Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chickadee Gardens in March

Spring is here! Actually it feels as though it's been here for a few weeks on the West Coast (apologies to anyone still covered in snow). It is time to document plant happenings at Chickadee Gardens, be it early or on-time. Here is a rundown of blossoms, emerging growth, bulbs and grasses coming up, leaves, twigs, and everything in between.


Our Loropetalum chinense or Chinese fringe flower is on fire this year! It got badly damaged when the crape myrtle lost a jumbo-sized branch and smashed into it, causing a huge portion to break off. We thought it was a goner, but as you can see it rebounded with gusto.


Would it really be spring without tulips from our dear friends in The Netherlands? Thank you, Stella and Walter!


Love the foliage on this! A NOID hellebore gifted to me from Amy Campion, a fellow garden blogger who, by the way, recently posted about how to germinate milkweed or Asclepias speciosa seeds. You can read about that post here. Plant some milkweed for the monarch butterflies! OK, moving along…


Native Ribes sanguineum glowing in the afternoon sunshine. The bumble bees and hummingbirds have been all over this one. I feel it's a couple of weeks early this year.


Here it is again in a wider shot. The Styrax japonicus or Japanese snowbell tree to the right is leafing out early. It started in February. Underneath you can see the NOID hellebore and just under the red hummingbird feeder Echinacea purpurea is barely emerging (behind the metal cat). It also started in February.


The tall skinny tree is Viburnum opulus, a native tree with wonderful fall color and berries eaten up by birds. Purchased at Bosky Dell Natives in Oregon City. It's a fast-grower! Below it is a Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii Variegata', a lacecap variety with variegated leaves that has beautiful blue flowers in the summer. Purchased at Joy Creek Nursery. Both are early in leafing out this year, I think. Anyone else think so? Clematis armandii on the fence in the background.

 
The Clematis armandii 'Snowdrift' had a banner year, blooming a full three weeks early.


Podophyllum pleianthum popping out of the ground, its mushroom-like growth also came a bit early.


A week later, its umbrellas have unfurled and are rapidly growing.
The above shot was taken March 15th, this was taken March 23rd.


In the shade garden, Corydalis lutea on the left has yellow blooms and Dicentra formosa on the right, a native woodland beauty has white blossoms.  The corydalis is nearly evergreen while the dicentra, deciduous, seemed on time for its spring-time emergence.


Libertia ixioides 'Goldfinger', evergreen.


Narcissus bulbocodium 'Golden Bells'. New from the Yard, Garden and Patio show this year so no idea if it's late or early. I do know that the slugs love it.

 
It seems the nasturtium fairy has visited my garden this year. Nasturtium 'Spitfire' from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds seen here. Already coming up! I stuck a few seeds in the ground a couple of weeks ago thinking it was waaaay to early to sow nasturtium seeds but it was one of those freaky super sunny February days and I was inspired. I love the outline on the margins.



Sedum confusum happily spilling over. Didn't skip a beat. This sedum really impresses me, it has stayed bright chartreuse for two straight years, no damage from weather and doesn't mind the rain.


Heuchera 'Marmalade' putting on lots of new growth. I have noticed an abundance of cutworms near them this spring, probably due to the mild winter. Much cutworm hunting has been going on around these parts to be sure. This heuchera is my favorite, handles sun or shade and is quite vigorous. In general, I'm not a huge heuchera fan but these won me over.


FRONT GARDEN
Moving around to the front, more lovely tulips from our Dutch friends. So orange! We love them!


Fresh spring growth on a native Spiraea betulifolia. This bud will open up to a cluster of beautiful tiny white flowers.


Corydalis flexuosa 'O'byrne Blue' from Xera Plants, a new purchase earlier this spring. I think I'm going to like this new addition to the shade garden.


My beloved Polypodium scouleri. The fresh new fronds means it's a happy camper. Native fern, too. Evergreen and small, one of many in the garden.


More fresh spring growth! This lovely native vine is Lonicera ciliosa or orange honeysuckle. Deciduous vine, a bit on the tricky side but I'm having good luck with this finally. I have two vines, this one is in pretty much full morning sun and looks pretty good.


Saxafraga x geum 'Denata', evergreen.

 
Rhododendron pachysanthum.


The ever lovely Vaccinium ovatum, evergreen huckleberry showing some new growth.


Here's a fun flower, Anemone nemorosa 'Green Finger', a great find from Joy Creek Nursery. I feel like this one is pretty much on time. It's slowly been spreading over the past three years. It goes dormant in the summer.


Another note-worthy native, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi or kinnickinnick. Sweet little blossoms! A drought tolerant ground cover once established.


Erodium chrysanthum emerging fresh and green. From Xera Plants. Sweet yellow flowers. Easy, drought tolerant.


The bare crape myrtle, some Hakenochloa macra coming up, Geranium macrorrhizum and friends.


NOID lilac in the front hell strip with some promising buds.


Sparkler sedge.


Astelia nivicola 'Red Gem' from Citus Nursery.


Loropetalum chinense looking sizzling with a carpet of native Oxalis oregana at its feet.


That wraps up a look around the garden this March. After sorting through photographs from last year and also reading through my garden journal, it's true that, yes, the clematis is a full three weeks early in its bloom, the daphne has come and gone a couple of weeks early and the daffodils are already completely done. People on the East Coast are just now digging out of a horrific winter, so it begs the question, what the corn is going on? Just a freaky year or is this another step in the ladder of climate change? The winter of 2013-2014 for us was horrible, we lost so many plants in two major deep freezes, so it could just be as simple as a mild winter for us this year. We have enjoyed the lovely  weather, to be sure, as have the plants. After last year's losses, we'll take this year's warmth, thank you very much.

That's what's happening out in our neck of the woods, how about you? What do you think of the weather patterns?

Thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening wherever you are and may your weather be mild and spring really and truly be upon you.


27 comments :

  1. Love the wider shots of the crape myrtle and surrounding plants. Great mix of brown, greens, and color there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of color going on, thanks Alan! Your garden is also looking great - all kinds of new growth, great blog post today!

      Delete
  2. Such a happy time of the year isn't it, with so many plant activity going on competing for attention :) your garden is looking wonderful and will have to keep an eye on that particular nasturtium, lovely leaves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is happy indeed :) That nasturtium is quite vigorous already, I'll keep you posted! Cheers!

      Delete
  3. Love the shot of the orange and yellow tulips, with something spiky behind (Dasylirion? Eryngium?) This has been a strange winter. While I do believe in climate change, I also think that maybe we just had a mild winter, and we've got plenty more bad ones in our future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I agree with you Alison, I think we just had a mild one this time around. The plant behind the orange tulips is Dasylirion wheeleri, good eye.

      Delete
  4. So much beautiful life in your garden! The tulips are gorgeous and I can't get over how floriferous your Loropetalum is! Your hellebore may be Helleborus argutifolius 'Snow Fever' Happy spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Peter! That loropetalum is crazy this year! It's a fuzzy sea of pink, really wild. Thanks for the ID on the hellebore - I'll update that! :) Happy spring to you too!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful blooms and foliage! I've particularly envious of the Loropetalum and the Ribes. I've given up on the former after 3 losses. My Ribes sanguineum, planted 3 years ago in memory of my stepfather, is alive but hasn't gotten much bigger, much less flowered - I haven't decided whether to move it or just wait.

    Our climate has also changed but not in a good way. Our 2nd March heatwave just started - last year we were complaining when we were hit with May heatwaves. Snow on the east coast, hail the size of golf balls in Colorado, and a vicious series of tornadoes in the mid-west. I have a hard time believing this is only a swing in a natural cycle of weather changes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Kris. Natural cycle? Hmmm...climate change in my mind is what this all points to. Sorry about your ribes, mine took a couple of years before it bloomed like it has this year so maybe just wait?

      I was wondering if you guys have had a heatwave yet and it sounds as if you have. Not good, to have it so early in the year. Hang in there, we'll all cross our fingers for rain to come your way.

      Delete
  6. Wonderful early spring flowers. I like the leaves of the Podophyllum, the vivid pink of your Loropetalum chinense, the Libertia which is not hardy enough here. Amazing that your Corydalis flexuosa is already blooming, here only in May/June. Also the Ribes is earlier, we have them in April. And then the tulips you got from our country, they are not yet flowering here, we have to wait another few weeks.
    Wish you happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janneke! I thought we might be ahead of you guys with our bloom times. We really are almost a month early with a lot of flowers this year. The tulips are beautiful, we appreciate Dutch tulips, they are the best! :) Happy spring!

      Delete
  7. The orange/yellow striped tulips backed by a dasylirion has your name all over it. The mayapples are such cool plants in all stages of growth, so dramatic in spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Denise! Yes, you should see the mayapple now - it's grown a full 6 inches just in three days. No kidding. That thing is the Jurrasic plant, I swear. It's always a show-stopper! Happy spring!

      Delete
  8. My hubby's birthday is April 15th and most most years, the lilacs are in bloom then. It's crazy how ahead of schedule most of our plants are. But it's enjoyable. I think the weather is cyclic and we're just on the pleasant side of they cycle. Love all your plant treasures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is crazy! The buds are ready to burst now, so I guess that puts it a couple of weeks early at this point. Happy spring to you, Miss Pink! :)

      Delete
  9. wow, what fab colors! That stripey tulip looks so nice in front of the bright green fence too. I miss my Libertia Goldfinger grass too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stripey tulips = good! Those are a la our friends Stella and Walter. They have sent us boxes of tulip bulbs from The Netherlands for a couple of years now (like 100 in a box) and it's always a surprise what's inside, kind of like a box of cereal with a toy surprise inside.

      What happened to your Libertia?? Do we need to go get you a replacement??

      Delete
  10. Your photo of the Saxafraga x geum 'Denata' has me wanting to go on a hunt. I used to have patches and patches of that plant. Where have they all gone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooo..what happened to yours? I got those at Xera...I'm sure they'll have more - do you need a start?

      Delete
  11. Those tulips...! Love the orange-striped ones (and the dasylirion), and the white and fuchsia ones against the green fence -- beautiful. And of course I love the bird feeders :~)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Luisa! Yes, they are fabby tulips from by buddies in The Netherlands. I can look up the name if you are interested, I have it around here somewhere :)

      Bird feeders are the best! We've had such activity this year, so fun! Happy spring!

      Delete
  12. Wow, that Loropetalum is intense! I love that Rhododendron pachysanthum. Need to get serious about finding one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Evan, I got mine at Gossler Farms by mail order if that's helpful! I love it…it's my favorite rhodie so far.

      Delete
  13. We're a few weeks ahead of schedule in my neck of the woods, too. We typically have a very long winter, so I'm thrilled with the early melt. Now if I'd only planted more spring bulbs so I could enjoy the show. Fooey!

    Christine in Alaska, no flowers yet

    ReplyDelete
  14. So much spring colour! I like that Libertia ixioides 'Goldfinger'.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous! I just love your garden! Mine is finally waking up and the hellebores just started to bloom. Love love love all that color and springyness. :o)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments! I love hearing them, I will approve comments as soon as I can. Yay!