While autumn flowering mahonias (Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’, below) are fading in this mild early winter, the late winter blooming leatherleaf mahonias (Mahonia bealei, below) are approaching their peak. In mild years, leatherleafs have flowered in late January, but never this early. The more blooms in the winter garden, the merrier.
On occasion there have been scattered blooms on hellebores in late December, but this year there were several late in November (Helleborus niger ‘HGC Joel’, below). These are hybrids with Christmas rose parentage, but others are showing swelling and colorful buds a month early.
While excursions into the garden are less frequent and more brief in the winter months, the impatience for spring is somewhat soothed by multiple winter blooms (below).