Maryland update

Jim McKenney
Wed, 28 Feb 2007 16:26:09 PST
Temperatures have been seasonably moderate here for the last few days. Mot
of the snow has melted except in the really shady areas. 

I took a walk through the garden today to survey the damage. Hellebores in
general suffered a bit, especially those which were well along before the
arrival of the last cold spell. Those snowdrops which were in bloom before
the arrival of the nasty weather seem in general to have weathered well
except for a few in very exposed sites. The winter aconites simply seem to
have hunkered down for the duration; now they are again smiling at the sun.
In short, there were some minor losses but no major tragedies. 

The sweet violets, which share a cold frame with the Parma violets and some
odds and ends, are starting to bloom - that makes it easy to think up
excuses to open that frame for a check. The Parma violets are budded but not
yet in bloom. 

The little protected cold frame I've been mentioning recently continues to
be a source of daily interest. Some more crocuses have joined the show: C.
minimus, C. dalmaticus, and C. sieberi sublimus have joined the others now
in bloom. Narcissus jonquilla henriquesii is blooming and scenting that
corner of the garden. 

Fritillaria bucharica and F. raddeana are more or less in full bloom; again
this year the flowers of F. raddeana are all upright at this stage. If
things go as they did last year, they will begin to hang later as the stem
elongates.  F. gusicchiae is a bit past its prime, and F. liliacea has
turned its one bud downward. The superficially similar (in plant habit)
forms of F. biflora have not kept pace with F. liliacea and are still low
with their buds deep down in the leaf rosettes. 

Fritillaria acmopetala wendelboi is far enough along to make out the color
pattern on the buds, yet typical F. acmopetala is not yet even above ground.

Out in the open garden, Iris rosenbachiana has another flower out - this is
the second flower for this plant. The first one opened weeks ago and was
quickly destroyed by the weather. Crocus korolkowii, C. ancyrensis and C.
etruscus 'Zwanenburg' are also blooming. The reticulate iris 'Lady Beatrix
Stanley' is showing color. 

I mentioned in an earlier post that an Eremurus (nominally E. robustus) put
up a big sprout last fall. I carefully covered this with a pot of soil, and
I'm happy to report that when I checked it today it was fine. This sprout is
about three inches across, so I'm expecting great things of it.  

Tree peony buds are swelling, but all the herbaceous peonies are still sound

All of this is of course only a fraction of what's on the way, and with
relatively mild weather predicted for the week ahead, I won't be bored.   

What is everyone else seeing?

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7. where auroral bird song is
significantly more varied and persistent now.

My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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