Flowers, and a muddy mess

Finally, snow has melted along the shaded front walk. Slowly, snowdrops (Galanthus, below) and hellebores (Helleborus) have emerged to join others flowering in more open areas that melted a week ago. With this recent thaw the rear garden is a muddy mess, and with a single narrow entry point I will try to avoid muddying this any more than is necessary.Snowdrop

Snowdrops that flowered early in December and January have passed out of bloom, but early flowering hellebores (below) remain, though many are limp and faded. Hellebores and snowdrops that were budded before the snow are flowering today, with many not quite at their peak after being covered by three feet of snow for a few weeks. Hellebore

Leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei, below) remains in bloom after the snow, despite recent weeks of frigid temperatures that are colder than this late winter bloomer prefers. Like many winter flowers, the blooms close on the coldest days for protection.Leatherleaf mahonia

The start of March is a few days away, and of course for the gardener this is the start of spring. Occasionally, the weather cooperates with this change of seasons, and the forecast is for a mild week ahead.

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