Daily surprise

Glorious weather continues. Big rain last night and 80 degree temperatures meant hostas ‘June’ and ‘Hadspen Blue’

and the crinums broke through their mulch beds for the first time this year.

The gardenia at the end of the bed closest to the witch hazel was looking sickly, so I fed it, the bergenias, the perennials in the hot border, and everything in the trillium bed with Osmocote. (I tend to prefer Garden-Tone, but do not have any right now.) I know this is premature given our typical last frost date is mid-April. But I really don’t see any frost happening between now and then. And I have plenty of old sheets in the shed if spring changes her mind.

I had completely forgotten about the Eranthis hyemalis I planted last fall. I think I’m going to fall in love with these. They look rather Seussian, don’t you think?


Biggest surprise? My beloved Trillium luteums are emerging!

Hope spring’s eternal

This weather has been incredible. It is the first day of spring, but we only had about a week of winter. It has been spring since mid-January. The high today was about 80; it is raining now, late at night, refreshing the plants, cleaning off the pollen, and making things cozy as I prepare to fall asleep.

The prolonged warm weather has exacerbated the drought, and my county is now in moderate drought status. All the foliage emerging early is helping to siphon what little moisture there is out of the ground. I must remember to water this week from my rain barrels, even though we we have had light rainfall all week. Roses especially need deep watering.



Today my Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ burst into bloom. I am glad I purchased those back at Thanksgiving. They are perfectly charming!

Also blooming are my Stylophorums, celandine poppies. My Solomon’s seals, both species and variegated, are emerging, and my Iris ‘Eco Easter’ are starting to bud.


The Eco Easters have really begun to run, which I am pleased to see. I hope to have a sea of pale blue in the blue-and-yellow garden this spring.


The daffodils have peaked and need deadheading. I must remember to mark which types are which so I can move them around appropriately. In the past, they didn’t come into full bloom until the last week of March.


Hope spring is lovely where you are.

Who said anything about spring?


It’s been in the mid-80s for the past 2 days, and mid-70s for days before that. We are skipping straight ahead to summer.
Usually my daffodils bloom the last week of March. They’ve been blooming a few weeks now. The forsythia bloomed for about a week, and it’s now going green. The lonicera have mostly shed their blossoms and are leafing out in that delicious, rich lime green color. Nothing is more welcome than that color after months of gray and brown.
My pink azaleas bloomed today, and I noticed the purple Japanese wisteria that lives in the backyards of people along the main road I travel is blooming as well. This is about a month ahead of schedule, as I recall. My Japanese maple went from twigs to full canopy in about three days. I know this is “weather,” and not so much a symptom of global warming, but I am feeling that that is a distinction without a difference. I am in a slight panic about the state of the planet. This happens every year.
On the upside, I have one camellia bloom now. My camellias are trudging along, behaving sullenly as they have done since I planted them. I’m beginning to accept they’ll have to be moved around, but I truly don’t have a great site for them.
The most charming plant in the world is blooming as well: Sanguinaria canadensis. It has doubled in size since I planted it last year, which is more luck that I can truly believe. It will break my heart next year, I am sure, just as my Trillium luteum seem to be doing this year. I planted them two years ago and waited anxiously last year for them to come up. Just as I had given up hope, there they were, and they thrilled me more than I can say. I cheered them on as if they were small children who’d just fought off a playground bully: “I am so proud of you! Look what you did! I left you alone and you came back and bloomed all by yourself! You’re going to be just fine, aren’t you? You’re a big, strong thing. You can take care of yourself. Let me give you a treat. How about some nice compost?” And I felt truly accomplished, feeling I had seen them along to that magical status: established. The stage at which the plants move off to college and take care of themselves, save an occasional assist from mom.
Then, a week or so ago, I went to a talk by staff from Niche Gardens who remarked in passing that this was blooming, that was blooming, the trilliums were blooming…what? No, they’re not. We still have a month left, right? But I was advised that with the warm weather we’d had and was to come this past week, they’d be up and going very soon if not already.
I kept vigil in my patch where the trilliums are. Or were. Their neighbors, the Polygonatum odoratum are up now. The Epimedium that are supposed to be evergreen here but are not, are showing new growth. Even the Epimedium roseum that I thought had died weeks after I planted it last spring is back on the scene! But no trilliums. I swept aside the top layer of soil, hoping to see little buds of something pushing up. I can’t find them anywhere. I am devastated. And the buggers cost $15 apiece.
I am also not seeing any sign of the poppies I sowed last year. It is supposed to be ridiculously easy to grow poppies. You throw out seed in the fall and they come up everywhere in the spring. I have tried this for several years in a row. It is a lie. And poppies do not like transplanting (I’ve tried that, too). I fear I am going to have to learn to live without, but I won’t like it.

I have just received a case of Zoysia plugs which will not appreciate being stuffed in a box on my porch, so perhaps I had better get to that before I kill that, too. I promise to be over this funk by next time.