15 Sep 2012

A Most Bizarre Year It Has Been! – March and April 2012

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Somewhat apprehensive to look forward [the neighboring house is sold and I am waiting to meet the new owners to discuss the fate of adjoining gardens] I decided I’d take a leisurely walk down memory lane, starting with some photos that were taken in March! Helleborus ‘Golden Lotus’ definitely held court against temperatures that rose to 25 Celsius! Of course, not to be outshone, Helleborus ‘Onyx Odyssey’, the dark Princling of the Spring garden, cast an equally enticing spell on those who were paying attention!

DSC_0738 A week later, another of the famed O’Byrne bred Helleborus decided it was time to flaunt its beauty. I want to say that this is H. ‘Cotton Candy’, but as pristine a white and being fully double, it might just be H. ‘Sparkling Diamond.’

DSC_0732 A week later I found myself mesmerized with the delightful catkin like flowers of Corylopsis spicata, a wonderful Asian species of the winter witch Hazel. Delightful!

DSC_0731March passed into April, and in the safety of my bed/propagation room, I was thrilled to see the emergence of a group of new Asian Arisaema species that I had long lusted after….. [A. sikokianum; A. thunbergii ssp. Urashima; A. kuishianum]

DSC_0723  DSC_0722 DSC_0004 April 9th saw the first tell tale signs of Paeonia mlokosewitschii [affectionately known as ‘Molly the Witch’] emerging from the soil like a wine infused velvety claw.

DSC_0054  People were still somewhat dazed with the recent heat of March, but Mother Nature had something else in store…… something that would prevail throughout most of the growing season, but lets not spoil the fun just yet! I still covered ‘Molly’ when the threat of frost prevailed, which, at some points seemed to be every night….. but we were still the middle of April. What else could we really expect?

DSC_0013The early Spring ephemerals were making a return appearance. The easily recognizable brownish-purple mottled foliage was a tell tale sign that my precocious Erythronium was going to dazzle me with its presence!

DSC_0009  Once you’ve been introduced to Epimedium, regardless of the species or cultivar, there is no turning back. It becomes yet another obsession. 2012 definitely marked such a year for me. To date, twenty of these demure, diminutively shy beauties reside within my collection. The newly emerging foliage is reason enough, but Sweet Jesus, when the flowering begins……

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2013’s Perennial of the Year – Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ remains a stalwart favourite for the woodland garden and is strikingly beautiful from the moment its pink infused spears break through the soil!

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A large number of the cherished ‘kids’ started their journey during these strange months. I worried like a proud parent over the delicate foliage of Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ and looking back I can see that it was all for naught – hardly a scorched leaf the entire year! A few of them were moved – Diphylleia cymosa was moved out of harms way where I hoped it would flourish….. sadly the heat got the better of it and it went dormant by mid July. Here’s hoping 2013 will see his bold return!

Stay tuned for May and June, and the onslaught of the dreaded ‘D’ word!

2 comments:

Darla said...

Hopefully your new neighbors will share your love and gardening style. Wouldn't that be awesome? I love looking at your photos Barry, you always show your children in their best light.

Darla said...

Hopefully your new neighbors will share your love and gardening style. Wouldn't that be awesome? I love looking at your photos Barry, you always show your children in their best light.