The Natural Garden Coach

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spring WILL Come (eventually)

Pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) in ice
Yes, I have no doubt spring will get here eventually. Just not eventually enough for me. Last weekend when I was enjoying the balmy spring-like weather, I took some photos of my emerging bulbs. It gave me hope that spring would arrive soon. Then this past week we had another shot of ridiculous-for-us-southerners winter weather. While the nearest big city to us got several inches of snow, we got a heck of a lot of ice. That wouldn't have been so bad except that it stayed below freezing for three days. Our plants don't like that. :-)

Flowering quince buds caught in ice
Fortunately, yesterday the sun reappeared, which caused me to rush outside to capture the stunning juxtaposition of sun and ice.

Ice reflections on trees
Amazingly, we lost only minor limbs on some of the trees. I was very thankful for that.

Goldfinches (mostly) at feeders (from office window)
What is it about cold weather that has the birds going crazy for food? I couldn't keep the feeders stocked fast enough for them.




Flame acanthus in ice
I'm used to most of my herbaceous perennials dying to the ground every winter. But not to plants like parsley, chives and kale withering to nothing. Plant then replant I guess.

Suffering cactus pad (it's not supposed to be horizontal!)
More ice reflections in trees
But enough of all that misery. On to some excitement (at least for me!).

Hellebore bud
This fall I planted two Lenten roses (Helleborus orientalis). This may not be that exciting for some of you but I've never seen them growing around here. So I'm very excited that one of them is actually blooming. I took this photo before the big freeze but now there's two more buds and this one is almost open. I'll have to get another photo when they're all open. The cold didn't phase them a bit!

Narcissus
I found this little flower last weekend. I don't remember planting it but I'm happy it's there (although today it looks a bit bedraggled).

Muscari neglectum
All of the bulbs that were coming up last weekend seem pretty unphased by the cold. For the first time, I planted some Spanish bluebells and Southern grape hyacinths. Here's the grape hyacinth, which is supposed to be the true Southern one that grows wild in old homesteads. It's extremely tiny so I guess I'll have to wait a few years for a stunning display.

This weather has got me wondering if I need to start planting for Northern-type winters and Southern-type summers. Oy! I'm sitting tight, waiting for another winter chill later this week (more snow and wintry mix with lows in the teens again). But I know just around the corner is my spring.

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2010. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

17 comments:

  1. That shot of the muhly grass is amazing. Ice can be so incredibly destructive - glad your damage was minimal.

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  2. I'm tickled for you about the Hellebore! I planted Spanish bluebells but there are no signs of life yet. The Blue French Roman Hyacinths are up, though.

    This week's weather was something else! I thought last year was bad ...

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  3. It is a shame that it is so destructive because it makes for lovely photography.

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  4. Ice does make pretty pictures, Jean! I wonder if the ice made a protective shell for some of your buds - even if they were cold they would get less of the cold wind damage? It's fun to see hellebores surviving ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  5. Ice -- yes, we've had that up north here, but we expect it. It is pretty, but that is cold for your garden. I hope the plants are all okay, and the gardener, too!

    Stay warm!

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  6. We also got a lot of ice. Very annoying!

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  7. Spring does seem to be inching closer on our side of the world. Like the ice shots. Glad you didn't have too much damage.

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  8. Jean, The muhly grass shot is particularly pretty -- and then you torture me with a blast of spring. I'm very happy for you, but spring seems a looooong way away from where I'm sitting. Stay warm and safe.

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  9. Jean, The muhly grass shot is particularly pretty -- and then you torture me with a blast of spring. I'm very happy for you, but spring seems a looooong way away from where I'm sitting. Stay warm and safe.

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  10. Beautiful captures Jean~Sigh, where oh where is my Middle South spring! gail

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  11. The glistening ice on the trees is so beautiful. I hope all your plants are okay!

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  12. I'm going to be relying on you for reminders that Spring really is a possibility, so please, melt that ice and get blooming!!

    Beautiful photos of the ice. Strange how something so destructive can be breathtakingly lovely.

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  13. The ice always creates such beautiful images, but the reality isn't so pleasant. I'm glad it didn't cause too much damage for you, Jean. Winter seems to have reached his icy fingers everywhere this year...I think we're all ready for spring.

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  14. That muhly grass photo is so cool! Interesting that you've gotten so much more ice than we have.

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  15. Even though we have not had the ice you have had, our birds are eating us out of house and home, too. We usually have to fill up all our feeders twice a day to keep all our feathered friends happy.
    The ice photos are so pretty even though it meant you lost some plants.

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  16. Hi there, I live in South Louisiana and I noticed you have Belinda's Dream. I just received this rose from a friend. Would you know if it is a florabunda or ?

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  17. Hi there Belinda,
    In answer to your question, Belinda's Dream is classified as a floribunda, but more importantly, it's also an Earthkind rose, meaning that it's one of those that survives very well in the South. So far for me, it looks pretty much like it does on the Antique Rose Emporium website - lots of fragrant blooms. Since it's your namesake, you should try it!
    Jean

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