With all of the yard work I have been doing the last couple of months, it was nice to see some things blooming even though its still winter. One of my favorite things about living on the Gulf Coast are the “winter bloomers”. Although this was by far the coldest of the three winters I have been here, some things were still putting on a show despite the cold and ice, yes ice!
The camellias started blooming in December and continued all winter. (there are still some buds out there)
This little fragrant gem is Daphne odora that I purchased at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It has been blooming for three weeks.
I have several varieties of Narcissus planted in a bed around a river birch. The bed was already there when I moved into the house. I cannot remember what the species or variety is and I would rather not guess, than to be incorrect. I labeled them at planting, and, gulp, the names faded from the plant labels. This winter I “found” some Narcissus growing near the shaded fence in my back yard and I plan to move them to a sunnier location so they will flower next year. (Don’t you love “finding” plants someone else planted at your house previously?)
Two weeks ago the first flowers opened on my hedge of Loropetalum. It isn’t peaking yet, but when it does, it will be glorious! Clemson University has a nice little fact sheet on this flowering shrub. Did you know it is in the witchhazel family (Hamamelidaceae)?
My fruiting pear and one of the two pollinator pears are flowering! The fruiting pear is flowering equally with new leaf emergence (as seen in this image above); however, the flowering pollinator is flowering ahead of leaf emergence. The fallen petals are beginning to give the affect of a light snow covering on the ground. They started flowering on Monday. Mississippi State University Extension has two good publications on fruiting pear: Fruit & Nut Review: apples and pears and Homeowner Apple and Pearl: Insect and Disease Control
A spot of lavender surprised me yesterday when I was walking through the garden. This is a plant which I did not know existed in my garden. Sometimes, after moving into a new home, environmental conditions such as stress (such as drought), light, and temperature can prevent emergence or flowering and so some plants go undiscovered until the conditions “right” themselves. This is my third spring here and I am still “finding” things. I believe this specimen to be a member of the lily family in the genus Chionodoxa (glory of snow). You can purchase and read about it from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.
My final flower of the week is one of my favorite native plants! Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens). Read more about this native, flowering vine on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I have two plants purchased from The Crosby Arboretum: one near my patio and one at my mail box. I prune both to keep it in bounds and to encourage more flowering. You can see this plant blooming along our highways, often growing high up into the tree canopy and creating an affect of twinkle lights.
Well, that’s it for the week folks! I’ve got to get outside and do some raking and pruning.
Until next time,
The Garden Maiden
All images and text copyright 2014 The Garden Maiden