Late February Garden Report

This Eastern Bluebird is perched on the folded tip of the juniper next door.

Eastern Bluebird Atop Juniper

Eastern Bluebird Atop Juniper

A heavy wet snow overnight transformed the winter garden.

Snow Dressed Garden

Snow Dressed Garden

Once again the birds are scurrying back and forth between feeders and favorite perches.

Female Cardinal Perched Above Feeder

Female Cardinal Perched Above Feeder

Surrounded by draping branches of ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress, a Northern Cardinal waits patiently on a redbud branch while the Eastern Bluebirds take a turn at the feeder.

Northern Cardinal and Eastern Bluebirds

Northern Cardinal and Eastern Bluebirds

Looking below and to the right of the cardinal, the green clumps on the ground are Hellebores. Here are the same ones seen looking more colorful yesterday. This collection of Hellebores in the garden’s southwest corner were among the last to bloom.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Speaking of hellebores, I highly recommend this new video from a well-known, North Carolina-based nursery: Hellebore (Lenten Rose) Production at Plant Delights Nursery. Owner Tony Avent explains how he grows and selects Hellebores to sell at his nursery.

Fortunately with a high forecast of 37 °F today the snow is already beginning to melt, but winter refuses to leave. Low temperatures for the next 3 nights: 26 °F; 18 °F; and 12 °F.  There are broken branches in the neighbors’ yards and lots of bent branches and shrubs in the back garden. Out front the Crape Myrtle pair have once again been damaged. The crushed one on the left had make such a nice recovery too, after having been flattened by a freakish summer wind shear several years ago. The tree on the right lost a lower branch this time.

Crape Myrtles At Front Walkway

Crape Myrtles At Front Walkway

This bird flew up into the bottom of the feeder two or three times before finally landing on the feeding perch. I wonder if it was trying to shake down the seeds toward the front or was just beating itself up over this weather. Spring is coming, spring is coming, spring is coming…

Avian Antics

Avian Antics

31 thoughts on “Late February Garden Report

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Donna, I know I can’t complain with what you and others have faced this winter. Daffodils continue to fatten up and seem to think spring is near, so I’m encouraged.

      Reply
  1. Julie

    Susie, your photos are very picturesque but I know you and your wildlife must have had enough by now. I watched your link, breeding Hellebores is an interesting business, it must be thrilling to discover the winners, the freckly white double near the end was particularly pretty.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Matt. We trimmed the broken branch away and will hope the crape myrtle is not wakened by the stress. The smaller popped back up after the snow melted so it should be ok too.

      Reply
  2. Julie

    Your garden has been transformed into a Narnia like image Susie – it makes me shiver just looking at your snowy pictures! The birds seem to be making the most of your treats and I certainly hope spring arrives soon for you.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The neighborhood kids have certainly enjoyed the snow today. I’ve never seen so many snowmen. The little girl next door is working on her third one.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    It looks so pretty, but the danger of broken branches can dampen the enthusisam! We had similar snow in January but the problem was that it froze and hung around for about a week. Many branches just couldn’t stand the burden… I hope it melts rapidly for you and your birds!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, this kind of snow is deceptively pretty. Hope you didn’t lose too many branches Cathy. It can weaken the trees although I must say, many seem quite resilient to this kind of damage. We were actually very lucky here. There were many big trees down, many people were without power and there were lots of accidents. In contrast we didn’t even lose our internet connection!

      Reply
  4. Pauline

    Such beautiful photos of your garden transformed by snow, the birds certainly stand out against all the white. Your hellibore is lovely, I hope you have more flowers when your snow decides to go. Stay warm and safe.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Pauline. I nearly stepped into one section of hellebores that were covered with snow yesterday while outside trying to remove snow from the gardenia branches. I hope they don’t mind this little pause in their bloom schedule.

      Reply
  5. Christina

    I don’t remember ever seeing quite so much snow in your garden Susie. It looks really beautiful but it isn’t good if branches are breaking under the pressure. Hopefully it will melt quickly for you and the birds.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      We’ve had more snow than this but not in many years, probably pre-blogging days. Fortunately most snow has melted from the treetops. There is still a lot on the ground through and it may take it a while to clear. I see daffodils fattening up so they’re poised to move ahead when we get a few warm days.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Marian, I’m with you–hoping this is the last one. It has been a surprise to have so many winter storms. Hope you didn’t have any damage from the snow. The little girl next door is rarely outside but she built 3 snowmen yesterday and played in her yard all day!

      Reply
  6. bittster

    Crape myrtle grows in every God forsaken lot yet your well cared or trees just don’t seem to get a break! Glad the damage isn’t too bad, but sorry they can’t just go along on their way.
    The snow looks beautiful but I don’t blame you for being done with it.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I had to laugh. You are so right about crape myrtles. They’re ubiquitous around here. Just in the neighborhood, even the folks who perform “crape murder” each spring seem to have more robust trees.

      Reply
  7. Alberto

    Wow you really have a winter taste in there! In this time of the year I start feeling a bit sick of winter though. Fortunately it felt like spring here the past weekend (today it’s rainy though). I love your hellebores and I’m amazed of the birds that visit your garden!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’m glad it’s starting to feel like spring where you are Alberto. We’ve still snow on the ground (very unusual for it to last so long), and a rainy week is forecast. The birds have been a treat to watch this winter.

      Reply

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