Thursday, April 22, 2010
And here, the second day of flowers on "April Rose", a double-flowered R. dauricum hybrid which usually doesn't open until the first week of May. Smaller than the above, but the same age. She has two sisters around here, a larger-flowered "April Mist" with lavender blooms, and a double white "April Gem".
Monday, April 19, 2010
16 April An inch or 3 cm of snow last night, temperature down to -4C. The more precocious shoots (or taller ones if you will) are bent over quite far. Will they recover to full upright?
17 April Sunny and warm (8C-ish) so the snow didn't last long. Question answered, plant seems undeterred.
Last night (18/19April): more of the white stuff, but temperatures just at 0C. At 11a.m. I measured the snow depth at 4 inches or 10 cm with some melting in progress so it might have been an inch or a couple of cm deeper when it fell.
Rhododendron "April Rose", which might actually open in April this year!! Took this pic only because it shows fairly well the amount of snow still hanging around at 11 a.m.
Here, the reason for black or almost black Hellebores! (an orientalis hybrid). The "pitting" in the snow is from clumbs of it falling off the maple tree branches above as it melts.
Red Elderberry, Sambucus pubens, deploying buds seasonally decorated... but most of the decoration has melted off already.
And a collection of species peonies, the next 3 pics. I admit I was expecting to find the tall mascula from above folded flat and was surprised to find that it like most of the less advanced shoots had managed to shed most of the snow and were standing mostly upright. So much for a certain individual's (not me) trite and dysfunctional motto of "No expectations, no disappointments"
Red maple trees still flowering; if the seed set is reduced by these cold snaps the squirrels will be unhappy (and nursery customers less likely to get a free red maple shoot in every potted plant purchase)
Monday, April 12, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The photos are not great, the light was rather dim, but here it is first investigating the screen and then taking it's stately departure. Viewers are asked to ignore the banana skins up against the house (yes, those distracting yellow shapes), just as the porcupine did.
Not exactly the stuff of grand opera, but yet passable Friday night excitement out here in the sticks of NS...
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Some other Spring things:
Chionodoxa sardensis, Glory of the Snow, the brightest blue I've seen in a flower except for a few gentians. A different species of this is more commonly grown, has larger flowers but not as blue. Every spring I am amazed that this little thing is still alive (and increasing!) since it is in an area replete with weeds.
Hepatica nobilis. Used to be a clump with dozens of flowers but the darn deer are fond of it and browse it to the ground, usually when in full flower. So it loses a lot of energy each year regrowing a few leaves to replace those that went into the deer salad.
Not finished with the Hellebores yet:
A double form of Helleborus orientalis hybrid, grown from seed obtained from I don't know where anymore, it has taken a few years to see the first flowers on some of the plants; it looks like about half will be doubles but the others aren't yet in a state useful to photograph yet.
Another hybrid, this one showing that the cold snap caused damage to the flower despite it being in a tight bud still at that point-- the anthers are all dead (the little cone of brown things in the middle)
And here, Helleborus niger, the Christmas Rose, already pollinated so the sepals are turning from white to a pinkish shade of tan (on other plants they go to green or something between or ...). There is something in the leaf litter that likes to eat the sepals of this species, but it leaves the orientalis and hybrids alone. Might be just because the flowers of niger are so low and touching the litter whereas the others have longer stems and are above all that.
And one final spring thing for today, a few colour forms from seed, of Corydalis solida, a small but showy spring ephemeral that grows from a bulb and is quite adaptable as far as sun and shade are concerned.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
And the bees are out in force, this bumblebee condescended to sit still for a photo. More honey bees this year than the past several too.
And the white form, Daphne mezereum forma alba. A sweeter more clovelike scent than the pinkish type.
Here, a worm's eye view of some snowdrops. Not the best focus, but they are interesting flowers up close. Canopied by Rhododendron fortunei.
Peony noses of all types are up suddenly just about everywhere that I've put them. This is the furthest along as usual, Paeonia mairei. Still in small pots but rooted into the former lawn below; Every spring I swear to get them planted out in fall and every fall manage not to...
Surprisingly, to me, the tree peony Paeonia rockii is also already breaking out of it's buds, rather earlier relative to the rest of the peonies than what I am used to seeing.
An addendum to the previous post on frost damage amongst the Hellebores. This poor ugly blasted shoot may also have been the victim of that frost, but it was fairly well-covered with dry bracken leaves so I hadn't seen it before the cold snap. It is also possible, particularily since this plant was moved into the ground from a pot late last summer, that this was unseasonally last autumn's growth and the frost damage is the more normal result of the entire winter.
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Frost damage on Helleborus orientalis/caucasica, above. The first 2 photos are of the flowers featured a couple of days ago, the third is the plant recently shown with snow on it.
A group of potted Helleborus niger; those on the south side of the group (first photo) were seriously frost-damaged, others on the north side of the group (second photo), not.
Helleborus orientalis hybrid, the plant near the warmest foundation. Some flowers affected, some not. Predictably, those closest to the foundation are still fine.