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!

Pruning a clematis

My clematis, a jackmanii variety, has been growing wild for about 10 years.

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I trim it back to the ground in the fall, and it successfully regenerates itself each spring.  I train it on a trellis to reach the height of the mailbox in the mailbox garden.  I’m pretty sure the mailman would appreciate some pruning efforts on this one!

I found an excellent guide for pruning most types of clematis.  Raymond Evison describes three ways to prune, depending on the variety as well as the results you are looking to achieve.  This is the suggested procedure for pruning my jackmanii –

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Here’s a specimen that climbs the trellis to add the height in the lamp post garden.  I train it up a small trellis then attach some twine to the post for the tendrils that climb even higher.

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This year, I’ve noticed many clematis in the neighborhood that appear to be more tame than mine, and I rather like that look.  They may be younger specimens, but I’m hoping that a little pruning care will tame my wild boys just a bit.