Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra
As tempting as it was to once again resort to fake flowers, I figured that even those of you who found it humorous last month wouldn’t be as amused a second time. So this month, I’m going totally legit, and all I have to show for it is two different blooms. One is pictured above: the same Erica ‘Golden Starlet’ I’ve shown for three months now. She’s starting to look a little ragged, but you have to admire her tenacity. And then, there’s a new one making an appearance this month…
I can walk right past this purple-flowered witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis ‘Purpurea’, a.k.a. ‘Washington Park’) many times a day without even noticing that it’s in bloom. It’s supposedly fragrant, but I’ve never noticed any scent, nor have I seen any purplish tinge to the foliage that some sources describe. It does get bonus points for always being the first flower of the new year, though. And, it’s pretty cool-looking up close.
Soooo…that’s it for me. Except…ah…can’t resist…must add…a few more beautiful blooms from the greenhouse at Linden Hill Gardens. Yeah, they’re indoors, and no, they’re not even mine. But you’ll cut me some slack, won’t you? It’s been a really looooong winter.
Now, see, that’s not so far out of season, even though we generally don’t get to see white-flowered grape hyacinths (Muscari botryoides ‘Album’) blooming next to phormiums here in Pennsylvania. And if we were another zone or two farther south, it wouldn’t be all that far-fetched to have paper bush (Edgeworthia) in flower for February. It’s supposed to be very fragrant, but I don’t notice much scent from this one.
And I’m so starved for color that even this blue plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) is welcome. (Yes, Boss, I just admitted to liking blue.)
There’s also a pretty pink oleander (Nerium oleander) blooming its little heart out.
And this very cool Echeveria peacockii:
And finally, a preview of the vibrant colors of warmer days: gloriously chartreuse Euphorbia cyparissias ‘Fen’s Ruby’ with a coleus. Ahhhhh, that’s nice!
In the spirit of thinking spring, a public service announcement for any of you in the Delaware Valley area who don’t already belong to the Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group: They’re getting the word out about their annual spring event, March Into Spring XIII: A Symposium for Gardeners. It’ll be held on Saturday March 21, 2009, from 8:15 am to 3:00pm at Delaware County Community College in Media, PA. Speakers include nurseryman Don Shadow, owner of Shadow Nursery, who will talk about new and unique plants; Rick Lewandowski, Director of the Mt. Cuba Center for Piedmont Flora, on environmentally responsible choices for garden practices; Jenny Carey, Director of the Landscape Arboretum, Temple Ambler, on creating a luxuriant mid-Atlantic garden with no additional water; and Gregg Tepper, Woods Path Gardener at Mt. Cuba, on the sensory appeal of native plants and their unique characteristics. There will also be a book sale, silent auction, and plants for sale! You can download a registration form at the Hardy Plant Society web site.
And, for everyone, remember to visit the other Bloom Day posts too. You can find the links at the February GBBD announcement at May Dreams Gardens.