I would have expected my hellebores to be showing signs of life by now. When we had a few warm days in mid-March I did see some new shoots, but now it looks as though they've decided NOT to proceed with growing and blooming. What are everyone else's hellebores doing now? Am I just being paranoid? I hope I didn't lose them. :(
Mine are up with a few flowers showing. Well, I should say that the flowers are up but the new leaves are still emerging. I do have a couple of flowers - wine colored - on some 'Sunshine Selections' I got back in '08. First year blooming for them. It does seem that my old ('94) established clump of H. orientalis (variety unknown) seems to lose a little vigor every year and doesn't flower as well. Might be too much root competition from a nearby barberry. It does seem like they're a little late this year though.
I have four, of which two have flower heads and leaves emerging. The other two are juuuuust beginning to wake up. And they all live in the shade of the same pine tree, so why the difference, I know not!
I was looking at photos of last year on this exact date and I have shots of pulmonaria starting to bloom and daffodils already blooming. This year, the pulmonaria look pretty ragged. Just a few days ago when I checked there were no buds. The daffs do have flower scapes and buds, but I think it's still going to be a bit before they bloom. I'd say I'm at least 2 weeks behind last year.
Warmer temps and rain this week and early next should help things along, though. And Sunday it's supposed to be in the 70s here. It just takes that one really warm day for things to really start popping. I'm looking forward to it!
Forecasting 80 on Sunday! Stuff will really sprout then. Pulmonarias have buds, Hepaticas are blooming as are hellebores. Took a photo of my first 'Sunshine Selections' flower but now have to remember how to load the silly photo onto my pc. I can't really tell if we're behind schedule or running even since Easter was early last year and late this year. That's usually my time reference as inaccurate as can be.
sherri - could the mulch be preventing the ground from warming up as quickly?
Cindy, I took the mulch off a few weeks ago and I can't remember if I cut the leaves then or if they just died back over winter. You're right - Sat and Sun should bring about lots of "wake ups" from many plants! Also, we're going to have T-Storms - terrible if we want to work in the garden, but WONDERFUL for plants! Something about the electricity creating nitrogen . . . can't remember, but it's great for plants!
My dad (a farmer) always told me that thunderstorms add nitrogen to the soil. I had to Google it for the science of it all. I found the answer here:
Quoting:Q: Does rainfall bring any nitrogen (fertilizer) to plants and lawns?
A: Yes, lightning that accompanies thunderstorms can act to add nitrogen to the soil. Gaseous nitrogen (which makes up about 78 percent of the atmosphere) is unusable by higher plants because of its chemical composition. Nitrogen is transformed to a plant-usable form (nitrogen fixation) by the electrical discharges that can occur within thunderstorms.
The usable nitrogen is added to the soil as a component of precipitation. While this process is beneficial to plants, the vast majority of nitrogen fixation is accomplished by microorganisms in the soil.
He also said that thunderstorms help to crack the frost layer (which I assume is gone by now, but we did have thunder early in the season here.) I'm not going to Google that, but I'd bet he's right. :)
Amazing how much old time wisdom can be scientifically proven now, isn't it? My grandma had such beautiful gardens and I really don't think she put any store bought garden stuff in the beds. I can't remember, but I think she just raked leaves on the beds every fall and tilled them in in the spring. Now that I think of it, maybe that's why I firmly believe in doing that!
It's supposed to get nasty, Marcia. I'm one of those "trained amateur spotters" you hear about when the weather folks are reporting tornado and funnel cloud spottings. We've been warned and activated tonight through tomorrow night. That's not all that unusual. But we were also told that our local NOAA bureau expects that the Storm Prediction Center will upgrade our area to High Risk, which actually doesn't happen here very often at all. Not that I'm trying to be an alarmist, but it's a good idea to keep an eye on the skies for the next couple of days. The potential is there for things to get ugly, and even if it ends up that it doesn't get bad, it makes sense to be prepared.
rained last night..but I didn't hear it. Sunny and unusually warm today..will keep eye open.
Finally uncovered the potted plants that I had been wintering over. Lost quite a few. Will try to plant everything this season. If we find that elusive easy care home..will just get them dug up. did find a lovely little mouse nest in one of the pots. Munched on the leaves during the winter I imagine. :(
My hellebores look about like that, too. I feel much better now. They're alive!
I noticed today that my dicentras are coming on strong, too--both spectabilis and eximia. And my trilliums are really getting busy! They've multiplied a bit this year, too, which is great. More trillium = happy me!
Trillium I planted 3 years ago have never returned :( Haven't seen any signs of dicentra eximina but my spectablis is up and running, so to speak. The pink one any way, Alba got covered with junk last fall. Rather I think she's under there somewhere.
Raining here now, good too, lightening, thunder. I'm okay. Yeah right, dh is still home but not for long, only the Fox6 weather guy said no warnings, no watches. I'm good. If that wind comes up faster than what it is now, I may just go to work with Ed and sit there with him all night. No, couldn't do that. I'm such a baby, and at my age. My granddaughter 5 yo LOVES storms.
My dicentra eximia is definitely smaller than the spectabilis. I have D. spectabilis 'Gold Heart' in the front yard and wasn't sure how vigorous it was (last year was its first year). Looks to be doing just fine, though. I swear, spectabilis can put on two inches of growth in the spring while your back is turned.
You're right there, My red got so big the past couple of years. My Mom always had them at home, they NEVER got that big. She even remarked on it one year. Said I am doing a whole lot of something right. Made me feel good... ya know?
My bleeding hearts have self-sown! Yippee! Of course I don't know which one it is but uncovered some seedlings earlier in the week. The two possible parents are pretty vigorous plants and have literally sprung up in the past week. Haven't unfurled the flowers yet and neither have the Dutchman's breeches. Now those tend to roam around a bit.
Getting showers here today which is a good thing but hope those up north and to the west haven't gotten any more severe weather.
Marcia - do you mean Dicentra? How cool is that? My sister gave me some years ago - both white and red - and they're planted together but I've only gotten a couple of seedlings from them over the years. They fight for space next to the wintercreeper ground cover.
I was So pleased. They are literally on the fenceline..roots under the wood planks, so no crowding problem. The seedlings in the regular beds take a bit longer..but have no groundcover problem (dog feet Whole nother issue). I have ripped out all the vinca that I put in years ago..it seemed to just leave where I wanted it and moved to the beds..took a couple of seasons..but found good new homes.
Wind up again today..but sunny..no outdoor photos..but may pull a weed or two when get back from open house.