Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – March 2009

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Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Spring has finally arrived in my part of Pennsylvania – hooray! It’s not here in a big way; in fact, we’re several weeks behind where we normally would be. Bless her heart, Erica carnea ‘Golden Starlet’ is still in bloom.

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Many of you had snowdrops (Galanthus) in full flower for last month’s Bloom Day. Mine, though, opened just a few days ago.

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In the same sheltered spot, Crocus ancyrensis opened two days ago.

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And then, there are the hellebores. Most are at the not-quite-open stage, like this H. foetidus

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…and H. dumetorum, too.

helleborus-dumetorum-march-14-09

On the south side of the house, at the base of a stone wall, a few hybrids are further along.

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helleborus-x-hybridus-orion-type-march-14-09

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‘Ivory Prince’, who lives in a pot and spends his winters in the basement, opened just after February’s Bloom Day and is just about past now.

helleborus-ivory-prince-march-14-09

Among the woody plants breaking bud are the regular pussy willow (Salix caprea)…

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…and the black one (S. gracilistylis ‘Melanostachys’), too.

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In another few days, the cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas) will be open too.

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But for now, that’s it from Hayefield. Be sure to check out what’s blooming in other parts of the world through the links on Carol’s Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

24 responses to this post.

  1. That black Salix is a recent discovery for me – it’s most dramatic isn’t it?

    It looks like your garden is springing back into life pretty quickly :)

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Thanks for visiting, VP! It’s nice to have something real to share, even if it’s a re-run for some of you.
    -Nan

  2. Posted by Lisa at Greenbow on March 15, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Aren’t those bright yellow crocus just the most fun to see in early spring?? I can never get enough of them.
    That black pussy willow is a beauty. I would love to find one of those for my garden. It is funny that a friend of mine just yesterday if I had one or had seen one. I had to say no then but now I can say I have seen one.

    Huh. I didn’t realize how scarce it is in the trade. No reason for that; it’s as easy to propagate as any willow. I’d better start taking cuttings. In the meantime, I see Wayside does list it: http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/47515
    -Nan

  3. The black pussy willow is stunning.
    Your photos are gorgeous.

    I appreciate your kind comment. Happy Bloom Day, Happy!
    -Nan

  4. Nan .. the blooms are beautiful and wow ! I have seen the black “pussywillow” before but ages ago .. it still makes me smile .. I have none of these at all and I wonder if I can support some in my garden .. snowdrops are so pretty in their pristine white .. now that would be a great contrast planted at the foot of the black salix : )

    Well, now – isn’t that just a smashing idea? Thanks, Joy!
    -Nan

  5. All your Hellebores are beautiful, but I’m especially struck by that pink one. Is there a reason you aren’t growing ‘Ivory Prince’ outside? Mine survived -18F and are loaded with buds. Pussywillows are just one more thing I have to admire from afar. What a treat it must be to have them. (I like plants that are very touchable.)

    I had to ponder your question about ‘Ivory Prince’ for a while. I think the deal is that I got him maybe 5 or 6 years ago, and there wasn’t much solid info about his hardiness then, so I put him in the pot so he could come indoors for the winter. I’ve decided that this spring, he will move out and get a place of his own in the garden. I’ll be very happy not to lug him up and down the stairs; that sucker is heavy!
    -Nan

  6. Hi Nan, so glad that spring has sprung for you. The black willow is eye catching and C. mas has been all over the magazine pages recently. It look worthy of garden space if it doesn’t get too large here. I have Ivory Prince still in the back of the gas hog, trying to decide its siting. Even with all the hellebores here, that one is irresistable! (The little pipevine is coming along, small but growing!)
    Frances

    So Cornus mas is trendy now, hmm? I missed that news, but I understand it, because it’s a nice thing – especially the golden-leaved ‘Aurea’, and of course ‘Variegata’. In my experience, ‘Golden Glory’, at least, is pretty compact: one I planted about 15 years ago is maybe 9 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. And the selections with colorful foliage seem even less vigorous.
    -Nan

    P.S. Glad to hear that the aristolochia are progressing!

  7. Isn’t that black pussy willow a wonder! That and the snowdrops are all that’s happening in my garden so yours seems lush by comparison.

    Thanks for the reminder, Linda. It’s a little hard not to feel inferior with snowdrops when others already have roses in bloom! But our turn will come.
    -Nan

  8. Nan, Mr McGregor’s Daughter asked the question that came to my mind, too? With no snow cover mine is surviving fine…it was 4 degrees (F) for several days. I have found a few more hellebores that might have to move into c&l! A pink double and a few picatee with very upright faces. I love Cornus mas…another stellar small tree with sweet blooms. Gail

    Yep, you two have convinced me it’s safe to move him out for good. He’ll probably croak now, due to the shock of going from life as a pampered prince in a pretty pot to just another plant in the garden. Congrats on your hybrid finds!
    -Nan

  9. Nan, I love seeing spring! Even my pussy willow isn’t blooming yet in Heath. After seeing your hellebores I am more and more determined to try some myself.

    Hiya, Pat. Hopefully spring will spring for you soon. It’s amazing how fast things can open once the weather moderates.
    -Nan

  10. Very nice. Love the black pussy willow! We had a bad year for snowdrops. Yes, welcome spring!

    I’m thinking that your version of a “bad year” for snowdrops is still superior to what I experience, but I’m happy to have any at this point. Happy Bloom Day!
    -Nan

  11. Nan I love that picture of the snowdrop buds in front of the gazing ball. Perfection.

    I must get a Pussy Willow. I remember those from my childhood.

    Happy Bloom Day!

    Thanks, Sweet Bay. That globe is actually an old glass fishing float. It blends in most of the time, but it’s fun to use it as a photo prop sometimes.
    -Nan

  12. Posted by ourfriendben on March 15, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Sigh. I’m just grateful for snowdrops and winter aconites and some Helleborus foetidus in bloom, along with the signs of returning life in the daffs and iris and etc. Good to see your photos and remember that my crocus will be along soon!

    I’m looking forward to seeing the other crocus, too. These always beat the hybrids by a good two to three weeks.
    -Nan

  13. Your black pussywillow is striking! I’ll be keeping my eyes open for it. The hellebores are beautiful.

    We have a 40-year-old L-shaped hedge of cornelian cherry dogwoods. The birds are squirrels are crazy for the fruit. It’s nice to see them coming back into favor, especially the tree form – much prettier than in a clipped hedge, and certainly easier to maintain.

    Wow, Linda – how lucky you and the critters are to have a hedge like that. Someone had outstanding taste in plants!
    -Nan

  14. Wow!! My hellebores still look like absolute crap. Yeah, I see some buds pushing up, but I couldn’t be bothered to look at their pathetic selves, much less photograph them.

    Sorry to taunt you, Elizabeth. Truth be told, most of my other hellebores still look pathetic too. And the rest haven’t even appeared yet.
    -Nan

  15. Hi Nan,

    I’m all envious of that black pussywillow now. I think blogging has done more to expand my gardening budget than anything which came before. My snowdrops bloomed, but then the temps got hot & then cold. The snowdrops gave up after that. So did the crocus for that matter. All that bouncing around must have made them seasick. Love your photos as always.~~Dee

    For once, we’ve been having a very gradual spring here. It’s slowing down the progress of the plants in general, but we’re getting to enjoy our bulbs a lot longer than usual. Always a trade-off, isn’t it?
    -Nan

  16. As always, a revelation.

    That’s a good thing, I think! Happy Bloom Day, Layanee.
    -Nan

  17. I can’t wait to see more of the Cornelian Cherry. I haven’t noticed them for sale around here. I think later springs are better for the plants since they won’t get hit with a later freeze as we are prone to around here in TN. Erica is still blooming for us too. Great plants to bridge winter to spring!

    I seldom see cornelian cherries for sale around here either, Dave; I’ve gotten all mine by mail-order.
    -Nan

  18. Oh my Nan… what a beautiful set of photos showing this months blooms in your garden! My fav shot just has to be the 4th one :-D Happy GBBD!

    That’s my favorite too, Shirl. Thanks for visiting!
    -Nan

  19. Hi, Nan, and thanks for sharing your blooms with us again. You always seem to come up with something new to me, like the black Salix.

    Wouldn’t miss it, Carol!
    -Nan

  20. So interesting to see the black pussy willow. I didn’t even know they existed! Your hellebore photos are just gorgeous.

    Thanks, Jean. Yep, the black one starts even earlier than the silvery one. It’s not showy at a distance but a beauty up close. And, it makes a great alpaca snack, too. (Well, really any willows do, but my boys particularly like to nibble on this one when given the chance.)
    -Nan

  21. That 4th photo of the crocus with the sedum is just beautiful, but I love all your buds and blooms photos, Nan. What a joy it is to see color in the garden again…well yours, anyway. We just have snowdrops so far, but it won’t be long now ’til there’s more!
    I still have serious Hellebore envy :) I really must try to do something about that.
    I’d love to plant a Cornelian Cherry in our garden. They’re beautiful! The ones I’ve seen have been big trees.
    That black pussy willow is new to me too. Lovely fuzzy things they are.
    It’s good to hear the geese honking again and see them flying over the river below our farm. Spring is springing so joyfully, isn’t it? :)

    You know it, Kerri. Every day there’s something new to see. We’re getting rain today, but even that isn’t too bad; we kind of need it.
    -Nan

  22. I haven’t seen a pussy willow in ages! And I love how these early flowers have us crawling on the ground to get great photos!

    Welcome, rosemarie – thanks so much for visiting! Yes, it’s cruelly ironic that most of the early spring bloomers are so short that we must slither around on the cold ground to shoot them. But, it *is* kind of fun, in a “I can’t believe I’m doing this” kind of way.
    -Nan

  23. Yet more hellebore photos to entice me to become a hellebore grower, I think I must. Enjoyed this panoply of buds, and highly approve of your taste in plants (translation: it’s like mine)!

    Too funny, Pomona. I agree that we share similar horticultural proclivities. Thanks for visiting, by the way. I was so glad to find you through Sylvia’s guest posts.
    -Nan

  24. Both the eranthis and the hellebore seedlings you passed along to me have survived the winter. It will be exciting to see the first blooms on those hellebores, though I know it won’t be this year.

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