This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A very early spring!

Never had so much going on in mid-March. Mid-March! 80 degrees this weekend maybe? Here's a nice hellebore that I found in a garden on Glendaloch Circle. Since it's so early and the flowers so white, I expect it's got some Helleborus niger blood in it. The flowers of the ones I grow are always badly tattered, more of a novelty just to say I can get something to flower in the dead of winter. This selection is a big improvement.

Here's another fancy schmancy selection from the same garden. It's earlier to open than the usual Helleborus x orientalis, which probably accounts for the tattered petals.
And then, from my garden: nothing exceptional about them, but it makes for a nice early display. The sticks in the foreground are part of an early and highly fragrant Daphne, one that seeds around prolifically but is impossible to transplant-- no fibrous roots. All my Daphnes fall over at a very young age in my sandy soil.
Can't get enough of these early bulbous irises! I have four or five color forms. The only drawback (as is the case with many bulbs) is the foliage, which grows and persists until sometime in mid-summer. 
Trees too! Silver maples are in full flower. Elms are close behind. These trees like to get the sex act out of the way as early as possible so that they can disperse seed while the ground is still moist and the rivers are running high. Hard maples are more relaxed about it, flowering later and dispersing seed in the fall.

I took an exam recently in order to keep up my certification as an arborist. One of the questions was to select the family name of maples. The only choice that made sense was Aceraceae. But I had to include a snarky comment that the maples are now classified as members of the larger Sapindaceae. I'm so au courant, n'est-ce pas?

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