Sunday, February 26, 2017

snow day

After weeks of warm weather, the temperatures have dropped to something more seasonal. There's a dusting of snow today. Unfortunately, this was not soon enough to keep the Helleborus niger cultivar flowers from turning green. I'm suspicious that it might not actually be the temperatures, but pollination. During that warm spell, the bees were so happy to find something and they were very busy. It makes sense that the flowers would fade after pollination, since there is no longer need to attract pollinators.
I just noticed the hoards of seedlings coming up under 'Jacob.' I wonder how many will survive? I certainly can't use all of them. Most of them died last year.

It's time for the later Hellebores to show their stuff.
While most hellbore flowers are pendant, 'Connie' was bred to have outfacing flowers, to better appreciate the interior spotting. Some flowers are outfacing, many are still pendant.

 The NoID hellebore that was the first plant I planted when I purchased this house, is starting to bloom.
 You are supposed to cut the ragged winter leaves of the H. x orientalis hybrids, but I don't even though they are not that attractive. I want my plants to get as much energy as possible, since my climate is a harsh one for them. Maybe when they get bigger, I'll do it.

In another week or two, he'll be better.

The H. x ballardiae 'Pink Frost' is starting to bloom. This is the plant that I brought from my old house. I struggled with it in there, and I struggled with it here until I found this spot. It seems much happier after the misery of transplanting and dividing. Hellebores hate that.
 It is certainly not as showy as I've seen some plants, but it sure is a lot better than last year.
 And hellebores grow slowly. I'm not sure if it is just here, or if it everywhere, but here they are very slow.
 Later in the season, the flowers will turn a sold dark murky pink, but for now, they are light.

The tree peony began leafing out with the warm weather. What amazing resilience to adverse weather. I like how the emerging leaves look like praying hands...

or maybe Munch's "Scream." Hmm...not the image I'd like to keep.
This might be a better comparison.

The mahonias that appeared out of nowhere (bird droppings I assume) have grown large enough to put out some buds.  Bloom in another couple weeks, I expect.

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