February 2010

Yesterday, January 31st, these were still mostly in bud, today they're out in full glory. These little Iris reticulata are starting to naturalize quite well for us, every year the clumps seem to be getting fuller and fuller. After the emergence of the Snowdrops, these are usually the first splash of non-white flowers we see in the yard. Too bad they never seem to stay around for very long.

By February 8th the first of the Croci started to show their colours, though not yet fully in bloom.

The Primulas are starting to awaken and showing more and more foliage and flowers. It won't be long now for the annual 'Sea of Purple' to be in full glory again.

All through the yard you see evidence of perennials emerging from their winter snooze. In this case it's one of our Peonies, 'Bowl of Beauty', popping up again under the large cedar in the frontyard.

Also under the cedar are a couple of Heathers, a white one, which you can just barely see in the picture above, as well as this purple one.

We have several Bleeding Hearts in the yard, this one here is Dicentra spectabilis Alba, which we have found to be quite a bit slower growing than the nominate specie.

One of last year's acquisitions was another form of D. spectabilis, 'Golden Heart', and it was satisfying to see it come back up again. Hopefully it'll flower this year. What look like rat turds on the fatsia leaves are in fact droppings from a nearby pine tree.

It's now February 21, 2010, and yes, it's been a VERY mild winter, to the point where one of the Hosta clausa var. normalis divisions is already unfurling its leaves!

Other Hostas, like ''Invincible' for example, are close to the same stage, but they suffered some frost damage one night that week, whereas this one did not. Even with plants, location matters, I guess.

Never mind some Hostas already unfurling their leaves, how about one of the Dicentra spectabilis divisions starting to bloom!

I must confess here and now that both the examples above have had a little help: they were put in this collapsible 'greenhouse' mid-January. It's quite amazing what a little extra heat will do, isn't it!

Daffodils are always a welcome sight around our yard, they're such a cheery looking flower. The first one opened on the 24th, substantially earlier than last year.