Current Blooms Vie with a Spectacular Sunrise

What a way to start the day!

What a way to start the day!

Before the clouds closed in, our day started with the eastern sky ablaze with color, the air filled with bird song and frog calls. And because this day was preceded by a day packed with warm air and sunshine, I have a few flower shots to share.

Every late-winter/early-spring-blooming plant I grow is 3-4 weeks later than usual in blooming. Not that I blame them! That was one rough February for all of us. My trees, shrubs, and bulbs have bided their time, but they couldn’t contain themselves any longer when sunshine and warmer temperatures finally returned.

Dwarf crested iris showed up with the early crocuses.

Dwarf crested iris showed up with the early crocuses.

The little bulbs showed up first. The snowdrops got flattened by our snow, but the crocuses and little irises were not far along enough to be damaged. So delicate and lovely!

Witch hazel 'Aurora'

Witch hazel ‘Aurora’

My three-year-old Aurora witch hazel exploded in orange-yellow strappy petals that emit a sweet, clean fragrance detectable on the breeze.

Witch hazel 'Amethyst'

Witch hazel ‘Amethyst’

My Amethyst witch hazel starting blooming about a week before Aurora, but it is still quite pretty.

first daffodils

Every year I can remember, the Ice Follies daffodils are first to bloom. But not this year. This year, the big yellow ones — I think they are King Alfred’s — bloomed first. As of yesterday, the Ice Follies were not quite open still.

Cornus mas

Cornus mas

My small Cornelian cherry dogwoods (Cornus mas) are lighting up the landscape with their small, bright yellow flowers. Individually, the flowers aren’t much to look at, but when they cover an entire plant, you can’t help but notice this tree.

A closer look at the flowers of Cornus mas.

A closer look at the flowers of Cornus mas.

Hellebores abound!

Hellebores abound!

This year, the Lenten Roses actually waited well into Lent before beginning to show their bloom faces.

Hellebore flowers tend to point downward, but they are worth the effort required for closer inspection.

Hellebore flowers tend to point downward, but they are worth the effort required for closer inspection.

Magnolia 'Royal Star'

Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’

My past records tell me that my Royal Star magnolia often begins blooming in early February. This fuzzy shot is of the handful at the top of my 25-foot-tall tree that opened in yesterday’s sunshine.

Male catkins of native hazelnut

Male catkins of native hazelnut

The afternoon sunlight did a nice job of enhancing the color of this hazelnut’s golden catkins, the male flowers. I looked for the tiny female blooms, but didn’t see any.

Parrotia persica flower and friend

Parrotia persica flower and friend

This one surprised me. My beautiful Parrotia persica tree always blooms this time of year. Its flowers are small and inconspicuous, because they are wind-pollinated. Evidently, my neighbor’s honeybees still managed to find something in them worth visiting.

Red Maple flowers high in a canopy tree

Red Maple flowers high in a canopy tree

Not to be left out of the act, the forest giants are beginning their bloom cycles too. The elms have been blooming for a couple of weeks, as my allergies will testify. Now the treetops are punctuated with the crimson flowers of the Red Maples. Some of the trees have orange-tinged flowers like these, but others have deeply scarlet blooms.

A crocus closing for its nightly slumber.

A crocus closing for its nightly slumber.

My beleaguered ornamental flowering apricots are also still pushing out flowers. Their landscape impact was severely impaired this year by the prolonged cold. But when the wind blows from the south, I still get an occasional whiff of Peggy Clarke’s perfume.

All in all, I’d say March is treating my landscape with lamb-like kindness — so far, at least. Here’s hoping it remains a kinder month than that brutal February we all endured.

Prunus mume 'Peggy Clarke' still perfumes occasional breezes with her cinnamon-sweet scent.

Prunus mume ‘Peggy Clarke’ still perfumes occasional breezes with her cinnamon-sweet scent.

 

, , , ,

  1. #1 by Caroline on March 13, 2015 - 5:11 pm

    Your flowers smell so sweet. Thanks.

    • #2 by piedmontgardener on March 13, 2015 - 6:35 pm

      I’m glad you’re enjoying them, Caroline. It seems only fair, since I benefit from the visits of your honeybees. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: