"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winter, you have 9 days left.

It continues to be very cold here.  We still have snow over a lot of the yard.  The bird baths are frozen and the pond had a layer of ice on it for most of yesterday.  The warmth of the sun did help to melt away some of the snow, although it remains in the shady areas.
I went out to see how everything was looking.  I'm a little concerned about several of my shrubs with growing buds.  This hydrangea is one of my very favorites.  I've forgotten the name, and I saw that the tag has faded.  Each flower has cup shaped petals and it's a very pretty light blue.  After searching around on the web I think it could be 'Ayesha'.  Several years ago we had a late freeze like this, and there were no blooms on it.
Hopefully the nice big buds on the lilac 'Ludwig Spaeth' won't be damaged.  I'm hoping they aren't far enough along to be cold injured.
I read online that once the flowers on the blueberries have opened, they've lost all cold hardiness.  Damage can begin at 28 degrees.  It's definitely been colder than that the last few nights.  All 5 of the bushes are covered in buds that have begun to open.  I will be so sad if I lose those delicious berries.
The birds continued to be very active despite the cold temperatures.  With the bird baths all frozen they were in the pond waterfall drinking. Lots of birds were in the trees soaking in the sun like this Robin.  Some of the Robins appeared to be fighting and flying at each other.  Is that normal spring behavior?
I was surprised to see that under the snow a new oriental lily had made it's way through the frozen ground.  I hadn't seen it a couple of days ago.  I did notice pieces of another bulb on the ground beside it.  I didn't see any signs of digging around it.  Could that be an example of heaving that I've read about?
I found opening flower buds on the snowball bush.  It seems like it will be blooming early.  I think the plants are very confused this year.
Last, I found this pretty hellebore 'Royal Heritage' under our cedar tree.  I hadn't really taken the time to look at it closely yet this winter.  I love it's deep color
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  1. Yahoo for the hellebores! It is beautiful. Yes, robins go at it with each other. Part of their mating ritual maybe? Very common here too. I saw Ayesha in a garden last year and I can tell you it was the talk of the town. Everyone is looking for it. I hope yours is not damaged. We are expecting snow/sleet tomorrow. Winter is back here too.

  2. Yes, the Robins and the Mockingbirds do that mating thing. I do hope your plants will bounce back and give you beautiful blooms and berries!!

  3. Mornin' Catherine,
    Looks like everything is coming up good at your place and your birds are out. We're gonna get spring yet aren't we (in this soggy old state). Yippee I'm getting excited - it's the first day in 3 we haven't had big flakes all day long - and the sun is shining!!!

  4. Winter has returned to Montana for a second round as well. I love your title--sounds like an ultimatum. I just wonder what you'll do if winter doesn't comply?

  5. Sigh. We are not out of the woods yet, apparently! Maybe next week!?!!?! I was wondering about "frost heave" too - had never really seen it here before but parts of my garden do look suspiciously like that today. Ugh. Hope you don't lose growth/fruit/pretty plants due to all this crazy weather. No wonder the plants are confused! - Karen

  6. That's great to see the snow melting! I hope to bring some good weather over with me when I come!

  7. Everything looks like it's doing well. I still can't believe you still have snow in spots. I'm doing the countdown, too. Even with today's sun it still feels quite chilly.

  8. I know what you mean about being apprehensive over the damage the cold is causing. I lost all my lilac buds last spring after a late cold snap. I hope your hydrangeas pull thru, it would be a shame to lose their gorgeous blooms. Do you have a heater for your bird bath? That's the single most important purchase I've made for winter bird activity in my yard. It sure keeps them around. At least you have the pond waterfall to help them out. Oh, I bet the robins are establishing territories ~ it's about time for nesting, isn't it?? I see them do that here only a bit later in spring.

  9. Tina - It's cold there too now? We usually have a pretty cool spring here, high 50's and low 60's. I'm looking forward to that.
    Maybe you can find room for 'Ayesha' in your yard, it stays on the small side.

    Darla - I'm sure will bounce back, but the ones in the shade still look so droopy :(

    Rain Gardener - Yes the sky is blue and the sun is out! Still a bit cold though.

    Kate - I guess I shouldn't complain since it really is still winter but.. Hope it it warms back up for you!!

    Karen - You've noticed that too? Usually I can tell squirrels or moles have been digging, but this looks much different. Yes, maybe next week it'll be warmer.

    Matron - Please do bring it with you!! You'll be at our meeting won't you? Looking forward to meeting you!

  10. Melanthia - There's actually still a good amount of snow here. We're a bit higher up so it always sticks around. At least the sun is warming some of the plants up.

    Kathleen - I've wondered about the bird bath heaters before. It probably would be a good idea. I hope you get double the lilac flowers this year to make up for last years loss!

  11. We'll keep our fingers crossed your plants do okay and you don't lose many blueberries. I'd say those crazy acting birds are just "anxious".

  12. Catherine,

    Not to fret spring is just around the corner there! Your budding plants prove that. Meg tells me one of our Eastern Redbuds opened up today, they are native all along our driveway and road.

  13. Love the color of that beautiful hellebore Catherine. We're having our typical volatile late winter weather - 60's last week, probably 10 degrees tonight! I hope your garden weathers the unpredictable weather!

  14. 'Ayesha' (I'm probably spelling it wrong) is one of my all-time favorite hydrangeas. Unfortunately it's always been slightly (ahem) over my price range.

    I imagine we'll have some winter damage on our shrubs. I've got euonymous that are already showing signs. They're alive but in serious need of pruning once the weather get friendly again.

  15. Susie - Thanks :) The birds were at it again today. Maybe they're ready for spring too.

    Randy - Oh I love redbuds. I hope you'll post photos of them!

    garden girl - Isn't that hellebore pretty. I can't believe I had overlooked it. Hope it warms up there too!

    Grace - I bought this one several years ago, in a one gallon pot. It took a while for it to start to perform and it's been worth it. Hope you don't see too much more damage on your plants.

  16. Hi Catherine, I like your words to old man winter! It is the excitement of that date on the calender, if not the weather forecasters promise that brings a smile. Love all your signs, the hellebore is a true work of art.

  17. That's the way to be assertive, and set limits for Old Man Winter! I hope he listened. Your pics are pretty, though, and I love that hellebore!


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