Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hints of spring already

This afternoon was unseasonably warm, and not even raining, so I took the chance of doing a bit of gardening, intending mostly to cut out plants that had been killed by the sudden, extreme (for here) cold spell in December. Cutting down the first one, I found new green leaves sprouting at the base. The next was better still, with flower buds forming already. And the next ...

All I had to do was clean away dead leaves and stems, and the garden is a garden again.

Hellebore bud. This one, last year, was a deep purple. It may darken as it grows.

Of the evergreen perennials, the primulas and pachysandra are already in flower; the hellebores are well on the way. The sausage vine and the bergenia which had seemed to be dying are back to normal; the salal and heather, sweet William and, of course, the London Pride, don't seem to have noticed the crazy weather. A half-dead Epimedium that I transplanted last fall seems to have been invigorated by the chill; it's better now than it ever was.

And this was completely unexpected; an Italian parsley plant that I planted as an annual, didn't protect from the cold because it was due to die anyhow, and left exposed in the coldest part of the garden, barely lost a few stems and still fills its pot, still green.

The Dutchman's breeches are poking out of the soil, and the bare twigs of the hydrangea all boast a big bud at the tip.

All this makes me happy.

A hanging pot off in a corner, where I'd planted trailing nasturtiums and lobelia, and which had housed a volunteer fringe-cup a couple of years ago, was a complete mess, a tangle of old twigs, cedar droppings, and dead, crispy stems. I cleared it all out, and found the fringe-cup coming back underneath. The usually green leaves are red, probably because of the cold.

Fuzzy stems and leaves of the fringe-cup.

A closer look at the stem. A bug would call it spiky, not merely "fuzzy".


  1. All this early growth makes me worry if there is still a hard freeze on the horizon. But I do welcome the signs of spring. - Margy


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