Tag Archives: early spring garden

Friday Blue And Whites

It has been a busy week of weeding and mulching the garden but there is more to do, always more. Several hours before dawn we awoke to a powerful lightning storm but it carried little rain so far.  I ventured outside around eight o’clock to secure the tarp covering my mulch and to catch a few quick pictures.

In the past couple days the spirea has opened even more fully.

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Muscari is finally visible above the greenery of this bulbs planted in 2018.

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

Anemones are awesome flowers. I have planted many over the years but few actually have made it to this stage. These were planted several years ago.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

More of the cerinthe flowers have opened.  Hope they seed all around.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Candytuft is one of my favorite groundcovers. This is a small patch planted 20 years ago in a front sidewalk border.  Try as I might I cannot seem to get it to thrive in other areas of the garden for very long.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Have a safe and happy weekend.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

I gathered the first Thalia Daffodils this morning thinking they would feature in today’s vase. Stems of spirea, camellias, snowflakes and bits of foliage of different sorts, including fresh rosettes of unfurling columbine–all collected up as well.

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

But hellebores being conditioned in a drinking glass engaged my attention and inspired me to use them on their own without adornment.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

For a container today I had already decided to use my grandmother’s burgundy teapot so I shifted the hellebores into it.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Three sprigs of Cerinthe seemed to add a nice final touch.

Helleborus x hybridus

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Helleborus x hybridus

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tea

Materials
Flowers
Helleborus hybridus
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Foliage
Container
Grandma’s Teapot. McCormick Tea, Baltimore Md., Made In USA (some history of this teapot)

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to try arranging flowers to share. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Spring Opening 2021

Vernal Equinox: March 20, 2021 5:37 am.

Spring officially arrived this morning in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

After a week of severe weather warnings here on Thursday we saw only light rain showers on a day that sadly brought damaging tornados nearby and across the region. 

I managed only a couple hours of cleanup this week but it was satisfying to measure a bit of progress. A delivery of mulch scheduled for mid-week is a huge incentive to get busy weeding today.

Narcissus ‘King Alfred’

In fall of 2018 I layered tulip and muscari bulbs in a big blue pot. Last year a few tulips surprised me with blooms but muscari foliage was the bigger surprise. It never died back last summer, nor over the winter. So there is a tangle of leaves with little flowers now beginning to open.

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

After the winter a crinum lily is lifted way above ground.  I read it should be planted with soil up to the neck of the bulb, which it was, but like my daughter who couldn’t tolerate turtlenecks as a child, the crinum didn’t like being restricted either apparently.  Is the solution to dump more soil around it? It is already growing new leaves. I also read these bulbs could grow to 20 pounds so getting the planting right early on is important.

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

I have tentatively identified a mystery plant in another pot as Matthiola incana (Stock). I think I pulled it up last fall by mistake and temporarily potted it until I could get back to it.

Matthiola incana (Stock -Giant Imperial Blend)

There is a very small clump of anemones starting to flower. Even one of these richly colored flowers is impactful when added to little bouquets of summer snowflakes and daffodils which I have been happily sharing with neighbors.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

Some of the Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’ planted last year but enjoyed only by the rabbits have begun to emerge. The Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ is waking up. Spiraea seems very late this year but a few flowers have begun to show.

Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

The hellebores continue to open and now the garden is looking more colorful when viewed more than six inches away.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Before I finish I must mention I am haunted by the recent tragedy in Atlanta. Please keep in your thoughts the Asian women who were targeted and murdered this week. Amidst such suffering in the world we must find a way to bring compassion into our hearts.

Helleborus x hybridus

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a productive and exciting spring!

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

More spring-like weather moved the garden along this week so there was a bit of choice as to what could go in this week’s vase. I gathered various flowers but settled on a large bunch of summer snowflakes to serve as background for cerinthe.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Only two stems of cerinthe proved ready to cut but I forged ahead, styling the flowers in a very pretty blue wine glass I thought would complement the cerinthe.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Unfortunately the distinctive blue color and etched pattern of the glass disappeared once filled with the green snowflake stems and the vase turned rather bland. The glass was a bit too tall as well, making the proportions seem off.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

I shifted to placing coral-hued camellias in little containers, thinking I could group them with the glass of cerinthe and snowflakes. The effect was still not what I had in mind.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Eventually I settled on using just the trio of camellia flowers, two in vodka shot glasses and one floating atop a milk glass punch cup.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

I was happy with the camellias but not quite satisfied that the cerinthe didn’t make the cut. So I tried the snowflakes and cerinthe in a Caithness bud vase. The vase color worked this time but the opening was much too small to hold many stems.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Materials
Flowers
Camellia ‘Coral Delight’
Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Foliage
Camellia
Container
Assorted glassware; Punch cup paneled grape Milk Glass (Westmoreland); and Caithness glass bud vase

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Regardless of vase styles or arranging collections of vases, at this time of year each flower seems perfect—all make the cut.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Tryouts

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to try arranging flowers to share. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Approaching Mid-March 2021

More hellebores are in flower. These, planted along the north side of the house in 2016, came from Pine Knot Farms (PKF) in southern Virginia. They have not bulked up much in all these years but I am happy to see them again.

Helleborus ’Black Diamond’ (Winter Jewels® Black Diamond)

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Apricot Blush’ (seedlings)

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Apricot Blush’ (seedlings)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Also in the northern side garden this camellia is looking fine today. Just a few days ago its buds barely revealed color so I was surprised it opened so suddenly.  Last year it bloomed 10 days earlier.

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

The weather has been delightful all week, spirit-lifting really. On several days I managed to spend a few hours weeding and performing general clean-up. It is taking longer than expected but far from being a chore this year I am finding the tasks to be immensely satisfying.

Unknown Narcissus (Daffodil)

I showed these cerinthe flowers recently but am compelled by their rich colors to share them again.  I planted seeds last May in two locations. There is no sign of them in the back garden location, but this spot beside the house and next to the driveway is where they found happiness.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

As each week begins Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

The increasing hours of daylight are a gift that cannot go unremarked.  Spring is in the air. Since last Monday one small patch of Tete-a-Tete daffodils opened with conviction, dancing and swaying in the sunlight (yay, there was actual sunshine the past week). I filled the vase with a mass of the solid yellow flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

Tips of spiraea branches still in tight bud were used to lighten and lift the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

Materials
Flowers
Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)
Foliage
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Container
Hand-thrown Seagrove Pottery (olive-artichoke glaze)

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Daffodils In Green Vase

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Middle March 2020

Middle March Blooms

This should be a good week for cleaning up the garden beds, planting those hellebores bought a month ago, and for planting a dahlia shipment received this week.  In a spirit of optimism, Wednesday I planted some sweet pea seeds (Lathyrus odoratus ‘Beaujolais’). Wish me luck.

The redbud is in bloom but I have yet to get a good photo. Birdsong lifts the air.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

I missed seeing my Gentle Yoga students this morning. Classes are suspended for several weeks. Wishing everyone wellness and calm.

Singing Bowls

Om Peace Peace Peace!

Entering Spring

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spring equinox. Sunday (March 20, 2016) at 12:30 a.m. EDT

A week of spectacular weather, sunny and warm, encouraged the garden deeper into bloom.

Spirea, an old-fashioned passalong, could hold back no longer. This shrub disappointed last year but has redeemed itself with a dazzling pageant.

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

The branches are laden with flowers.

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Early blooming King Alfred were followed by Tete-a-tete daffodils. Both quickly finished their bright yellow displays for this spring once the temperatures increased. Fortunately the appearance of the white flowers of Narcissus ‘Thalia’ made a well-timed replacement.

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

I love white in the garden, but there is color as well.

What for weeks seemed like blooms on Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ actually are variegated bracts. Recently, deep red, tiny flowers have been exposed.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Multicolored pansies, planted in fall around the meditation circle, are filling out.

Pansies in Meditation Circle

Pansies in Meditation Circle

Anemone coronaria began flowering before Christmas but now are growing more vigorously. The blue-violet ‘Mr. Fokker’ is my favorite.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Another old-fashioned garden staple, Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) will soon decorate several of the borders.

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox)

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox)

The last frost day in piedmont North Carolina is mid-April, but spring has been set in motion.

Dainty Leucojum

Leucojum (snowflake)

Leucojum (snowflake)

I would appreciate help in identifying this bloom—Leucojum vernal (spring snowflake) or Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)? I have not been able to figure out what characteristics to focus on to distinguish between the two.

[Update Mar 12, 2016:  Thanks to my helpful readers for identifying this as Leucojum aestivum.]

Leucojum (snowflake)

Leucojum (snowflake)

Although it will be 80°F. today, it is not summer yet, but in my records I have these labelled L. aestivum (summer snowflake). They are pass-alongs from Sisters’ Garden so it must have been a guess.

They were planted in the green March 21, 2014 and bloomed April 30, 2014. Last year they flowered by March 30. So here they are in 2016 three weeks earlier, closer to spring than summer.

Leucojum (snowflake)

Leucojum (snowflake)

Thanks for your help.