Spring in Maryland

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Fri, 14 Mar 2008 18:45:01 PDT
Spring has “officially” arrived here in my Maryland neighborhood. After a
day which brought high temperatures into the 60s F., an early evening shower
wet things enough to bring out full choruses of spring peepers, cricket
frogs and wood frogs. Barred owls are hooting frequently now. 

In the garden, Magnolia stellata is wonderfully fragrant even though only a
few flowers are fully open. The first waves of garden crocuses, reticulate
irises and early squills are all blooming with abundant hellebores. 

Frits in the frames are surging into growth: in this weather they emerge
from the ground buds first and develop very rapidly. 

I pollinated Tecophilaea cyanocrocus today. Wish me luck – last year my
efforts didn’t take. 

Snowdrops in general are past their prime, but Leucojum vernum carpathicum
came into bloom yesterday. 

Tulipa kaufmanniana opened wide today – as usual, the first tulip of the
year here. 

Last year I left some plants of Kniphofia thomsonii in the ground but in a
protected place (in the past, I had dug them and stored the roots in a
protected cold frame). I was happy today to see that these have started to
push up and grow now. It was a very mild winter here: even some plants of
Zephyranthes grandiflora left in the ground are pushing up new growth now. 

Not bulbous but very nice: loads of sweet violets blooming very fragrantly

Also not bulbous but interesting: little Hacquetia epipactis is blooming. It
reminds me of winter aconite because of the ruff of green bracts which
surround the tiny bright yellow flowers ( it’s an umbellifer). Eranthis
hyemalis itself is just about over, the hybrid ‘Guinea Gold’ is just
starting. Ranunculus ficaria is also blooming.  

Now to modulate from the major to the minor: my biggest plant of Eremurus
robustus, which bloomed spectacularly last year and set lots of seed, does
not have an above ground sprout this year. Curious, I dug down to see what
was going on. The crown of the plant is there and it’s sound; the thick
thong like roots are sound and well embellished with small bright yellow
feeder roots. But there  is no sign of a sprout. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where Paeonia emodi and P. mascula are well above ground. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/
BLOG! http://mcwort.blogspot.com/
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin http://www.pvcnargs.org/ 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society http://www.potomaclilysociety.org/

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