Not so unusual

I have a fun little app on my phone called timehop.  It somehow scans through my history on lots of other apps (facebook, twitter, instagram) and the photos and text messages on my phone.  Then each day, it gives me a little history of what I posted on this day in history.  It’s pretty fun!

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So yesterday, a picture of my crocus popped up.  Seems like a year ago to the day, my yard started blooming.

February certainly has received a bad rap.  We always consider February a cold, bleak, gray month.  The only thing to look forward to is the birthday duo and Valentine’s Day.  Actually, not bad for a cold, bleak, gray month!

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This was my birthday bouquet.  Purple roses!  Who knew!

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And I think I have finally found the perfect location for my fancy pants helebores.  I will have to check on the tag for the real name.  Looks like he will be blooming any day now!  I have been waiting for 3 years now for this event.

When I realized the crocus was in bloom, I quickly checked for the snowdrops (none just yet), and strolled down to the new location of the helebores.  Now, every day I’m checking on the progress.

I’m so glad I found some flowers that seem to enjoy blooming while the snow flies.  And I sure hope deer don’t like the taste.

If you live in the cold zone, let me know what is blooming in your snow!  I’d really like to add to my winter blooms collection!

Happy 2016

Took a tour of the gardens today, just to see if this mild weather yielded any surprises.  I keep waiting for the hellebores, and was really hoping for that surprise.

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The greens are looking good, but no blooms yet.  That’s good.  I will wait until Easter and take another garden walk!  Hopefully they will be sporting more color then – guess they call it Lenten Rose for a very good reason!

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The cockleburs are very abundant in one neglected corner of the yard.  I can’t remember what the blooms looked like, but I think they were purple.  The seed pockets are very interesting, and very sticky.  Glad that most are too tall to be attached to Willis as he runs past.

Just as I was about to give up, I couldn’t believe what I saw just under the deck.

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Little viola volunteers!  What a really lovely surprise.

I hope your new year is full of wonder and surprise!  Happy 2016!

The Hellebores Survived!

About a year ago, I wrote about my discovery of hellebores.  I ordered a couple from Spring Hill Nurseries, and plopped them in Elaine’s View garden, not sure what to expect.

As I knew would happen, with spring the hostas quickly took over the site, and I thought I had lost the hellebores.  This fall, as I was cleaning up the shade garden and preparing for winter, I stumbled upon a couple of plants that looked not quite like weeds.  There was something a bit more sturdy to the stems, a bit more green than the blanching mishmash of weeds and spent hostas.

Something told me not to cut, but to wait, be patient, maybe I can identify these guys.

When I ordered the hellebores, I was concentrating solely on the blooms.  I found two that promised red blooms, one that promised a ruffled edge, one a deep red.

I really wanted to add some spicy color to the endless sea of green hostas – the only plant that seems to survive on that side of the house.

Blue Hosta

The sunlight is very minimal on that stark, northern exposed garden bed.  Our tall, two-story house shades that side liberally all day, with only a sparse amount of afternoon sun hitting the ground in mid summer.

I’ve stubbornly tried so many plants there, losing plants too numerous to mention.  Hard lesson learned – know your plants expectations and follow THEIR rules.  But the hostas do extremely well there.  I’ve added a sampling of fern last year, and when I discovered the hellebores, I was giddy with anticipation!

But I forgot to take note of the foliage.

I think these might be them!

Of course, I Googled “Hellebore leaves”, and thankfully discovered that, yes, yes indeed, these two mystery survivors are the hellebores!

We haven’t had any trace of snow yet this year, but I’m sure it’s a coming!  And from what I’ve read, they will survive!  I will make a note to look at them in early February, and see if I can trim back the leaves from last year.  I will be looking with great anticipation for the unfurling of the new leaves, and the (hopefully) plentiful buds.  Until then.

What’s your favorite shade plant?  I could really use some suggestions on what to add to my shade collection!