Tag Archives: emerging foliage

I think gardening season can officially kick off now

This has been an odd winter/spring so far.

Yes, beyond the late nigh tweets from Donald.

Bulb foliage emerged in January. December, January and February were way warmer and less precipitation filled than normal.

I banked on getting to spring cleaning tasks sooner than normal.

And then winter was all like “I’m going down with a vicious fight”, and we were slammed with snow and ice a few weeks back.

The remainder of that snow is now slowly disappearing and I am determined to get outside this weekend and play the role of gardener once again. It has been way too long.

I haven’t cut down a thing since the fall so I’ve got nothing but dead perennial foliage and ornamental grasses to contend with.

The only color in these parts, besides my frigid red cheeks, is from the Crocuses (or is it Croci?) that finally arrived this week.

I found time to hunt for new foliage growth and it took some parting of dead leaves and branches to find anything but it still felt great to witness rebirth.

False spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Stonecrop (Sedum)

The daffodils are making up for lost time with many showing signs of flower buds. The bulbs below have found their way up and through an ornamental grass. I must have moved this grass last year without knowledge of the bulbs that quietly lurked underneath. Here’s hoping they can all happily co-exist.

Yet another faux pas. Moving rocks in winter knowing there is high potential to block a bulb’s growth come spring. Fortunately, this Allium bulb isn’t taking “no” for an answer.

I hope my fellow trapped gardeners can get outdoors as well this weekend.



Emerging foliage of spring

Spring refuses to fully embrace itself so we continue to move at a snail’s pace out in the garden. But the plants are finally revealing their emerging foliage, almost out of fear.

Like Crataegus viridis (Hawthorn) ‘Winter King’:

And Betula nigra (River Birch):

Some of the deciduous shrubs have finally shown emerging foliage, like this Cornus sericea (Redtwig Dogwood):

And Physocarpus (Ninebark) ‘Diablo’:

A few perennials decided to finally make an appearance. Hello Cimicifuga (Bugbane) ‘Pink Spire’:

Peonies unfurling at their own steady pace:


Now there has been some serious progress on other fronts. Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’ buds have turned full blown pink and look phenomenal: 



Speaking of this Viburnum. I count today as its first day of having “interest” and it will continue to do provide such “interest” all the way into early November. If you do the math, that is almost seven months of interest. And that means it is fantastic 7/12 of the year. And that translates to a 58% “interest” rate which I might just calculate for every plant I own and add it to the plant spreadsheet.

Just thought you should know that.

While we are at it, let’s enjoy the emerging foliage of the Astilbes:

And the buds on Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’



And finally, the tulips I’ve successfully grown in containers (hand pats back):

Good stuff, right? Well now let’s move over to the not so good or potentially not so good.

My Amelanchier (Serviceberry) ‘Autumn Brilliance’ is blooming:

But from a larger view, eh:

But more importantly, or more annoyingly, we have some serious bare legs:

I understand that this is the nature of this tree, but this extreme? I need to work on this one in some way.

Do I worry about this? Tent caterpillars?

I’m all for letting nature take its course, but not at the expense of my beloved Crabapple tree. More to come.

And finally, I am already regretting not strongly pruning the Salix (Dappled Willow) ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ in early spring. That awesome variegation is missing:


Look at the same shrub from only two years ago:

Chalk it up to experience and a new task added to the 2015 ledger.


More Unhealthy Spring Excitement

This dude, meaning me, seriously needs a hobby. I have spent hours just staring at the crocuses in bloom, in awe that there are actual bees paying them a visit:

I’ve never felt more desperate for the spring gardening season to take hold and I apologize for my desperation.

But it gets better, and more desperate, as I type this sentence.

I had taken a few photos of the branches on my Salix (Willow) ‘Kaga Nishiki’, excited to see that it was leafing out. But now, upon closer inspection, I see that there are f’n catkins on there. Take a look:

That is a first for me and I am way pumped up! Bring it the hell on. I may set up temporary residence right next to this shrub just to watch these catkins fully emerge. Too much?

I am even intensely excited just to see the buds on my Crabapple tree:


Riveting ain’t it?

It may seem like nothing to y’all, but I have had enough getting my only landscape thrills from the peeling bark on the River Birch trees:


Ain’t gardening grand?

I am one happy SOB

Oh baby! I am getting way friggin psyched!
I love this time of year when it takes just a little bit of investigative work to find signs of spring. To the “normal” person’s eye, it’s the end of February and winter is still in session.
But to the wacky gardener’s eye, spring has fought it’s way through and there is no looking back. 
Here are some recent photos from THIS “wacky gardener”:     
The Summer Snowflake bulbs are peeking through:

And will soon look like this:

The buds on the Viburnum ‘Aurora’ are oh so subtly transforming:

Will soon look this this:

And then BOOM, you get this beauty:

The Iberis ‘Snowflake’ (Candytuft) is just starting to show it’s new red growth:

Which will explode into this in no time:

The Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ (Creeping phlox) is also now showing its new reddish growth:

Soon to be followed by this:

And ultimately this:

This pile of green mush means little now:

But it foreshadows the beautiful blooms of the Lobelia siphilitica:

And finally, I can spot the buds forming on the Crataegus ‘Winter King’ (Hawthorn):

And cannot wait to see the blooms up close and personal for the first time in a few weeks (I had this tree planted last spring).

Ladies and gentleman, the end is near. Be very excited.


A late winter stroll, magnifying glass required

I felt like a desperate man today as I toured the gardens looking for some sign that my little beauties made it through the winter. I’d take any sign at all. Some sort of signal saying “Here we come dude, fear not for our safety. We’ll reunite soon enough”. And gosh darn it if those little buggers didn’t put a smile on my winter worn face.   

The Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) bulbs have emerged.

Not that there was ever a concern, but seeing the little “fingernails” of the peonies emerge can be considered “breaking news” this time of year.

The Sedum ‘Matrona’ took a beating last year (deer, drought, clumsy kids) but they are on their way back. Can I get an amen?

Some other observations during my walkabout: 

Maybe I’m insane, but the “evergreen” sedums have taken on a brighter color red the past few days.  

Deep breath … the deer have reappeared and took to one of the arborvitae ‘rheingold’. However, they did just chow down to the new green growth and only disposed of the bronzed foliage. Maybe they were just trying to help?

I’m ready to cut down the ornamental grasses but held off for at least one more day as I still NEED their winter interest.

It may not be earth shattering, but for this time of year, I’ll take it. Baby steps … baby steps.


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