Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March Surprise!

Aucuba japonica, Japanese aucuba

Last month, temperatures were in the 70s and 80s in Middle Tennessee.

(Of course, that was the week I was down in Florida visiting my Dad and my brother.)

Trees started budding and leafing, perennials started emerging early from their winter naps and I rushed to some local nurseries to stock up new plants for the garden.

Spring was in the air!

And then it wasn't.

Last night, the low bottomed out near 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Highs have been stuck in the 30s the past couple of days (more than 20 degrees below normal). We're supposed to dip down to around 20 again tonight before temperatures start recovering to more seasonal levels.

I wandered around the garden this afternoon and happily most of the plants - both new additions and established stalwarts - seem to be taking the cold snap in stride.

I don't have pics from today to share, but I did want to share images from last Saturday morning when we awoke to a sudden morning snow squall that had not been in the forecast. It melted hours after it fell, but it was beautiful while it lasted. Enjoy!

Camellia japonica

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Duke Gardens', Japanese plum yew (brand new addition to the garden)

Ribes aureum, clove currant, profiled just a couple of weeks ago. As you can see, the flowers have opened. I've found that clove currant has a delicious fragrance (can you guess what it smells like?), but only if I get right down and practically bury my nose in the flower. So far, both the blooms and the leaves seem pretty much impervious to snow or cold, which I guess it is to be expected from a deciduous shrub that leafs out so early.

Ilex vomitoria, dwarf yaupon holly (another brand new addition to the garden... I planted three different cultivars, two female 'Taylor's Rudolph' specimens and one male 'Schilling's Dwarf'. I think this is the male, but it's hard to tell with the snow obscuring any berries that might be at the center of the shrub.)

Juniperus virginiana 'Grey Owl', eastern red cedar

Hyacinthus orientalis (hyacinths)! My first year growing these beauties. Very impressed with their capacity to stand strong amid cold and snow. I think this is 'Peter Stuyvesant'.

More hyacinths :)  I think this cultivar is 'Miss Saigon'

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki', false holly


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