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And So It Begins ----Spring That is

The snow is gone and the spring bloom we have longed to see is here.  The beginning of the explosion of bloom started for us on March 22, the day Bill (my husband) took these pictures.

It’s raining today and I can’t begin to express how much I am enjoying looking at these photos while putting them up for you to see.  I hope you will enjoy them as well — along with the bits of information that accompanies each.

The picture above and below shows tete-a-tete narcissus.  Although I would not think of being without the large King Alfred-like daffodils these little tete-a-tetes are my favorites.  They stand about 6 or so inches, are covered with bloom, and have the most wonderful foliage evenafter the blooms fade.  And one of the best parts — when the foliage fades it does so quite unnoticeably.

After they bloom each year, I take up a clump that is particularly large and move the bulbs around to places that have none.  In one spot I place  4 or 5 bulbs about 2 inches apart.  They would be easy to plant en masse in a woodland area since they multiply quickly.  How wonderful would that be!?!

The picture above and below is of snow drops.  These have not multiplied as quickly as I had hoped.  I enjoy their loveliness the brief time they are here.

Below is the classic King Alfred-like daffodil. Registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in 1899 and offered to the public by the 1900s, it was a big hit, for one thing because of its huge size. It was so improved upon by the 1920s that only a few places were still growing the true King Alfred. I remember reading about a nursery that grows them now just so they will not become extinct.

Part of our property and the property that borders it belonged years ago to a lady who grew all the old fashioned bloom favorites.  When we moved here, these jonquils (picture below) no longer bloomed because they had become so crowded. I had so many other plants to think about moving to new borders that I didn’t feel like bothering with these.

My husband, who is an artist by the way, and very much of a romantic, could not bear the thoughts of these not being appreciated.  He took up a clump and naturalized them in an area that we call the “tree bed”.  It is covered with vinca and hosta and some sedum.  It has azaleas, acubas, dogwood, nandina, and several large old trees.  They look lovely and I’m sure the lady who planted them would be very pleased.

Last fall we cut the vinca (below) with the lawn mower as an easy way to keep it in check.  It comes back lush and green with a delicate little violet flower.  Looks absolutely stunning with the old-fashioned jonquil above.

The picture below was my “new plant” selection several years ago.  It is spectacular, but I have lost the name of it.  If you think you know what it is, please let me know. The thing that appeals to me most is the way all those blooms come out of one stalk!I gardened for years without hellebore.  It never appealed to me at all until I saw it at a friend’s home.  She was excited about her’s reseeding and producing two new plants and for some reason that got me interested.

To begin with I purchased only one (the pink/purple one).  It’s now very large and starts blooming sometimes as early as January and continues to bloom even under snow until late spring.  By March I take off the largest stems because their leaves are usually brown from the snow and cold.  It refreshes itself quickly.

I added another one year before last. White – shown below. This year White Flower Farm is offering one of the most beautiful new hellebore that I have ever seen: a pale yellow double with slight apricot edging on some blossoms.

We needed a quick and inexpensive block to hide the ugly rusted metal shed bordering our property.  We cut branches of forsythia that we had at our previous home and stuck them in the ground.  We lost two but the rest rooted and although it took a couple of years to give us the block we needed it is lovely when in bloom. When its not in bloom you don’t notice it one way or the other.  That sure proves its doing its job.

Camelia. Always a welcoming bloom.

Perennial Candy Tuft. In the picture below its bloom is just beginning. Each year I take cuttings and plant them as I walk around the yard. I give them no care and some make it, some don’t.  The ones that do delight me.  Easy.

If you have not already done so I invite you to check out White Flower Farm for one of the most beautiful new hellebore that I have ever seen: a pale yellow double with slight apricot edging on some blossoms. Search the site for hellebore and it will come up along with several others.

Enjoy this special time of year.

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