weather treatment for many years.

  7. Leslie says:

    Beautiful! It really is beginning there!

    thanks Leslie. When the early daffodils dot the hillside, we consider that the starting bell!

  8. nuttygnome says:

    Hi Frances. Gosh, you’re way ahead of us! Here in the UK we’re still having regular snowfalls – most of which are gone within a day or two because of the following rain, but I hold out hope for another longlasting snowfall before spring!
    I have a few bulbs begining to poke their heads above ground, but nothing flowering as beautifully as yours yet.

    Hi Liz, thanks for sharing your situation gardenwise. I have made a particular effort to plant mostly the earliest of bloomers here. I just can’t wait for spring to arrive!

  9. Barbara H. says:

    Love the saga of Diane and Arnold. May they both prosper and find new love in this next stage of their loves. Lovely photos, as always.

    Hi Barbara, thanks. I hope Arnold hangs on for a few more years, but there is a big canker wound at the base of this branch. All of the H. vernalis trunks are very healthy, if large. I actually made two trees of that out of the witch hazel formerly known as Arnold.

  10. I love your witchhazels and crocus. Great color.

    Hi Jason, thanks for stopping by. Bright color is so cheering right now, isn’t it?

  11. Nell Jean says:

    Spectacular show. No witch hazels here but we have Sassafras, the country cousin.

    Hi Nell Jean, thanks for visiting. Sassafras is a beautiful tree!

  12. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    Thanks, Kathy!

  13. Sharon says:

    yes it is beautiful but tooo early!!!

    Hi Sharon, thanks for visiting. It may be too early for some areas, but here, we are right on schedule. My brain likes to see flowers blooming right about now.

  14. You take lovely pictures! I’ve subscribed by email – I don’t have much time right now but I want to come back and enjoy your blog in the coming weeks as spring progresses for you. Not quite time here, in upstate NY. Happy GBBD!

    Hi Alana, thanks so much and welcome! There are nearly 900 posts here to be consumed, I hope you enjoy your time here. We are definitely ahead of your gardening schedule here in Southeast Tennessee zone 7a. There is lots to share! Happy GBBD to you.

  15. I am amazed at the Heath. I am in zone 7b near Raleigh, and I have always thought Heath was impossible. I may give it a try!

    Hi Sarah, thanks for visiting. The heaths, Erica ssp. and the heathers, Calluna spp. do quite well here on our north facing acidic slope. Once established, they are carefree and lovely. I have found they look better with light pruning for shape after blooming. Good luck with them!

  16. Sigh…you’re about a month ahead of me. We’ve had an especially snowy winter, so with several inches of snow on the ground I have no blooms to share this month. But thank you for sharing your beauties with all of us–especially those of us in the northland. The Daffodils are especially cheery to me! Happy GBBD!

    Hi Beth, thanks for stopping by and happy GBBD. We enjoy an early beginning to bloom time each year, thanks to our zone but also thanks to the planting choices I have made over the years. Early is better when it comes to flowers. The daffodils are the most cheerful of all of the blooms, I agree.

  17. Kris P says:

    Bloom Day posts on blogs like yours are what prompted me to dive into blog-dom myself at the very end of 2012. Your climate is very different from mine but I still appreciate the opportunity to check out new plants, even if just vicariously, by checking your Bloom Day posts. Thanks for keeping them coming.

    Hi Kris, welcome to the blogdom! Bloom Day sharing is a fine way to meet other bloggers and learn about new plants that you might want to try. It is surprising how some plants can live and even thrive in very diverse situations.

  18. Dee says:

    I’m glad ‘Arnold’ reverted to something good. Too bad grafted roses don’t. LOL! Poor ‘Diane.’ She’ll have to sing the single ladies song by Beyonce.~~Dee

    Hi Dee, thanks for visiting. We got lucky with the rootstock of Arnold. Diane sent up a few suckers early on and it was the yellow, fall blooming H. virginiana. One was rooted but research showed us it was not the tree we wanted here. H.vernalis is welcome, however. The Beyonce song was what I had in mind when writing about the single Diane!

  19. Spring is looking good in your garden….it is still white here.

    Hi Donna, thanks for visiting. Yes, we are in full swing spring here. There was a forecast of possible snow yesterday, but it missed us. Still cold though.

  20. cheryl says:

    Wow Frances congratulations on a beautiful Bloom Day. My thoughts are of gitting out there and start puttering but the 2′ of snow and -30C windchill kinda prevents that. So I view your gorgeous garden and say to myself, soon Cheryl, very soon. Thanks !

    Hi Cherly, thanks. Brrrrr! Your neck of the woods sounds way too cold for my Southern blood, right now anyway. Soon, soon your spring will come!

  21. Charlie says:

    My garden is slightly behind yours. The hellebores are in bloom, the lilacs, wisteria, the hydrangeas have just broken leaf, and the peonies are poking up through the ground, I love this part of spring. Your photos are great, well done, thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed the walk through your garden.

    Hi Charlie, thanks so much. It doesn’t sound like you are much behind me gardenwise at all. The lilacs and hydrangeas are budded but have not broken dormancy. The roses have though, and the peonies are showing red.

  22. Les says:

    Edgeworthia and Daphne? I would stay outside all day.

    Les, I am outside nearly every minute possible. The garden calls my name…

  23. Diane needs to find a home in my garden!! Love that color. What is her fragrance like? Clovey like vernalis? You have a lot of wonderful fragrances in your garden. I can’t get enough of my Edgeworthia and Daphnes……just want to sink my face into the blooms.

    Hi Janet, thanks for visiting. Diane is a beauty, but her fragrance is not as strong as the vernalis. She needs warmer temperatures to release the perfume, and most years, like this one, it is too cold. She might be more scented in your warmer zone, however. She is gorgeous, though.

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