Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Greening Up

Apart from one or two cold spells, we've had a very mild winter in our neck of the woods.  It seems like most days have been warmer than average, and the plants have taken notice.  I only hope that if we get another cold snap in February, it won't set them back too far!

(In all honestly, I could use another month or two of mild winter to get a few more things marked off that daunting to-do list, but if the plants think it's spring, who am I to argue?)

Earlier this week, I took the camera outside and snapped a few photos of the new signs of spring.

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This is the crinodonna lily (or amarcrinum) that I planted late last year-- my first experience with this particular plant.   I'm not sure what to expect from it in its first year, but I'm trying not to expect flowers until the second year, at the earliest.  When they do bloom, it's late summer/early fall, so there's a while to wait, in any case!

(In the background, a clump of daylilies is waking up.  Many of them have done so, and I can't prevent a little flutter of anticipation for flowers that won't make an appearance for months yet!)

Crinodonna Lily

Last year, I moved the clumps of snowflakes, and based on all I'd read, I steeled myself against the possibility that they might not bloom for a year or two afterwards.  (They don't like being moved and tend to sulk afterwards, like quite a few of the bulbs I've been researching lately.)


The big loropetalum is blooming behind the ivy-covered trellis.  (Incidentally, yes, ivy can get out of hand and be a pest, but it is a strikingly handsome plant.)

Ivy and Loropetalum

The hydrangeas are putting out new leaves already.  (I'd meant to prune a few branches off before that happened... Maybe later in the year.  There's still time to prune the 'Little Lime', though-- and if I understand correctly, it probably needs pruning to encourage bloom later on.)

Hydrangea Leaflets

Our Japanese magnolias have started to flower.  Our two haven't grown as big and beautiful as these small trees sometimes do-- but there's always hope for the future, I suppose.

Japanese Magnolia

I planted another loropetalum in the front yard (and probably ought to move it down about ten or fifteen feet before the weather heats up).  It's supposed to be a dwarf form, but I'll believe it when I see it.  So far, I haven't noticed much difference in its appearance from our other pink loropetalum, which grew into a small tree.  When I remember, I'll pluck some petals from them both to compare the color (for curiosity's sake).

New Loropetalum

New Loropetalum

I was surprised to see shoots of forsythia sage (Salvia madrensis) this early in the year!  I thought that the plant didn't emerge until much later, last year, but I may be mistaken.  I think this one needs a new spot with a little more sunlight, but I won't move it until we're well past any chance of frost.

Forsythia Sage

A couple of the azaleas along the easement have begun to bloom.  It seems early, but I guess it's February (already!), so maybe it's actually not so early...

Early Azalea Blooms

I am not at all well-versed on the subject of camellias (even though they are the state flower of Alabama).  This one came from Mom, years back.  I don't know anything about it, beyond that it always seems to bloom in early spring-- like most Japanese camellias, I believe.


Tightly-closed bud:


Soft, fluffy flowers:



Another surprise!  The confederate rose by the shed has started putting out leaves on some of its branches, fairly high up.  I was under the impression that this plant usually died back to the ground in winter, but either this season was mild enough to avoid the die-back or the branches are hardier than I'd believed.  I'll be interested to see how it performs this year...

(There's another, much smaller one I rooted from a cutting of this parent plant, in the front yard.  I'm curious to see if it will bloom any better, given greater amounts of sunlight.)

Tiny Leaves on Confederate Rose

The fresh new foliage of crocosmia seems to shout, "It's spring!"


There's nothing quite like those first touches of spring green...