1. Plants are finally beginning to bloom! The daffodils and the hellebores are the most energetic right now. And they begin my six today. First the daffodils, which are blooming in bunches throughout the wooded area of the garden. I can’t specify a particular variety other to say they are Daffodil Gert’s garden, that is they came to Alabama in 2006 from my mother’s garden in Maryland. And they have multiplied wondrously. In fact, I transplanted dozens weeks ago that were literally growing on top of each other. Those transplants are growing well, but I don’t expect them to bloom this year like the ones pictured below.
I also planted some Daffodil Ice King bulbs this fall that are about three inches tall. I hope have photos of them later.
2. The hellebores, too, can’t be identified beyond hellebore. All of them came from a shovel full of sprouts given to me 20 or more years ago by a former head librarian of Birmingham-Southern College. So, guess I could call them Penningtons. In truth, that is how I mentally name many of the plants in the garden–by the people who passed them from their garden to mine. The ones below are growing along a dry “creek” bed, so they have multiplied along over a hundred feet of runoff.
3. Behind the hellebores in the first photo above, there are some mahonia plants. Mahonia bealei, or leatherleaf mahonia, is a non-native that has naturalized throughout the Southeast. I maintain a few plants because it is an evergreen and has interesting pendant racemes in the spring. Birds like the fruits later in the summer, and as the second photo illustrates below, bees like the flowers. But it can be invasive; consequently, I pull any small plants I find freely wandering.
4. Bluets (Houstonia), a very different plant comes in next. These delicate little wildflowers are easily overlooked if the light is not right, but they are lovely. I’ve not cultivated them, so I have no rich clusters of them. They just appear as they will in the also very uncultivated “lawn,” which is mostly moss and emerging lyre leaf sage at the moment. Apologies for a fuzzy photo. The flowers deserve better.
5. I suppose most readers will find that these crocuses are rather late. But they brighten up a rather dull brown bed at the moment.
6. I end with two garden visitors I discovered while cleaning up some leaf piles today and one prize unearthed by Rosie: a salamander, an American brown snake, and a rawhide chew that seems to have been buried all winter. I put some leaves back for salamander habitat and moved the snake away from my work area. Rosie eventually agreed to trade the dirt covered chew for a nice, clean Milk-Bone brand tarter cleaning, breath freshening chew.
I think that is a good note to end this week’s six on. Readers looking for more garden going-ons can check in at the Propagator’s site, enjoy his Six on Saturday, follow links in the comments to many more, and find guidelines for taking part themselves next Saturday. Until then, stay healthy.