When hellebores, mahonias, and spireas flowered early in winter there was ample reason to wonder, will this be it? Will there be any blooms at all come the beginning of spring? Now that spring has arrived, we see that yes, there are, with the number of flowers barely diminished.
‘Ogon’ spirea (Spirea thunbergii ‘Ogon’, above) flowered in late December, and as flowers faded, leaves began to grow as they typically do in late March. This raised concerns, not that there would be flowers in spring, but that the shrubs would survive at all since the spirea should be dormant and not growing in early January. The sturdy nature of the spirea eased doubts, and now, in mid March, a sprinkling of flowers erase any concerns. ‘Ogon’ is not in full bloom, but there are scattered flowers and it’s evident that it did not suffer from the premature flowering.
Many hellebores flowered in the warmth of December and early January. Finally, the progression of fattening buds was slowed by cold, and halted by three feet of snow. As expected, the snow did no harm, and hellebores emerged ready to flower. Early varieties continued into bloom, and others began flowering in the warm temperatures of early March.
Again this year, my atrociously poor memory has caught up with me. There seem to be dozens of hellebores flowering that I’ve never seen before. Only a few are seedlings that were transplanted around the garden, and as three year old seedlings several are flowering for the first time. Most of the new flowers are ones I purchased and planted, I suppose, probably sometime in the past few years. Or possibly, an intruder planted these under the cover of darkness. My memory could not be that bad, could it? In any case, I’m not complaining.