Don’t expect too much

Yes, it’s fifty five degrees. No, it is not spring, so expecting more than the few scattered flowers of witch hazels, hellebores, and snowdrops is unrealistic. Still, I regularly examine early flowering magnolias (below) and ‘Okame’ cherry for swelling buds, which are not swelling despite this spell of late January warmth, and probably won’t for another four weeks.

After weeks of cold temperatures, this mild spell is a joy, and I’m certain that looking for signs of early flowering is not overly crazy. If temperatures don’t turn cold again it’s likely that winter jasmines will begin flowering soon, and various hellebores that flower throughout the winter are likely to bloom earlier.

As I look closely for color on the jasmine, I’m wary of the large Northern Brown water snake that often lurks under these arching branches. No, it’s not that warm. Certainly, he’s nestled in to a protected spot for another month or two, but still I’m cautious. On second thought, perhaps this mild weather is making me a bit crazy.

While there were exceptional blooms on many camellias through the autumn, two long established shrubs are always late. Both are loaded with fat, swelling buds, and if there are no extended periods of cold, there are likely to be flowers in February. A year ago, there were flowers January into early March, and while there has not been a single flower in January, there’s hope for the weeks to come.

I’m happy to see that bees are getting out to enjoy the scattered winter flowers. I’m not certain of the temperature that brings them out, but there were no bees in the garden through the early, cold weeks of January. Now, they gather nectar while the weather suits them, and I think I see that they also visit flower buds that are weeks from opening.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. momentaryreverie says:


  2. tonytomeo says:

    It seems spring will be arriving before winter gets here.

    1. Dave says:

      I wouldn’t mind if autumn skipped right into spring, but I do appreciate the lull in the landscape business. Working at our spring pace is not sustainable.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        In our climate, it almost does that. We do not get much of a winter, although it did happen to get frosty this year. We still need rain.

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