Last Sunday was a big day. The first snowdrop managed to pop up and drop the first pure white bloom of the 2014 season. Since then the not-so-pure snow has been on the retreat and temperatures have been almost seasonable! One night temperatures didn’t even drop below freezing, and if you ignore the 9F night (-13C) you could almost imagine spring is close.
I don’t know how they do it, but somehow even from the frozen earth, under a layer of snow and ice, the snowdrops (galanthus elwesii) are growing. I can’t imagine I missed this one in January during the last thaw. It must have continued to grow as melting snow trickled down through the ice and then voila! Spring 🙂Other old friends are reappearing from beneath the filthy snow remnants. Cyclamen hederifolium doesn’t look half bad after having spent the winter under a driveway snow pile.A few feet away cyclamen coum is a different story. The melting snow is leaving me with a mat of sloppy, rotting foliage. Just for the record, you won’t get these pretty pictures on just any blog. We’re here for the good, the bad…. and the ugly.
But spring is a fountain of hope, and even here I was able to find the first bloom coming up! I think they’ll be ok but it’s a different look without the backdrop of healthy foliage (and I hope the tubers are able to prep for next year without their leaves)
Here’s a standard pussy willow shot. Another one of my favorite plants. Not much to look at most of the year, but I’d never be without it 🙂The “solid” winter of 2013/14 has tied up the Northeast in longer than average snowcover, and as a result even the snowdrops are running late. I got this postcard from Hitch Lyman of The Temple Garden Nursery in upstate NY, and what a relief that I won’t be stressing over the long range weather report. By April there should be something! and even if some freak warm spell comes along there are enough other bulbs and hellebores to fill a garden visit. But change your calendars, the new Garden Conservancy open date is April 5 from 11 to 3.
Here’s how my first snowdrop (an anonymous galanthus elwesii given to me by a friend) looks….. and notice another dead cyclamen coum leaf right at it’s base. This spring they all look this way 😦 I’m going to go on about snowdrops now, so tune out if you’ve already had your fill. This week I’m struggling through my attempts to get better pictures. So far I’ve learned nothing, but out of the countless blurry and overexposed pictures I’ve taken, the law of averages has let me bumble into one or two acceptable shots. Here’s my nicest clump of galanthus nivalis (or most likely a hybrid thereof) which was rescued from the edge of a bulldozer rut during a local dairy farm’s gentrification. It’s the last survivor of what used to be swaths of snowdrops…. And here are three new treasures 🙂 -all variations on white, and all making me happier than a sparrow in spring (I’m assuming they’re happy, I finally hear them singing in the mornings). The first is galanthus “Gerard Parker”.
The next, with much smaller blooms and a more average snowdrop look, is galanthus “Chedworth”.and finally (with a drumroll implied) is galanthus “Primrose Warburg”. It’s a little thing, but special enough to make me happy I was able to finally get a non-blurry portrait.
Yesterday I noticed the first winter aconite is out. They’re still tiny and lack confidence, but I’m hoping spring is really on its way (although it’s snowing as I write this and a storm is predicted for tonight). Happy Sunday!