Wednesday, February 15, 2012

bloom day by cell

I know the weather has been exclaimed over all winter, but wow is it warm today!  We've had about a week of really low temperatures so far.  I heard it called The Winter That Never Was this morning on the local news.  But, I'm not complaining!  I took a few steps around the garden just now and snapped some shots with my phone for Bloom Day.*  Come and look at my blooms!

I have hellebores, as you can see (Brandywine, Pine Knot, and their babies).  I so love these! They come so early and bloom for such a long time. Nothing perturbs them, not squirrels, voles, deer, rabbits, not diseases nor drought. They're amazing and wonderful plants as far as I'm concerned, not native, but otherwise perfect.

Crocus 'Ruby Giant' burst into bloom today just for bloom day!  The intensity of the purple is luscious.

Witch hazels are blooming.  This one is Hammamelis 'Jelena'.  I've decided the blooms smell kind of like fabric softener or laundry detergent.  I like it okay, but I'm not a huge fan.  I took a small branch inside so we could enjoy the unusual blooms up close.  They've lasted longer than I expected, about a week so far.

The best scent in the winter garden to me is winter honeysuckle.  The tiny blooms are so incredibly fragrant, I can catch a whiff as soon as I walk outside some days.  I love it!  

I have heard winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) is invasive in some areas, but it has not made any "bad plant" lists in North Carolina as far as I know.

Narcissus have been blooming since November, but the trumpets have started now, too.

You can see my 'Plentifall' pansies in the background.  They have bloomed non-stop since I put them there at the end of October.

Nearby a stray crocus comes up through an autumn fern.

I have pulled out tons of this plant, periwinkle (Vinca minor), but there is still plenty out there.  I don't find it particularly aggressive, but it is a non-native and is considered invasive, so I'm gradually replacing it with other things.

 This time of year the evergreen foliage and blue blooms look pretty with the daffodils.

The cold snap we just had browned most of my camellia blooms, but this one survived unaffected.  This is 'Professor Charles Sargent.'  I'm thrilled to have these lush red flowers during the winter.  They are perfect to bring inside for Valentine's Day.


*Bloom Day was started years ago by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  To find out what's blooming today in her garden and in gardens all around the world, visit her blog here.