The peonies have popped with those 80 degree days. Here is a sample of my peonies.
Bright yellow daffodils herald the arrival of spring. There are several names used to describe this genus: daffodil, narcissus, and jonquil just to name a few. They have trumpets surrounded by a ring of petals. The most common color for this bulb is yellow, but they range in color from white, to orange, to peach, to pink, to green. Many are fragrant, and used in flower arrangements. They prefer well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight. Plant the bulbs in the fall, up to two weeks before frost for wonderful spring blooms. Great for naturalizing a woodland area. Deer avoid daffodils; they are poisonous.
Many people braid the foliage of the narcissus after the flower has passed to “tidy” it up, but it is best to let nature take its course. After flowering, bulbs rely on their leaves for photosynthesis. During the 5-6 weeks after the flower has faded, the bulb gathers and stores food for the following year. Remove faded blooms if they bother you, but leave the foliage to ensure a beautiful display of flowers the following spring. Once the leaves shrivel and brown, remove them with a slight tug. If not diseased, add to your compost pile.
Trivia: The Greek myth of Narcissus lends its name to the daffodil. Narcissus was so obsessed with the beauty of his own reflection that when he knelt to gaze into a pool of water, he fell in and drowned. The narcissus plant sprang from where he died.
Hellebores usually bloom here in March, if not slightly earlier, putting on a show for close to 8 weeks. What more could you want!
I fell in love with Hellebores 20 years ago while visiting Sissinghurst. Struck by their beauty, I planned on growing them back in the States. Easier said then done. At that time they were difficult to find, with very little variety. Today’s market boasts an array of colors in a palette sure to please.
Unfortunately most of my labels have disappeared over the years except for Helleborus x hybridus ‘Snow Bunting’.
Hellebores have beautiful showy flowers and interesting leaves. They are great for shade or part shade and are easy to grow. Once established, they form colonies. An added bonus, hellebores are deer proof! Pick up a few to grow this year.
Hellebores prefer a humus rich soil and like to be protected from biting winds which can damage the foliage.
If you like green, check out the hellebore below.