Here today …..

Several of the magnolias are flowering today, with others set for next week. But, cold is on the way, so while already opened flowers of ‘Merrill’ and ‘Royal Star’ will last four or five days (at least) the next batch of blooms might last for only a few hours. Weather in March is variable, but varied to the extreme so that one day might be snowing and two days later the gardener is baking in seventy degree sun. Plants that flower at this time are often adapted to the extremes, but some are not, and if blooms are not ruined by a freeze they might fade quickly in a period of heat.

There is nothing out of the ordinary about this early spring, at least so far. Several inches of snow a week ago are a bit unusual, but we have snow in March, or even early April every few years. It goes away quickly, with a particularly good story when it’s sixty-five or seventy degrees two days later. March and April freezes are always a concern, and probably there’s never been an early spring without a few drops in temperature that endanger flowers, and more concerning, tender, emerging leaves.

Flowers of Okame cherry float on the koi pond.

In recent years late freezes have damaged emerging leaves of Japanese maples that are sturdy, but slow to recover. A few leaves are out today, but few enough that if these are lost it shouldn’t be a problem. Smaller gardens, with smaller plants might throw a cover over vulnerable plants, but that’s not possible here, and as long as nothing is killed I am curious to see what is damaged and what makes it through various freezes.

The early flowering, dwarf February Gold daffodils have faded, with full sized varieties now in full bloom.
There are hellebores in a range of colors in the garden, and while yellow flowers are quite ordinary with many plants there are few yellow hellebores. Every year I try to add a few, but so far they don’t make much of a show.
Many half opened flower buds of camellias were damaged by a recent freeze, though all have recovered and all display many undamaged flowers that are likely to be brown after the freeze.
The flower spikes of the native Pachysandra procumbens poke up through the leaf piles. Unlike the Japanese pachysandra, Allegheny spurge is slow to spread.
The small yellow leaves of Ogon spirea closely follow its mid March flowers. Ogon need yearly pruning to keep a compact shape, with pruning best done immediately after flowering.
The population of Grecian windflowers (Anemone blanda) was greatly diminished several years ago when many were accidently weeded out, but the numbers are increasing.
The first of many trilliums to emerge. Others are breaking ground, but it will be a few weeks until they flower.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa M says:

    You have such a gorgeous garden. Pretty amazing 🌸🌺🌻🌹

  2. Valerie says:

    I had never heard of trillium. After I read your blog, I went to Merrifield Garden Center, hoping they carried trillium. They said they had none, adding that the plant sellers have been delayed shipping out their plants. I’ll keep watching for trillium at the various garden centers. I wonder if trilliums would thrive under 20 foot American Holly trees, where there is morning sun? I’ll give them a try, as soon as I can find some. I researched trillium, and I like the feature that they live many years. Thanks for your photos!

    1. Dave says:

      The best bet for finding trilliums is online sellers. They are difficult for most growers since they are slow to flower from seed. Trilliums native habitat in local forests is in the filtered shade of the understory, so beneath a holly should be ideal.

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