Early Spring Blooming Plants – Part 1

I visited the Bartlett Arboretum in mid-April and had a ball looking at early spring blooming plants.  Below are some pictures from my visit.

Cornell Pink Rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum ‘Cornell Pink’)

Cornell Pink Rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink')
Cornell Pink Rhododendron was in full bloom. Cornell Pink is a deciduous rhododendron and blooms before foliage emerges.
Cornell Pink Rhododendron (Rhododendron mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink')
A close up of Cornell Pink Rhododendron flowers.

Winter Hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora)

Winter Hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora)
Winter Hazel in full bloom. I’ve never planted it but I like the compact habit and bright yellow blooms in early-spring.
Winter Hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora) Flowers
Winter Hazel flowers aren’t big but there’s enough of them to catch your eye.

Lenten Rose Sp. (Helleborus sp.)

Lenten Rose - Helleborus Species
The Lenten Rose was in full bloom. You can see last years foliage under the flowers. If you have Lenten Rose you can prune the foliage back in early winter once it goes dormant or early spring. There’s no harm if you don’t cut back last years foliage before bloom.

Star Magnololia (Magnolia Stellata)

Star Magnolia - Magnolia Stellata
Gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous.
Star Magnolia Flowers Magnolia Stellata flowers
Because they flower so early Star Magnolia blooms are often damaged by frost. These blooms are as good as it gets for Star Magnolia.

More pictures from my visit coming soon.


Jack Frost Exceedingly Bad Day

Yesterday we had snow, then rain, then ice and then snow again.  When I woke this morning it was a frigid 26 degrees.

You’d think I’d be used to spring snow.  I’ve lived in southern New England all my life where the weather is anything but predictable.

I’m not.

Every time Jack Frost lays waste to the landscape I’m surprised.  Yesterday Jack was having an exceedingly bad day.

While the pictures below show plants at their worst I assure you they’ll be fine.  In a few day they’ll look as good as when it was in the sixties last week.

Hellebore (Helleborus sp.) sent to Hell
Hellebore (Helleborus sp.) thrives in weather like this. In a few days you won’t know the plant was under half an inch of ice and snow.
Japanese Cornel Dogwood (Cornus officinalis) on Ice
Can you can see the layer of ice on this Japanese Cornel Dogwood (Cornus officinalis)?
Pansy (Viola sp.) Covered in Ice
This pansy is in for a rough couple weeks. Most of the foliage will turn brown and die.  Growth deep inside the plant will survive.  It’s going to take time.  I should have brought the plant inside BEFORE the cold weather arrived.
Daffodils (Narcissus sp.) Laid to Waste
These poor Daffodils (Narcissus sp.) were laid out on the lawn. I can’t say the flowers will look as good as they did before the snow. However, they will right themselves and shine again in a few days.
Mr. Science Guy how does water run and freeze at the same time?
Icy on the Outside Warm on the Inside
The first thing I did this morning was get wood to build a fire. The twine holding the tarp is surrounded by thick ice.

What’s the weather like where you live?

Spring Begins in Fall

This morning as I waited for the school bus I noticed my daffodils emerging.  It’s been a mild fall and they’re just poking through the soil.

Sedum Buttons
New growth on Sedum called buttons.

Plants set bud in the fall so they’re ready to go when the warm weather arrives.

German Iris
The old foliage on my Iris died back leaving miniature Iris plants. The new growth won’t look this good in the spring after repeated freeze thaw cycles.
Lenten Rose Flower Buds
Flower buds on my Lenten Rose (Helleboris sp.) are ready to go. Lenten Rose blooms in April often while snow is still on the ground.

Don’t think your plants are the only thing growing in the garden.  There’s a class of weeds called winter annuals that germinate in the fall.  Now is a great time to pull them.

Chickweed is one of the most ubiquitous winter annuals. Chickweed is remarkably easy to control if you get it while young.

If the weather stays mild take advantage and do some weeding.  It’ll make a huge difference in the spring.



Late Season Blooming Flowers

Last Monday, November 16th I was cutting back perennials in Trumbull, Connecticut in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b.  I noticed a couple of beautiful late season blooming flowers.

We’ve already had several hard frosts.  Most of the leaves have fallen off the trees and been cleaned up.

Late Season Blooming Flowers

I first noticed a grouping of Honorine Jobert Windflower (Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’) flowers glistening in a sunbeam.

Anemone × hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' Distance

A little farther away a Fairy Rose (Rosa ‘The Fairy) was strutting its stuff.

Fairy Rose Closeup

Here’s a picture from a distance.

Fairy Rose Grouping - late season blooming flowers

I admit late season blooming flowers don’t compare to mid-summer.  In the cold and gloomy days of late fall I’ll take whatever I can get.