Although this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is not as blooming good as last February, we need this cold snap to delay bulbs and fruit trees from flower. Apple and peach blossoms haven’t broken yet, and I’d rather they wait. I don’t want ornamental fruit trees. I enjoyed dripping peaches and crisp apples last summer and fall. If they bloom this early, we are almost assured of getting several more freezes. Keep your fingers crossed. Next week, with all of its highs in the 60s looks like fun, but believe me, it’s not good for our plants.
We need the garden to wait. Bulb foliage is way up, and the pansies and violas are already singing a sweet February tune.
My hellebores entrance me. I know I say this every year, but each year they get better. In a winter world, they are scrumptious, and I’m glad I added some yellow ones to light up dark corners. Still the reds and pinks also give me pause especially when the sunlight hits them just so. Iris reticulata ‘Purple Gem’ is also blooming, but there aren’t as many as last year. I probably disturbed them last summer when I dug in their spot to plant coleus. The color in the lower left pane below is exactly what I see when I venture outside. Luscious . . . like blueberry pie. The hellebores are–from left to right–a pink in the Brandywine strain, ‘Red Lady’, and in the middle, a yellow Brandywine. I have many others, but they aren’t blooming yet. Still too chilly.
Bob Scott Nursery, 10116 W Wilshire Blvd, Yukon, has a good selection of hellebores according to his email. I’m sure he does. If you want unique plants, take the long drive into the countryside. I also found a few hellebores at TLC Nursery on Memorial. It’s messy right now because they are in the middle of a remodel. By the way, according to the rules, I’m supposed to tell you I wasn’t paid by either local nursery for these suggestions. The hellebores I bought were well rooted, and I’ve already placed them in the ground beneath the red crapemyrtle in the lower back garden. It is fast becoming a trail of hellebores in the center of this bed where not much goes on until mid-summer. The hellebores are good eye catchers in the meantime. I’m now getting hellebore babies. It is exciting, and every time I find one, I am ecstatic. Of course, I can’t keep them all, but with seed strains, you never know what combination these little boys and girls will make.
So, if you have cabin fever, go buy some hellebores. Sow some annual poppy and Delphinium ‘Summer Sky’ seeds. Get out your seed trays to begin sowing warm weather vegetables. Begin planting your peas, lettuce, spinach, beets, turnips, etc. It’s time. I will join you, and in March, we will have even more flowers and small plants to enjoy.
Happy Bloom Day my friends. Go visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens who hosts this party. There you can meet garden friends from all over the world.
I have become a huge hellebore fan myself since I moved to La. They’re just drop-dead easy to care for and provide such a nice thrill when you can’t take winter anymore.
I share your concerns about this winter. It was late getting here, and since its arrival we have been on a roller coaster of weather. As much as I enjoy amusement parks, I ready to get off the ride.
I love February. The sarcococca is just finishing with it’s amazing blooms and fragrance fragrance that fills the entire back yard. The hellebore’s are in bloom. The lilacs, the wisteria, and the hydrangeas have all broken bud and are starting to put out leaves. The whole garden is starting to poke up out of the ground and come to life. It is such a period of hope and promise. The flower and garden show starts tomorrow, how amazing.
I was just up there for a day trip to Edmond (to visit my 92 yo mother) and there was still a little snow on the ground in the shade. My grandchildren played in it! I love the hellebores but don’t grow them here.
I remember last summer seeing dwarf “merlot” colored red crepe myrtles all over Edmond/OKC. Do you ever seem them when you visit garden centers? The dwarf is “Tightwad” and the full size is “Dynamite.” I searched the piney woods garden centers to no avail last year but was late.
Along with daffodils, our quince are blooming and the maple trees are leafing out. That means we will have a humdinger of a freeze soon.
Your pansies are so sweet; when we had a warm spell a week or so ago, I thought mine were going to bloom, but then the cold returned. Congratulations on your hellebore babies! I’ve come to really enjoy these plants; such a welcome spot of color just when winter seems it’s never going to end.
Enjoyed your photos of the cardinals on your last post, Dee. The cardinal is our state bird, and it’s definitely my favorite. They really are lovebirds; I could have sworn I saw a couple here kissing last year:)
How long does it take to get hellebores established? It’s going to be autumn soon here in NZ and they sound like a great idea.
Hi Ken, it depends on what you mean by established. They take three years to really get going because they are perennials. However, I usually have fairly good blooming the following season. I don’t know how cold the winters are in New Zealand, but here, you can plant hellebores in the fall, and they overwinter just fine if they are medium-sized plants. HTH~~Dee
I think “Buy hellebores” is the best advice you can give to anyone who wants late winter or early spring blooms! Pansies and violas are wonderful little hardy plants, too.
Your blooms are beautiful!
I enjoyed seeing your February blooms Dee. It’s so exciting when hellebore seedlings flower for the first time but I must confess that I wish that it wasn’t such a long wait 🙂
Thank you Anna. I enjoyed yours too. I hate waiting through winter too.
Lisa at Greenbow
Dee, I can’t believe your iris reticulata is already blooming. Amazing. All I have are some hellebores, crocus, pussywillow and Witch Hazel. Well, since I typed that out it looks pretty good. ha… Happy GBBD.
Lisa, it’s in a very protected spot. That’s the only reason it blooms.
Your hellebores are beautiful. In my garden, also, things are blooming earlier than in the past two years. No matter which way the weather swings, it will become a very interesting February and first of March!
Boy, no kidding. I’m just trying not to worry and enjoy what I’m given this day. Happy Blooms!
Marie at the Lazy W
You are my gardening fix lately. xoxo great post, thank you! ALSO I found a place on NW 23rd that sells bulk seed, if you have anyone ask. Further east than the bigger shops. Happy weekend friend!
Thank you Marie. It won’t be long now. Cool about the place on 23rd Street. Go ahead and share it here if you’d like. Later!
Very good point about why we should be happy when the really warm weather doesn’t come to early. The apples and stone fruits were all devastated in this area last year for just this reason.
Thank you Jason. Ours are often decimated although lately, we’re having years with no late freeze. It’s all very odd.
Donna@Gardens Eye View
My garden is surely waiting which is OK as I know the snow is helping the garden get ready for spring…I will be starting pansies and violas this week…I just love them.
Even where we have a few blooms, we are surely waiting for the big spring show. I’m excited about you violas and pansies. Are you growing them from seed?
I have been wanting to try hellebores…will have to go to TLC this week! I need some pansies to dress up my patio area. Can’t wait till our gardens are full of blooms again! I’ve heard good things about Bob Scott’s nursery and will definitely have to put it on list to visit! Daffodils are blooming in my yard…but I’m like you this crazy weather has our spring plants confused. Praying for lots of rain this week too! Happy Gardening!
Sonia, Bob is a crusty sort, but he has great plants. He knows a lot about them too. As for TLC, you may need to entice them into going into the greenhouse to find the larger selection of hellebores. I did. Happy Bloom Day!
You have convinced me to go buy more hellebores…today!
Hurray! I wish everyone grew hellebores. They are the sunshine of the winter garden.