Text and photographs ©Nancy J. Ondra
There’s not a whole lot to show for Bloom Day here in southeastern Pennsylvania. In the past month, we’ve had highs in the 60s, highs in the 20s, thunderstorms, ice, and gusty winds. Between noon on Tuesday and late afternoon on Wednesday, we ended up with almost 4 inches of liquid precipitation, in varying forms of sleet, snow, freezing rain, and non-freezing rain. Considering all that, it seems a true miracle that there’s anything blooming.
Above is a potted clump of ‘Ivory Prince’ hellebore in full bud. It spends very cold nights in my cold frame but its days outside, so it qualifies as an outdoor almost-bloom. Below is purple-flowered vernal witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis ‘Washington Park’ [‘Purpurea’]), which has been in bloom for about a week now.
The blooms below are from branches that I brought indoors about a week before January’s Bloom Day. They finally opened a few days ago, rather later than I expected. Still, the ‘Kumson’ forsythia (Forsythia viridissima var. koreana) branches are a cheerful sight.
And though the white blossoms of winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) are tiny, the fragrance is very noticeable: not unpleasantly strong, but pleasingly light and sweet. I wish you too could smell them.