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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If you look really hard...

Yesterday we had a bit of a break in the weather.  After days of snow, wind, hail, occasional sunbreaks and rain we finally had a dry day.  Still cold, but nice enough to get back out and see if anything new was making it's way back for spring.  Sometimes I have to look really hard to see what might not be very obvious at first glance.
I've been keeping an eye on my lavatera 'Barnsley'.  It really has taken a beating this winter.  It's normal for it to die back a bit, but this year I found pieces of the trunk literally falling off.  Normally the new leaves sprout from the branches that I have cut back.  This year it's been obvious that wasn't going to happen.
Well, as I looked more closely I saw something green.  I saw new life coming from the roots!
I hope it will have time to get as big and full of blooms as it has in the past.
I saw that the camellia japonica 'Marie Bracey' is showing a little pink through the buds.  Maybe I'll see some flowers soon!
The polygonatum or Solomon's Seal is making it's way back up too.  This poor guy gets stepped on almost every year and I hardly get to enjoy it.  I made a point of showing my daughter where it was in hopes she will avoid that area.  I'm thinking about putting stakes and a little string to "rope off the area" like you would around a sculpture or something important.  Whatever it takes to protect my plants.  
Here is the cimicifuga 'Altropurpurea' or Bugbane just returning.  I can't wait for this one to reach it's full potential.  It has beautiful chocolate brown/purple foliage and tall spikes of white flowers in late summer.  The scent is supposed to keep bugs away, I've never noticed much of a smell from it.
I see that the currant 'Wilder Red' is also forming buds for the currants that we'll have this summer.  I was surprised that the birds left it alone last year, the currants were pretty good.
I've also found that the hostas are pushing through as well.  I've been lucky that the slugs don't bother them much.   I've lost track of all the hostas I've got growing.  I like to divide them and move them around quite a bit.
I'm glad I took the time to look just a little closer yesterday!
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  1. It's like finding hidden treasures under the damp leaves of winter, isn't it? So glad you spotted new growth on the lavantera.

  2. I hope your Barnsley makes it too Catherine. It looks as though it has some pretty severe damage. It is gorgeous! Can't wait to see your camellia.

  3. so many things coming up! yay!!! my garden is still under snow up north. I did see camelias in full bloom here in the south.

  4. You do have lots of goodies peeking through. I'm glad you see some growth on your tree - it's hard to lose something you've had around awhile - or even if you haven't had it long. I keep checking my hostas and nothing yet. Guess if none of them are showing that's a good sign.

  5. Ah! Isn't it exciting to discover such treasures amidst the brown!

  6. I LOVE to see new growth every spring and can look something to death!! Hosta's already? Gee whiz!

  7. Looks like you have a lot to look forward to. It is exciting to find the new springing up from the ground.

  8. I never knew a Lavatera could get that big ~ the stems look like small tree trunks. I'm glad you see new growth and haven't completely lost it. I love that cimifugia ~ I have it in my garden too. Last year I moved it so I'm watching this year to make sure it comes up. I've never noticed a scent with it either. Lots of good things happening in your garden!

  9. Mildred - It is like a hidden treasure, and just as exciting.

    Tina- The lavatera looks really bad, but I think it will come back, it may take some time to get as big as it once was.

    flowrgirl1 - Hope your snow melts soon. I love seeing the camellias, they are behind this year.

    Rain Gardener - I bet you start seeing the hostas soon. They just started coming up in the last few days.

    Chandramouli - Nothing like a little green to brighten the day!

    Darla- I'm always surprised how early the hostas start coming up. Found more today.

    Becca - I get more excited about spring every time I find something new!

    Kathleen - Lavatera grows huge here. One gallon plants take no time to become large shrubs. I was wondering if it was me or if the cimicifuga did have a smell. Maybe only the bugs notice it.

  10. You just reminded me that I have Solomon's seal. I forgot all about it. I'll have to look for the tips coming up too. I hope your lavatera comes back!

  11. It is so exciting seeing new growth out there especially after being cooped up all winter.

  12. Hi Catherine! It looks like spring might really be coming to a town near you. For real this time:D

  13. Isn't it exciting to see all the new things coming up? I still have a few holdouts, hope they return soon!

  14. I'm looking forward to seeing what that Bugbane looks like. I've heard of it but never grown it!

  15. Yeah for Barnsley!

    Kids chasing things, cats relieving themselves, dogs coming to visit you while you garden, husbands fixing things like gutters... some critters don't realize they have feet.

    Maybe you can't smell the bugbane 'cuz you aren't a bug?

    Thanks for the close up of your garden and what you thought about, it was pleasant.

  16. Catherine, I've never heard of a lavatera (sp) but it sure looks like my hardy hibiscus! :-) At least it provides the same type "presence." Very pretty!! I want to try the bugbane again. Someone in my family (there are only two of us, now) piled a bunch of logs on top of the only one I've ever had. ;-)

  17. Wonderful signs of spring - thank you for sharing. Happy Gardening... it won't be long and we will be missing the cooler weather.

  18. Dave - I hope you find your Solomon's Seal, it's a pretty neat plant!

    Phillip - I get excited every time I see something new reappearing.

    Heather - I think it's here. No more forecasts of snow for now. Hope it's getting springy there too!

    Msrobin - I hope you find the last of your holdouts. It's pretty fun finding them all again.

    Susie - It's a really pretty plant. I thought it looked similar to a really big astillbe when I first saw it. I like that it's a late bloomer.

    Lanny - I think you're right about the feet. Don't they realize there are precious plants down there? :)

    Shady Gardener- Yes they do look similar to hibiscus. They are in the mallow family. I hope you can find a new bugbane, I guess the non gardeners don't always think about what they are piling logs on :)

  19. Bren - Thanks! Isn't it so true that once it's mid summer and hot, nice cool weather sounds really nice? :)

  20. I'm glad to see you enjoying the garden and it's new Spring beginnings. I wish my new gardens were to that point. So much work to be done here this year.

  21. Hi Catherine~~ Looks great. Today (Wednesday) was a perfectly pleasant day and I was forced to spend it doing non-gardening things. I've enjoyed seeing yours.

  22. It's that time of year when I practically go gog eyed trying to spot emerging new growth.


  23. I love to go rootling around to see what I can find sprouting up in the garden - but at the moment this is mainly to see what I can dig up to transplant to a new bed I'm creating where we've had a laurel taken right back!

  24. Anna - You are going to have so much fun in your new yard. You will be planting lots of those seedlings soon!

    Grace - Maybe you didn't get the rain we have this morning and you'll be able to garden today.

    Rob - I bet you have lots coming up there now. I'm looking forward to seeing your gardens in bloom.

    Nutty Gnome - I do that too, go looking for what I can dig up and move. Is the new bed near your pond?

  25. Hi Catherine, no the new bed is nearer the house. As you look back from the pond towards the house in many of the photos on my blog you can see a HUGE laurel that dominates that part of the garden - but no more!(well, not for a few years anyway!).

    Having it chopped right back meant that I could reshape/reclaim the lawn that it had killed off, reduce the size of the border that had grown to accomodate the laurel and get rid of the straight lines of the border at the same time. I've had a lovely time this afternoon transplanting stuff from the area that is due to become grass!

  26. I'm glad to see your new life popping up Catherine! The lavatera 'trunks' (!) are quite large...for a bush! I really hope it comes back for you...it sure was gorgeous in the photo from earlier days.
    I also thought the currant was interesting. How nice to be able to grow something like that!

  27. Nutty Gnome - Laurels really can get quite big can't they? I'm glad you've been able to get out and get some gardening in. It's always fun to have a new project.

    Jan - It's amazing how big those trunks are, they are great plants and they add so much color all summer. The currant is only a couple of years old, but it looks like we'll get quite a few currants this year, unless the birds discover them this summer!


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