I am posting on Saturday, but this week’s six reflect the whole of another erratic week of weather in Alabama. Maybe you will find a kinder and more consistent Spring at the site of The Propagator or the many fine gardeners who join in this weekly garden celebration. So, on to the first.
1. My crocus are finally blooming. They seem late this year, but maybe that is because I’ve been impatient to see some color. As you can tell from the featured image, the rains have not been kind to the earliest of the blooms, though. Rains much heavier and winds much stronger than usual have triggered several tornado and flash flood warnings recently. Delicate petals have taken quite a beating. Still, the color is welcomed.
2. The usually dry creek bed (really a drainage runoff), offers a good example of how hard the rains have been. The hellebores continue to flourish all along the bank, though; the forsythia in the background of the second photo is my third item for the week.
3. The forsythia, a primary focus of my clean-up a few weeks ago, is beginning to bloom. The pruning will continue after the flowers have faded–and that might be sooner than usual due to the heavy rains. The drooping blooms in the second photo below might perk up with the sun, however. Nonetheless, look at the new leafy growth on a cutting I took in the house to see whether the early buds of few weeks back would open. I’ll see whether I can root the stem. This eastern European and east Asian native is popular from Canada along the east coast of the US to the South. I’m willing to propagate it for its color–although in some areas it is reportedly invasive.
4 and 5. A couple of native wildflowers come next. The bluets or Quaker ladies (Houstonia caerulea) are first. They are beginning to pop up throughout the garden, but you have to be looking for them. Their tiny flowers are easy to miss–and to step on unintentionally. Just compare the size of these lovelies to the size of the moss they often grown in. The second is sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba), a definite woodland plant. The faded three-lobed leaves pictured below are winter holdovers. They should brighten up a little, and new leaves will be coming. Hepatica will naturalize in well-drained understory soil.
6. I’m going to end with Camellia japonica ‘Lady Vansittart Sport.’ It is a late season bloomer whose time has finally come, but the photos below evidence the ravages of the weather. Buds are cold damaged and that damage shows on the flowers. Still, it is blooming–and reminds us of the resilience of plants. The one all but untouched flower reflects the typical beauty of this camellia. This one was tucked protectively in the middle of the shrub.
That’s this week’s wet and chilly six. Soon there should be more wildflowers in the wooded section of the garden–and some fancy daffodils in the beds.