Spring Forward

It has been an amazing March and the first two weeks  of April. When I check my 2009 garden journal, I am finding the garden is 3 weeks ahead from last year. And in 2008, there was still snow on the ground the first weekend in April.

However, Kilbourne Grove still looks a bit blah. I need so many more bulbs, (and to win the lottery)! Carpets of them!

This is the only bulb that was here when we bought the house. Does anyone know what it is?

But next year I should have some more colour, these are all “free” forced dafs that I planted in the Kitchen Garden to recuperate. I will move them out after they are finished flowering.

These Tete A Tetes were from three years ago, they are now very happy flowering in the Flora Glade.

A few perennials are coming up, but nothing is as beautiful as this Polemonium “Touch of Class”, the leaves are purple and turquoise.

But it is the Serviceberry Allee that is the most showy this time of year. The helleborus have been joined by hyacinths.

And it looks like the Serviceberry will be in flower soon.

Helleborus “Green Corsican”(at least, I hope it is, the problem with free plants is sometimes the names get mixed up a bit), has been flowering since March  13th (at least that was the first date I saw it, it could have been flowering longer),

while Helleborus “Jacob” started two weeks ago.

What great plants these are, flowering for 6-8 weeks, maybe even longer. I do not think there are any other perennials that have that longevity. I am definitely going to get more for my garden. Hellebore mania, here I come!

35 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Edith Hope said,

    Dear D, I do completely agree that the Hellebores are unequalled as spring flowers since, as you say, they are extraordinarily pretty and flower over a prolonged period. If my experience is anything to go by, your Hellebores should seed and, if you pot on the seedlings, within a couple of years you will have several new plants. Of course, one never knows what the seedling’s flower will be like but that for me is half the fun. It certainly is an inexpensive way of increasing one’s stock – although free plants also seem a good deal to me too!!

  2. 3

    Joy said,

    Deborah girl .. I checked too and you are so right .. we are well ahead this year .. it might also mean a HOT DRY summer is in the cards for us too ..
    My serviceberry is ready to burst as well .. it will be so pretty and the Robinator will be hanging around thinking he can eat all of the berries ? Ha !
    I am a hellebore addict so there is no complaint here about them being perfect : )
    Your polemonium looks very much like mine girl ! .. aren’t they pretty : )

  3. 5

    Morning from snowy Scotts Bay, NS! Your mystery flower is a double daffodil, though i’m not sure of the cultivar; Could be Golden Dukat, which I think is the most common yellow double. We sometimes see them around older homesteads so I don’t know if they mutate, or come in a mixed bag, or what the story is. Someone who knows more about daffs can probably tell you.

    LOVE that polemonium! It’s more intensely blue tinged than my ‘Stairway to Heaven’, does it hold that colour as the foliage grows? I’ll have to look for it, as I’m quite partial to polemoniums and they do well for us. And naturally, your hellebore makes me want it, as I want them all, now. It’s a sickness. I’ll blame it on the snow, which I hope you don’t get!

    • 6

      Oh no, not snow Jodi. I wish the Touch of Class held its colour, it is a sport of Stairway to Heaven, and becomes green and white when it matures. But it is gorgeous now!
      Thanks for letting me know about the daff, I at first thought Rip Van Winkle, but I will look up Golden Dukat and see if that is it.

  4. 7

    Laurrie said,

    Everyone in the northern latitudes is way ahead of schedule this year. I’m still afraid that all the plants that have leafed out and bloomed here so early will get a hard frost nip in early May. Nature toys with us every season, just for novelty. And just to let us know who is in charge in our gardens!

  5. 9

    Hi D,

    I just placed a rather large order for more stuff for my garden and then of course, now I want Hellebores! You are a bad influence!!

    I cannot wait to see your garden in the Summer too. Can you do another birds eye for us then?

    Have a great week,

    • 10

      M, for you, I will climb up on the roof and risk life and limb again, lol. I am not sure how much you can see in the summer, there are a lot of old maples in my garden.
      I think some Hellebores in your garden would be lovely, although they might lead the party, Hell-e-bores, lol!

      • 11

        I can see the headline now….”Hell raisin’ Hellebores!” 🙂 Now I don’t want you hurting yourself on my account! Shots from below are perfectly acceptable especially if the trees get in the way. M

  6. 12

    I have hellebores envy – must get some NOW. Didn’t realize that they bloomed for so long. That’s terrific news.
    It’s so hard to hold back this year with the advance in the weather. I think this week’s forecast is more April like, which should hold things at bay.

  7. 14

    Kathleen said,

    Hi Deborah. Your double daffodil is pretty. I looked thru a few of my bulb catalogs to see if I could name it but was not successful. There were some really gorgeous doubles that would make good companions tho ~ ‘Wave,’ ‘Ice King’ and ‘Petit Four.’
    I am definitely planting a Serviceberry THIS year. I’m not procrastinating another year about that.
    Your hellebores are looking good too. Good luck on your mission to add more. I’ve decided to stay at four for now. If they would have started blooming in Feb (or even Jan) their numbers would have been increased. Since they didn’t bloom till April, they’re holding! ha.
    ps. wish my garden were three weeks ahead of schedule ~ I think we are running a touch behind. No real heat here yet tho, just a warm day here and there.

    • 15

      Kathleen, good for you adding the serviceberry, I do love them (and the birds certainly do as well). As for the hellebores, the niger is the earliest, that is the variety of mine that was blooming through the snow in early March for me. If I didn’t have such a deep snow cover, it might have been blooming even earlier, you should try one of those.
      Thanks for the research on the daffs though.

  8. 16

    Lovely post Deborah! You have so much going on already! Your serviceberry allee is looking wonderful. Definitely a double daff, but hard to say which one. Very pretty, I always stick with the single ones, but I like yours too. Nice to have a place for forced bulbs to recuperate. I am loving everyone helleborus, and FINALLY found one at a hardware store, garden centres here don’t carry them often. I’m not sure when to plant it, it says to do so before the end of May, but there is still a risk of frost. It is not a plant but a (can’t think of the word) root ball tuber type thing in peat mix. Your polemonium is stunning, what a showy colour combo! My variegated one has yet to wake up…

  9. 18

    Hi Deborah – thats amazing that your garden is 3 weeks ahead. I’m glad for you that it is – it really is a long winter in your part of the world.

    I let my hellebores go to seed. Your white ones are lovely.

    Serviceberry Allee is very new to me – I’ve never heard of it before Deborah – does it go under a different name that I would know in the UK? I’ll look forward to seeing a photo of it in flower in a few weeks.

    Have a good week back in the city. 🙂 Rosie

    • 19

      Rosie, serviceberry is the common name for Amelanchier in North America. There are lots of different varities, I think that mine is canadensis, but not sure, they were not labelled. I wish the flowers lasted longer, but like all good things (especially chocolate) they are gone way too quickly.

  10. 20

    Your hellebores are lovely. I too hadn’t realised that they flower for so long. I must get some. It is nice to see what is happening in your garden.

    • 21

      Gilly, the flowers are quite thick (letting them resist the weather) and change colour and become more leathery as they age. I think that they are beautiful at all stages.

  11. 22

    Jean said,

    Deborah, Things are about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule here in Maine, too. I think many of us were happy to have unseasonably cool (but not frigid) temperatures last week to slow things down a bit. After seeing everyone’s hellebores this spring, these plants are definitely on my wish list and will get added when I develop my next planting area (which I hope to get started on this summer and to finish next year).

  12. 24

    My garden was several weeks slower this year, as our winter temps persisted consistently till March. Now we are making up for lost time! Your blooms are so pretty. I’m glad spring has come to to your garden and hope no late frosts will cause problems. My hellebores still have pretty blooms, though they have faded to greenish white. I think they last about two months here. A very wonderful plant!

  13. 26

    Hi Deborah, so glad you are getting some garden action at Kilbourne Grove! Love the hellebore / hyacinth combo – perfect spring colours. 🙂

    • 27

      I’m glad that you added garden in front of the action, Ms. S, lol. Hellebores and hyacinths all free, yay, I am going to move the forced daffs from the Kitchen Garden in here, so next year, white, pink and yellow, love it!

  14. 28

    fairegarden said,

    Hi Deborah, you are well on your way to the bulbathon of the future. Just keep dividing everything. The hellebores are the longest bloomers here as well. It is the orientalis no names that do the most seeding about after several years in the ground. Once that begins, there will be no stopping them. 🙂

  15. 30

    Grace said,

    Hi Deborah~~ Hopefully you can find some hellebore plants on sale. Last year I remember Home Depot put a bunch on clearance after the blooms faded.

    I know nothing about the culitvar of the Daff but it is a beaut.

  16. 32

    teza said,

    Isn’t Spring grand? I too love the Polemonium, and having both it and P. ‘Stairway’ in the garden, they make for a wonderful visual delight. I love the Helleborus display you are providing for us!

  17. 34

    GloriaBonde said,

    Hi Deb, Lovely pics of hellebores. I noticed on France’s blog that she mentions they have long tap roots. So you are right. Best not to move. I wouldn’t have noticed the seedlings, they are under the large leaves. So peak around you might have babies.

    • 35

      Gloria, good to know about the tap roots. I have planted a large number of them in my Serviceberry Allee, I think that they will be staying there, lol. I’ll lift their skirts (kind of like a hen) and check for babies.

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