What is YOUR Fav first flower to bloom?

dfaustclancyJanuary 26, 2012

Hi there,

So I know it's only January, but I got to thinkin, I sure miss seeing flowers, and even green things. I know I shouldn't complain because it has been a very mild winter (so far) and I saw pansies actually blooming in our little downtown square two days ago! But. I'm already looking forward to things coming back to life and the first daffodil or hyacinth out of the ground is my hero! So even though I'm thrilled at the first bloom, I really LOVE it when the (blank) blooms. That's what I'd like to hear from you. Mine is magnolias....

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I have a lot of favorites. I could say the winter jasmine because it has been blooming all winter this year, and even in more normal winters, it'll pop a few flowers open after just a few mild days, sometimes in January, and always a few by February. But then I think about crocuses and I think they really "announce" spring to me. The bright colors really cheer up the drabness of lingering winter.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Definitely for me it's the reticulated irises. Stunning blues and purples, 3 or 4 inches high and they start blooming along the foundation really early, usually in late March about the same time as Hamamelis 'Diane' (witch hazel.) Because it's still relatively cold when they bloom (snow isn't a problem for them) the blooms last quite a while. This one is the reddest of the types I have, probably Iris histroides 'George', but in reality it is a bit more purple and less red than this photo. From Early spring flowers

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Forget-me-nots. They seed themselves every year and come back as a surprise the following year. A sky-blue haze over the garden.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Crocuses, of course:

and the bees really appreciate the early food.

But even more than the crocuses, I delight in the Scilla siberica flowers that quietly pop up blue (and white, too, but the blue is very unlike snow).

Daffodils are a whole different category.

Claire

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Well I love the bulbs, and I like Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise', but my favorite early bloomer and one of my favorite perennials ever - native Mertensia virginica, Virginia bluebells.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dfaustclancy

Man! Those photos are gorgeous! One of these daze I am going to learn how to post photos on GW.....

My heart was beating like a hammer looking at the forget-me-nots, followed by the lovely crocuses, followed by the Scillia (or squill) and then BlueBells.

There is a tree in a neighboring town that in the spring, is totally carpeted by scillia -- must be millions, I'm not kidding, it's been there for years and it is truly an awe-inspring sight. Especially when you realize how tiny those scillia bulbs are! I'd love to take a photo of that and post it (if not my own magnolia tree of course.)

What else? What else do you love?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

Wow! Those forget-me-nots are stunning. I will add my voice to the crocus, squill, bluebells and daffodils plus include puschkinia & grape hyacinth. But...

...I really LOVE it when the first poets narcissus opens.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pixie_lou

I do love muscari. I started these clumps with 3 bulbs each!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chardie

I love catmint (I have Walker's Low). It's so lush, fragrant and a pretty color. I love how it moves in the breeze. But for early spring I love to see the vibrant, bright yellows of daffodils and forsythia.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
squirejohn zone4 VT

Snowdrops = a sure sign of spring

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 7:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Spring has to be my favorite season and I can't wait to see the spring changes in the garden. Yes, the first bloom is exciting, but what lingers in my memory more is the ground softening and green sprouts peeking out and the spring fragrance of warming earth....the real 1st spring day.

I do look forward to that first bloom, and in my garden it is sometimes hellebore and sometimes crocus. I do have a beginning collection of snowdrops but they are not mature enough to make much impact yet.

Like Bill, I really have many favorites though. I often can't wait for anything with fragrance. I wish to get a chance to add that Jasmine to our garden, it sounds great, Bill. Great photos from everyone. At our house, the first fragrant plant is this viola, that has a very strong fragrance that I look forward to....

If I were not limited to the early blooms of spring, I would have to say the spring flowers I most look forward to are daffodils. For a fragrant plant it would be the Viburnum carlesii.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Pixie_lou,
Now that you have Muscari, you HAVE Muscari! LOL! They will reseed and multiply like crazy, which isn't a bad thing. I have clumps now that bloom in the lawn, and they usually bloom just before I have to mow the lawn for the first time each spring. And even though they are then mowed regularly along with the lawn, they come back and bloom every year. So they are definitely survivors!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Barb, those iris are beautiful. I will have to add that to my list for the garden. Did you buy them somewhere locally?

GW, I love the narcissus playing Peek-a-Boo behind the tree.

PM2, that hellebore is gorgeous!!!

I have so many spring favorites. I really do like the daffodils that bloom with the bright, newly emerging foliage of shrubs.

And daffodils with Heath.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pixie_lou

Bill - yes, that is what I'm hoping for. A huge "hedge" of muscari! And I don't care if they start blooming all over my lawn. I'll love it!

I've purchased the white muscari, which I tried to line my white garden, which happens to be by the front walk. Either the white muscari isn't as prone to multiplying as the blue. Or, more likely, I'm thinking it doesn't like the salt/ice melt that I throw all over my front walk.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

Like Bill, grape hyacinth has naturalized in my lawn along with puschkinia and crocus. There's a week in the spring when my lawn has a blue cast to it. My mother refused to let anyone mow the lawn until they were finished blooming. As Bill points out, once they're mowed that's it for the year but judging by the thousands that bloom every year, mowing does them no lasting harm.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 4:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

It's delicious seeing all these spring bloomers, and all so well photographed . . . today's warm weather made me start thinking spring must be coming soon, but I know that February is usually a long cold month here.

Susan - I get my reticulated irises through Brent and Becky's bulbs. After blooming they put out long narrow foliage which looks a bit grassy or reed-like.

And thanks for posting the winter heath. At my previous garden, I had one in a rock garden that often bloomed while there was still snow on the ground. I'd forgotten how much I liked it - the fine, deep purplish-green foliage, the bright magenta flowers, surrounded by granite and snow in late March or early April.

I agree that PM2's hellebore is stunning. PM2 - do you trim away the old foliage before it starts blooming? I just love the colors of that blossom.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thyme2dig, I always enjoy photos of your garden in all seasons. Quite a pretty picture in your front garden in spring! Can you identify those shrubs that are with your daffs? Is that spirea in the front photo, and not sure what the shrubs behind are? Lovely!

I also like that combo with the heath. Funny I don't remember seeing daffs paired with heath before. It really works.

Gardenweed, I really like that puschkinia. It is so sweet. I wonder how the foliage is after bloom? Do you have to leave it like other bulbs and not mow it? I added Chionodoxa to the back lawn in a little patch as an experiment the year before last, but I think I like that puschkinia even better.

Babs, I do trim away the old foliage when I see the new foliage coming up. This particular plant I bought as a very small start and I was not expecting any bloom the first full season in the garden, but it surprised me and pushed up a few. The variety is 'Mellow Yellow'.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franeli(z4 NH)

I love the late April flowers on a group of Amelanchiers.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 8:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

PM2 - The grape hyacinth & puschkinia come up all through my front lawn every year and put on a show. Once the neighbor mows the lawn for the first time, the foliage gets cut along with the grass. Hasn't seemed to have any effect on them over the years. Mowing was forbidden for the duration of their bloom time while my mother was alive which may have allowed them to naturalize over that time span. They really are pretty.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spedigrees z4VT

Absolutely lovely pictures of spring flowers! The forget-me-nots take my breath away! Like many others I love crocus and snowdrops, but the fatality rate of mine is high from some underground snacking rodents. Thus my favorite would have to be my golden daffodils that nothing ever seems to harm, and they are the first flower to appear.

NHBabs, I really like your purple/red reticulated irises. (Just love the color!) I should try planting some, as other iris do well here.

I wonder if grape hyacinths would prosper here or meet the same fate as the crocuses...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Isn't that cute, that it has that pinstripe. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Nothing better to me than hearing about how a plant works out for another gardener. Sounds like your Mom was a gardener too?

We have part shade on our back lawn and whatever the type of grass it is, it seems to be fairly slow growing, so we manage to wait until May to mow for the first time. I will definitely try those next fall. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

PM2, for that section of the slope I planted 3 Crimson Pygmy barberry and 3 spiraea with a white flower. I thought the usual hot-pink flowered spiraea would clash with the barberry color, so I decided to go with white which is not showy, but I was going for foliage on the slope as opposed to vibrant flowers.

Above the barberry is another later spiraea and to the left of that is a dwarf flowering almond which I think should be planted in more gardens. I absolutely love that shrub and it never fails to bring me joy each year. I like the pink with the burgundy of the barberry.

I have to also give a shout out to Epimedium as one of my favorite spring blooms! Wouldn't be without it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Like Franeli, I also love the Amelanchiers. They are the first thing that blooms with a lot of impact, and since they grow wild here, they are everywhere along the roads of my rural commute.

Another woody early bloomer that I love is the red maples. They are also quite common in the NH woods and while each blossom is tiny, their overall effect adds a red haze over the tops and edges of the woodlands, and then only gets brighter as the samaras start developing and the tiny leaves start emerging. Only when the leaves are partially expanded do they fade to green tones.

Spedigrees - I find that the grape hyacinths get eaten, but they seem to reproduce faster or maybe aren't quite as tasty as the crocuses, so some always seem to survive. I also find that if I put quite a bit of gravel in the hole on all sides of the tasty small bulbs, they seem to last a bit better than those where I don't.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

I was so excited when my very first hellebore bloomed last year:

H. Regal Ruffles

I have a total of six hellebores--three planted at the northeast corner of the house & three at the northeast corner of the garage. All were purchased on markdown/half-price sales here and there. They're relatively new-to-me perennials and I'm really looking forward to the show I hope they'll put on once they mature. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for that 'Mellow Yellow' too!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie6ri

While I love every single plant that flowers in my garden, the Hellebores start first. Helleborus niger 'Joshua' has been blooming all Winter. The flowers do get tattered, but still, to have anything flowering in December-January in zone 6 is a miracle to me.

And this year, for the very first time, one of my three Helleborus 'Ivory Prince' plants decided to bloom --a little early with this warm winter. I've been clucking over these buds for at least a month now.

And even a Helleborus x hybridus has started to bud...

Seems everything will be bursting into bloom early this year. I'm already excited!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

I stepped outside for fresh air around midday and just for grins 'n giggles, I checked my hellebores. There are 3 small buds on one of my newest ones, I think it might be 'Cinnamon Snow' from Santa Rosa Gardens!! Yay!! I'll keep an eye on them and take pics when they open. Last year 'Regal Ruffles' bloomed in early April and so far I don't see any sign it'll bloom earlier just because we're having a mild winter. I'll keep an eye on that one too.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 4:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

thyme2dig, Very pretty combination. I like the contrast of colors and the early foliage on the spireas is nice. I have one white flowering spirea called 'Snow White' that I really like. I like the way you added your daffs to the bed, which I imagine does a good job of concealing the dying foliage. Epimedium is a plant I buy every year to add more to the garden. Love them.

gardenweed, that 'Regal Ruffles' a beauty! Hellebore is another plant that I try to purchase a few of every year. I will keep my eye out for that one too.

Leslie, that is surprising that you have so much looking ready to bloom. It has been a strange winter. Can't wait for spring either!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie6ri

gardenweed, please do post a picture of H. 'Cinnamon Snow'. I'm considering that one, as well as H. 'Pink Frost'. I saw them on the Plant Delights website, but I'll check out Santa Rosa Gardens. I have a white H. Double Queen in bud in the backyard as well. I love this winter!

prairiemoon2, I'm hoping to add a few more H. niger plants so I'll have more flowers all Winter. They may not be very striking, but I love seeing them when there's nothing else but brown and gray --or snow. And I think H. 'Joshua' may be lonely all by himself out there.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

leslie6ri - I went out this afternoon when I got home and checked the tag--it's 'Cinnamon Snow' with three small buds on it. I'll keep an eye on them the next several days and take a picture to post for you. They're just starting to open but the forecast calls for 58* tomorrow so I'm guessing they'll open all the way in short order.

The plant is really small--just got it from SRG last spring so it hasn't even been in the ground a full year.

I know its OT but... I didn't take a picture of my spring SRG order when it arrived but I did take one of the fall order @ half price. This is what it looked like as soon as it came out of the shipping carton:

I'm in no way affiliated with SRG--just one very satisfied customer after just two orders in 2011 from their half-price sales. Each plant is carefully wrapped in brown paper with a loose-knit/web stocking sort of thing around the pots themselves. The only caveat is S&H is high.

I'm using the brown paper wrappers to start my woodstove fire so even that gets recycled! (;-p)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

PM2, Yes, the daffodils on the slope work out great because they put on a wonderful show and as the shrubs and other perennials fill in, the foliage is hidden. I never have to do anything with them, and the deer stay away from them.

GW, That 'Regal Ruffles' is to die for! Absolutely gorgeous! I've never really found "exciting" hellebore locally and the beauties that I find in catalogs seem to break the bank. Those are some great scores you found!
Thanks for posting the picture of the SRG plants. I've never ordered from them, but that shipment looks great. What is the tree/shrub in the middle. I'll have to check out there selection again. Haven't perused their website in a while. So, thanks for being an enabler! LOL!!!

Leslie, do you have any pictures of your double-white hellebore? I'm going to have to dig around for some doubles. I hadn't even thought to go out and check to see if mine are getting ready to pop since we are usually buried in snow. You all make me want to grab a flashlight and run out there now! LOL!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I'm always on the look out for more hellebores and the 'special' hybrids are too rich for my blood too. I was able to purchase some plugs of new hybrids from Terra Nova I believe through a co-op sale that was offered on DG. I wasn't expecting much because they were so small and pretty inexpensive that way. 'Mellow Yellow' was among them. Now I wish I ordered more. I have two other varieties that I haven't seen bloom yet. I find the usual hellebores at local plant sales and always buy a few. Last year I bought 'Ivory Prince' through Bluestone, in a 3 pack, when they had a sale and before their prices went up. I really like the doubles too, but I also like to find a plant habit that is attractive in the landscape. If I find anything interesting, I'll post to the forum.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

SRG?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 6:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

SRG = Santa Rosa Gardens

Sorry bill_ri_z6b! I normally don't do a lot of abbreviating but since I'd mentioned Santa Rosa Gardens in a previous post, I truncated it in a follow-up.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 5:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Santa Rosa Gardens, where gardenweed bought her plants.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenweed_z6a

I got home late this afternoon but there was still enough light to go walkabout the gardens nearest the house. I checked the 'Double Queen Mix' hellebore I set at the northeast corner of my garage and there's a big, fat bud on it. Yay!! The 'Cinnamon Snow' buds are still very small so I'm guessing the blooms will require a zoom lens to display their glory when they eventually open.

It was 65 here today and absolutely gorgeous. My theory is we're either a) being rewarded for surviving 10+ days without power after the October blizzard OR b) something wicked this way comes. Either way it's a comfort to know I wheeled in (as in barrow) plenty of firewood last weekend to keep my woodstove going 8-10 days if need be. If I had my druthers, it wouldn't need to be--woodstove is in the cellar and keeping it going means roughly 16-18 trips each day down and up the uneven cellar stairs. Since my knees are as old as I am, that's a challenge.

T2D - I think the stick/trunk in the photo might be one of the dogwood trees I grew via winter sowing in 2010 and not part of my SRG order. I checked my order confirmation email and nothing in it suggests a stiff stem like what's in the photo. A lot of my winter sown perennials, shrubs & trees get a) potted up to grow on a few seasons while I decide where to plant them or else b) prepare the planting area. They're normally crowded together in 1 gallon pots/large planters on or under folding tables both sides of my breezeway.

I winter sow. I...well...um... sheesh (cough) aHEM...don't necessarily do a good job of organizing...just yet. Seriously, I plunk 'n run most of the time which is okay if you go for the wild 'n disorganized look.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie6ri

thyme2dig,

There's a picture of my white Double Queen on the hellebore forum. Go to the 2nd page and look for something like "White Double Queen (photo)" and there she is!

prairiemoon2,

I got my three H. 'Ivory Prince' from Bluestone. I'm hoping the other 2 bloom this Spring (or Winter!) too. Now I'm lusting after 'Mellow Yellow' and 'Regal Ruffles' as well as 'Pink Frost' and 'Cinnamon Snow'! --I do love the leaves on 'Ivory Prince'.

gardenweed,

I checked out the Santa Rosa Gardens website. I may order from them this Spring. Thank you for posting the photo of your Fall order.

I had yesterday off and spent it cutting down greenbriar, wild blackberries, bittersweet, wild grape vines and assorted evils that wrap around my shrubs and try to strangle them to death. It's a never-ending battle, but I enjoyed it yesterday. It was 60 degrees and felt like Spring. Just to be out and feel that sunshine! Ahhhhh.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 11:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Leslie, the foliage on the 'Ivory Prince' was half the attraction for me. It is such a nice contrast to other Hellebore foliage.

You have wild blackberries? I LOVE the taste of blackberries and I asked a landscape architect once, how I could fit them into a garden plan and he explained how deep the roots went and how invasive they are. His suggestion was to surround the bed with 3 feet of concrete. (g) So I gave up on that idea. Do you have a patch of blackberries that you allow to grow?

I also have a neighbor who grows bittersweet deliberately and the neighborhood now has seedlings sprouting up here and there. I have one growing out of a shrub in my foundation bed and I am dreading trying to get it out of there next spring.

What is greenbriar?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie6ri

prairiemoon2,

Greenbriar (Smilax rotundifolia) is a terrible, thorny, aggressive vine that climbs well up into trees (or decorative shrubs). I think birds spread the seeds. Here's a wiki on it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilax_rotundifolia

And at that other popular gardening site there are good photos of it and its thorns and berries. (But I wasn't allowed to post the link...)

Evidently, it's edible. Ha! Maybe if I threaten to eat it...

There are a number of similar vines. Cat briar is one.

I have wild blackberries in a small wooded section where I don't garden. Occasionally, if I'm out there and see ripe berries I may eat a few. But the plants are scattered around, --don't know if I'd even call it a patch, and birds and wildlife usually eat them. I hate when the canes? spread into the 'civilized' areas. They're huge, arching and thorny and seem to root and spread in the blink of an eye. Like multiflora roses or the evil wild Prunus weed tree (Prunus Caroliniana?) or sumac. Sigh, I've got 'em all.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You have my sympathies. I often wish I had a piece of property that had enough space to have a cultivated area around the house and a couple of acres of wild space where you could leave things undisturbed. Of course, in the case of invasives, they seem to be a constant that doesn't allow you to live in harmony with the land. I'm sure many people share that wish. Oh well, wish we had a magic wand sometimes. (g)

You must have a lot of birds then!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie6ri

Well, I have bird feeders and suet cages as well. So I have a lot of lazy birds and 4 very, very fat squirrels.

But I also have early yellow crocuses (Crocus ancyrensis?) up and just starting to show color, one tiny, tiny snowdrop (Galanthus ikariae), and a tightly closed grape hyacinth that looks like a tiny greenish-white pine cone!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Leslie, that 'White Double Queen' is outstanding! I've got to get that on my list for this year.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 9:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I did look up that greenbriar Leslie, on the other gardening site and the roots look awful. I am amazed you can get rid of any of it. I did notice that it is a native.

I think I see my violets are actually up and growing. I need to get out to the back corner to see them up close. But of course it's supposed to be in the single digits today.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggingthedirt

Of the hardy plants that flower in late winter, I'd have to say heath is my fave. It likes a dry site in lean soil, which I'm happy to provide! What's especially nice about it is that all by itself it forms a nice dense swath; this counteracts my normal tendency to plant one of each of a dozen kinds of plants.

I have a ridiculous number of hellebores, most of which are plain old H x hybridus (aka oriental). Most varieties are blooming early this year because of the weather, but the order doesn't seem to vary: first are the H. foetidus, the stinking hellebore (though they don't have a scent that I can detect), then H. niger, the Christmas Rose (though it rarely blooms at Christmas, usually in January), and last are the orientals. These ALL self sow, in contrast to ones with Corsican or other genes - I have 3 Ivory Prince and don't think they've spread at all.

I like the way the H. niger blossoms fade - they can become a lovely dark red over time. I also LOVE the dusky red orientals. Most of my hybrids came from bulk purchases at less-than-stellar mail order nurseries, and are not fancy, but the mixes do include some reds.

Of the hardy bulbs, snowdrops have to be my favorite. There's a little clump blooming now on the path I take from the car to the front door - they're so cheerful!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wispfox(6a)

Hello! I've been crazy with grad school (12 months for a masters program is... ambitious), but I wanted to drop in. This semester is a little less crazy, and I need a break from reading. Such lovely plants!

And you reminded me that I noticed what I believe to be a hellebore blooming earlier this past week. I hadn't noticed last year, but we did move here a year ago, in the all snow ever time of year.

I was actually beginning to wonder if it was a weed, which is why I got close enough to even see the flower. :)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dfaustclancy

Thank you all Evil Enablers who have posted photos! Truly lovely shots. I had previously believed that hellebore blossoms faced "downward", thus making them an unwantable.....Maybe not all of them? I am going to study these for future purchase. Since their bloom time is so early, they are sure to become must-haves.

I'm wondering if Pushkinia was named after Pushkin?

More flower photos please.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 6:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie6ri

Deb,

I think they're breeding Hellebores with upward facing flowers. (Of course, you can always crawl around on the ground and try to get photos of them from below.)

And Puschkinia... "This genus is named in honor of the Russian botanist Apollo Mussin-Pushkin" --from Wikipedia. So not the same Pushkin. Too bad. The poet is a more romantic image.

diggingthedirt,

Ha, I'm have same tendency to plant 'one each of a dozen kinds of plant'. To satisfy my curiosity about them. I bought a heath at Home Depot, I think, and it had a wonderful light fragrance. Really lovely. It's still in the garden, but looked awful last year. I find heath difficult to grow. If it survived I'll try to resuscitate it.

My Helleborus niger "Joshua' blooms all Winter, starting in November. I never thought it turned color as it faded. It was always just tattered greenish-white, but this year it has turned pink. Funny. And I had a large H. foetidus that died away two years ago and left me with a patch of seedlings that haven't bloomed yet. Maybe this year, but the new plants are much, much smaller than the parent.

thyme2dig,

The double white hellebore came from Bluestone. It was just labeled as a Double Queen strain and I had no idea what color it would be until it bloomed. I have another that I hope will bloom this year. The doubles are impressive.

prairiemoon2,

Violets! I need to check my violets too. I have V. odorata --maybe Queen Charlotte, and some years I barely see them because they bloom so early. I love the scent.

I'm trying to clear a bank in the backyard that is overgrown with evil vines, --greenbriar being just one. I know it will be a never-ending battle, but I'd love to plant a garden in that section.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Leslie, that is what I have, V. odorata 'Queen Charlotte' I really look forward to the fragrance. I was seeing a lot of green in that corner from my window but I'm not seeing it with these single digit temps. I'm afraid to go look.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 6:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggingthedirt

Leslie - Yes, H foetidus is susceptible to some sort of lethal fungus, and it does seed around a bit. I had a big swath of it die out; the seedlings can bloom the second year, if they're happy with the growing conditions. In my garden, the far-flung seedlings did much better than the ones that popped up in and around the old patch, so you might want to try moving some of the babies, if possible.

Does anyone else grow Dawn Viburnum? It's blooming now, and is supposed to be fragrant, but I have to say that it never puts on much of a show, and I've never detected a scent. I checked Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, to see if he had any suggestions, but he just says 'rarely puts on much of a show'. Not very encouraging! Still, it's a lovely deep pink, and comes at a time when that color - any color, I guess - is really appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie6ri

Since I mentioned these up above...

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hunt4carl

Hard to nail a favorite "first" since the Hellebores seem to start in December and just keep going all winter! One of my favorites in Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise', not just because of it's early and unexpected bloom, but because I happened to site it right next to an Ilex verticillata, still brimming with bright red berries - so the combination is exhilarating. . .

And to the responder who was speculating about crawling about on
hands-and-knees to view those downward-facing hellebores: many, many years ago, a very clever little old lady showed me how she dealt with that in her garden - by placing little 6" round mirrors on the ground (even in the snow!) under the blooms. . . Those old-timers really had it all figured
out - that little old lady next door had this little tyke completely hooked on
gardening at the age of seven !

Carl

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 11:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggingthedirt

LOL, Carl! I'd never have thought of mirrors.

For anyone planning to add hellebores to their garden, another (though totally unrelated) trick is to inter-plant them with drumstick allium. In summer, when the hellebore foliage is just a little bland, the allium blooms liven up the scene. I've been doing this for a few years, tucking in spare bulbs, since these allium do spread a bit.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggingthedirt

Another super-early flower, the winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis). Mine were dug up last year, so they're not at their best this season, but they're so darn CHEERFUL! From Winter20112012

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dfaustclancy

Hey Bill from RI Z6:

I took your advice and signed up for a newsletter from Briggs Nursery and danged if they didn't send me their spring newsletter -- with two coupons attached for 25% off any plant AND either a free primrose or bulb plant! WooHOO. Thanks so much Bill for introducing this nursery to me! Appreciate it. (Not affiliated with them in any way.)
Just spreading the LOVE.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Hi Debra,

It will be worth the ride. If you go after the weather has warmed enough, they should have their annual palm trees and other things planted out front in a very impressive display. The staff is very knowledgeable and the plants are laid out nicely both in the greenhouses and outdoors. Not a bad place to buy some lunch either! Enjoy.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 5:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Great photos! Not a snowdrop or crocus in sight here.

There's about 3 inches of snow still on the ground here. Darn! I was in Boston yesterday and there was nothing there. I am surprised by those of you in zone 5 who have had early growth. I am actually behind schedule here in some ways. Bulbs are barely showing foliage and the past 3 years, they were up a few inches by now. Yet there is growth on the Buddleia and Roses. Some of you are finding your garden wet, I am still seeing really dry conditions in the garden here. I imagine that is my particular situation due to trees. If we don't get a good amount of rain soon, I may have to put the sprinkler on, earlier than any other season.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dfaustclancy

Prairie moon 2:

Plenty of rain on the way for this weekend.... Oodles in the forecast.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 11:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh, thanks Debra, happy news! I'm sure we can all use it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pixie_lou

As I've been getting my first blooms - I've noticed that the reticulated iris blooms stay open. Whereas the crocus blooms close at night and in the cool weather. Monday morning, when it was 34 degrees here - it was so nice to see the tiny irises standing proud, while their brethren, the croci, were huddled up in tiny bunches trying to fend off the cold.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 1:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
samanthab(z5 MA)

Muscari and crocus are my favorite early bloomers! Love when flowers are shades of purples.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 2:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How to contact the new GardenWeb
On the right side of the main New England Gardening...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Winter weather in the kitchen - 2015 edition
This is the official thread to talk about (complain?)...
pixie_lou
Bristol County Conservation District 2014 Plant Sale
Now is the time the Massachusetts County Conservation...
edlincoln
Seeds & Plants on Sale, Locally? Online Catalog Sales?
Finally starting to feel like the growing season is...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
Deer resistant evergreen shrub
Was wondering if you have any suggestions for an evergreen...
BloominOnion
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™