Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gray, White, and Fresh Green


Gray January skies, drizzly rain, 43 degrees.  And then the shock of these emerald moss islands along the edge of the road.  It was hard not to reach down and pet them.  Okay, actually, I did.

I like to walk in weather like this.  The air feels fresh and moist, and after being inside most of the time since Thanksgiving, it's a relief.  There were lots of moss islands all along the way.  And the winter weeds are showing up:  chickweed, wild garlic, bittercress, even henbit, which usually is a little later, I think.  Our ancestors ate all of these fresh greens; what a waste that most of us do not.

Back at home, paperwhites have been blooming for a few weeks.


Looks like my paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) is going to bloom soon.  The velvety white flower heads are getting fat.  I love how that plant looks in the winter all bud-scarred with diamond-shaped lenticels along the twigs.   I'm really looking forward to the fragrance of the blooms in a few weeks.

I can find rosettes of green coming up through the leaves all over the place, if I poke around a little.  Aster, goldenrod, chrysanthemum, iris are all sporting fresh leaves.  I noticed new leaves and buds on the Lenten roses, but fewer than I expected, which is a little disappointing.

Bellflower (Campanula punctata 'Cherry Bells') is out of control.  Will have to remove a lot of that.  Dozens of daffodils are pushing up their narrow leaves.  I noticed a pink (Dianthus chinensis) on the verge of bloom; those flowers bloom on and on for at least 9 or 10 months of the year.

Yesterday, I saw on Facebook a picture of snowdrops posted by Mills Garden Herb Farm in Statesville, which is just a few miles north of Charlotte.  I responded to the post saying mine weren't up yet, much less blooming.  But then I thought about a couple of places I hadn't looked yet, and sure enough, I had one...exactly one...but they're so lovely that one was enough. It made my day.




What's going on in your garden at the start of this new year?

~*~

16 comments:

  1. wow, snowdrops already? beautiful post daricia!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. I'm getting a few...they don't perennialize that well here, but I love them enough to keep planting them.

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  2. I love when life starts pushing up through the soil. My hellebore are beginning to bloom, as is the Edgeworthia, witchhazel, and camellia. I am ready to get a break from all this rain but then again we need it desperately. Happy New Year!

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    1. Still no blooms on edgeworthia or witch hazel here, but I do have camellias. The gray skies are kind of wearing here, too, but we are in for a big warm up this week, so that will be nice.

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  3. Love the photos. Great post!

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  4. Love the photographs! The brightest things in our yard right now are the lovely fragrant yellow Winter Sun Mahonias. A treat for the eyes and the nose. And as the Mahonias fade, our Arnold Promise witchhazel will pick up the yellow and an even sweeter scent.

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    1. I love mahonias, too. Mine bloomed in October and November this year, so I don't have any now. I envy your Arnold Promise...might have to add one of those sometime.

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  5. I've got mahonia, paperwhites, Algerian iris, pansies of course and the sasanquas are still blooming somewhat.

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    1. I'm going to have to look for Algerian iris. How nice to have an iris this time of year.

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  6. Camellias are enjoying cool, damp weather here.

    I appreciate winter moss too, and lichens on old wood.

    How did your Amaryllis turn out? Mine bloomed one. at. a. time. What a treat!

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    1. Lichens are a favorite of mine, too, Nell Jean. As far as the amaryllis go, this wasn't a great year. In fact, I would say it's the worst I ever had! I will definitely pay a little more next year and get some better bulbs. I'm glad yours were nice!

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  7. I love your photo of the moss! The gray weather was really weighing on me last week, and I finally took a walk around the gardens to see if anything might cheer me. Hellebores, hooray! One of my favorite plants is finally starting to show its colors. I have them throughout the garden, since our area is so shady, and they always save the day in winter. Daffodils are coming up way too early, as well as irises, but our camellias are still going strong. The paper bush and witch hazel, both new plantings, are about to bloom, too. Yay! I'm embarrassed to say--I still have many bulbs to get in the ground. Perhaps this week I'll find the chance to play in the dirt a bit. Lovely photos, as always! Hope you have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks, Julie, you too. Your garden sounds lovely. I'm not sure what's going on with my hellebores, they usually do wonderfully. Hopefully they are just a little late. As far as late bulbs go...we've all been there! I've planted as late as February before and they still bloom, though not on their usually schedule and the stalks are usually too short. But they will settle into their routine by the next year.

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  8. I am glad to have a friend who pets moss too. Very funny. Save me some Cherry Bells, if you can. :-)

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    1. You, too?? :D No problem with the Cherry Bells. I have all you could possibly want!

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