Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Sat, 14 Feb 2009 11:43:27 PST
Here in USDA zone 7 Montgomery County, Maryland (elevation about 450'),
there has so far been no sign of winter aconites in my garden. Various early
snowdrops are in full bloom, but typical Galanthus nivalis is not yet
blooming. Galanthus 'Ophelia', for the first time ever, has produced many
fully developed flowers. It's been in the garden for decades. The green
markings on the inner tepals of this one look like dabs of green enamel; the
faint green markings on the outer tepals on the other hand look like
watercolor applied with a light brush.  

In one of the unprotected cold frames Crocus 'Snowbunting' (if that's what
it really is) is in full bloom. In an exposed raised bed Crocus laevigatus
is blooming. So far there has been no sign of Crocus imperati 'de Jager'.
Every time I check the crocus frames I seen new bud color, so there should
be a big burst of color soon. 

Only the earliest garden hellebores have a few fully developed flowers open;
Helleborus foetidus provides the brightest green in the garden now. The
foliage of the Italian arum has come through the winter in very good
condition and is still very handsome. One received from Ellen Hornig years
ago has a particularly nice balance between crisp white veining and green
leaf color. Unfortunately, this one is a very deliberate grower. 

Adonis vernalis, also from Ellen Hornig,  has flower buds the size of a fat
pea which seem to be developing very rapidly. 

Witch hazels are in full bloom, Jasminum nudiflorum is almost so and a few
flowers persist on Chimonanthus praecox. Mahonia bealei is all but in bloom.
Buds on Acer rubrum are noticeably swollen. Buds for vegetative growth on
tree peonies are already swelling. 

Deer got into the garden two weeks ago and ate most of the camellia buds and

In the protected cold frame several Narcissus cantabricus cultivars continue
in bloom. The Narcissus of the tazetta group growing with then, 'Ziva' and
Narcissus pachybolbus, have yet to bloom; nor, of course, have many
typically late-blooming forms.   

Last week I was watching the goldfish under the ice on the pond. This week
the ice is gone and the goldfish are nowhere to be seen. They are probably
lying low to avoid the occasional heron.

Hope everyone is getting lots of hugs and kisses today!

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where bird song gets better day by day. 
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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