The Natural Garden Coach

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Lenten roses, Helleborus orientalis
Well, Carol's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day was yesterday and Pam's Foliage Follow-up is today, and I'm barely getting anything together for either. I had planned to post some photos of my lettuce and kale for Foliage Follow-up but the previous two weeks of extended below freezing weather has killed them! But I'm happy to say I can show two different blooms for GBBD, even if I'm a day late. My little Lenten rose is still thrilling me with its blooms. Funny how something so little yet so new to my garden is such a thrill. When I purchased this online, it said "multi-colored," meaning they probably didn't know what I'd end up with. Well, I'm happy with this color. The other one is not blooming so that'll probably be a surprise for next winter.

Meyer lemon tree
My little ol' Meyer lemon is blooming up a storm inside. Now that all the blooms are opening, I can smell it when I walk in the door. I may have to take it outside this weekend (we've had temps in the upper 60s here!), just so some stray bee can pollinate it for me. I want some lemons!

Meyer lemon blossoms
I hope you all can visit both Carol and Pam's blogs to see what other gardeners have going in their gardening worlds.

And don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count starts this Friday, going through Monday. It only takes a little of your time to become a citizen scientist!

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.

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.