Seventy in February

In the last weeks of a very average winter that seems so much worse by comparison to recent mild winters, a seventy degree day in February encourages that the worst has passed. Besides an improvement in the gardener’s disposition, there are also tangible signs of the change of season.

For weeks, a scattered few snowdrops (Galanthus, above) have heartened the winter weary gardener, but today early flowering types are at peak bloom, with later varieties swelling to flower when these begin to fade.

Happily, the quantity of early flowering snowdrops has clearly increased. Too few were planted at the start, but patience (cheapness) has finally been rewarded. When purchasing in autumn I am tempted by too many splendid choices, so often a few of many are selected rather than a quantity of one that will make a more immediate show. Today, I’m delighted by this choice.

Again, I regret passing over Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis, above) when purchasing bulbs. There are a very scattered few beginning their brief period in flower, and it’s likely this lacking inspires regret that there are not dozens more. But, time and again it’s apparent my memory is short, and aconites are long forgotten by bulb ordering time.

In the vicinity of snowdrops and aconites, it appears I have disturbed cyclamen (above), and likely have ruined flowers for this late winter, possibly for every late winter. Since foliage of cyclamen fades in spring, I forgot about them and planted divisions of Carex ‘Evergold’ to fill the void. The evergreen, grassy carex captures finely textured leaves that drop from the ‘Seriyu’ Japanese maple that shades the area. For the cyclamen to be visible the leaves must be carefully removed, but it seems I was not careful enough. I’ve considered removing the carex, but I suspect cyclamen and carex are inextricably entwined.

There will be much more coming soon when hellebores (above) reach peak bloom, but with a single warm afternoon ones with buds that were swelling too slowly to soothe my anxiousness have made the move that was expected two weeks earlier. A single hellebore began flowering in mid January, but cold temperatures delayed others until this week. The next several weeks will bring one flower after the other.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    That looks like a common florist’s cyclamen. I want to put mine out in the forest rather than discard them. (They were not mine, but I had to replace them, and hate to waste.) I know they are perennials, but the ones I grew in high school got watered, even while dormant through summer.

  2. Ruth says:

    The snowdrops are so sweet! Thank you Dave! 😀

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