Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spring is popping out

From daffodils to Oconee bells, flowering has commenced.  Hooray!

The Asian cherries in the median of our small city's entrance are in flower (after being coaxed into early flowering last fall); daffodils are up everywhere in our "yard" --not planted by us, but echoing past gardeners, as do the crocuses.

In the Garden, the first Oconee bells are in flower, too.  At the end of February, it's about time for early spring!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

A lovely witch hazel

I'd thought that the glorious winter flowering witch hazel in front of our mountain house was a Chinese witch hazel, until reading my garden blogging friend Janet's post about Hamamelis vernalis (hmm, maybe it was on FB?).  I couldn't find the reference for a link -- but thanks, Janet, for pointing me in the right direction!

It was looking lovely last weekend, complete with flowers. It certainly seems to be  H. vernalis!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spring is definitely on the way

Not only daffodils are flowering in the Piedmont, Asian cherries are back in flower in our city's median plantings.  Lovely.  They were "tricked" in late fall to bloom early, but happily, are now looking quite nice -- welcome after coming back "down the hill" today.

All sorts of things are starting to pop up, beyond the snowdrops, daffodils, and crocus.  Dimpled trout lily (Erythronium umbilicatum) is in flower, too, and I'm sure our native Hepatica spp. are out, as well.

I went by the old "farmhouse" in Montford this afternoon, to take some photos of the Galanthus that's naturalized (presumably over many years).

It was nice to see the carpet of snowdrops again!  I've not ever seen snowdrops in masses like that, so it was a welcome sight.

Galanthus naturalized in an old lawn

Old house (in Montford historic district, Asheville, NC) with Galanthus

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Snowdrops and daffodils

I haven't seen any daffodils up in the mountains yet, but I'm sure they're open in the Piedmont (my garden blogger friends are reporting them, and they looked ready to pop in our garden). Hooray!  Spring is coming.

Here in the mountains, snowdrops (Galanthus spp) are brightening the landscape.

One of the first old houses in our mountain neighborhood (probably pre-dating the "development" of Montford) has carpets of snowdrops under trees, poking out into the lawn, and lining the road.


This is a Wikipedia image (no camera was along for our walk this afternoon)!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow and more snow

Happily, we've just had so far - lovely snow. 

The sleet is currently falling this evening, but the temperatures (for Clemson, SC) are predicted to gradually rise around freezing overnight, so accumulations of the 2-4 inches won't (hopefully) be issues in terms of power outages. (The snow hasn't accumulated on trees and power lines, thankfully).

This isn't the case for lots of folks across a wide band of the SE US, unfortunately. 

And we have another "snow" day tomorrow, with campus closed again.

I'd have photos, but my camera is up in the mountains (left behind by accident in the bread box drawer!)

Hmm, WHEN will I be able to get out and get the beds ready for early spring plantings of peas and greens?   Nothing has overwintered, for sure, so I'll definitely be starting with a clean slate!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Now, potentially much more (snow and ice)

Hmm, this is definitely the odd winter!  We're experiencing the potential advent of another snowstorm (with ice) blanketing the Southeast for several days, after an exceptionally cold January. 

This, after a lovely and benign snowfall overnight that had melted by late afternoon.

Campus (and most everything else that can close due to winter weather) will be closed tomorrow.  I'm grateful that I can just stay home.  And be hopeful that the power will be on!

But I'm mindful of all of the folks that need to get to their jobs (in all of the service capacities that we depend on).  Thanks to all of them.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Hmm, more snow and (potential) ice coming?

Yikes, this winter has been really strange. 

The Prunus mume (that I saw starting to flower again last weekend) may be totally blasted. 

At least the predicted temperatures are quite moderate. 

The forecast is all about snow (and potential ice) and full of hyperbole about snowfall (I think because of all of the previous storms and severe temperatures this winter).

We could be inundated with snow and ice in the upstate of South Carolina over the next few days, or maybe not.  We'll see.

It all depends on where the fronts collide, it seems.

At least I haven't planted any peas yet!  I haven't even managed to get out and take soil temperatures or turn the beds.  And my raised beds in the mountains -- hmm -- they'll be replanted totally from scratch -- I don't think any of the perennial herbs made it through the severe cold of January.

Hmm, seeing previous incarnations of spring planting is always encouraging.  Here's an link to searches about previous blog posts about "spring vegetable beds."

My raised beds in the mountains and the piedmont at the moment look really sad.  They're ready for change-outs.  They're waiting for spring.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Finally, signs of spring!

A mild winter day was welcome after the deep freeze of January (and the natural gas bill that accompanied it -- yikes, it was at least a third to a half more than we'd ever paid before!)

More importantly, signs of spring are popping --dandelions are in flower and the early yellow jasmine (the Asian shrub, not our native Carolina jessamine) is in flower in our neighbor's yard.

It's welcome.

Buds are swelling, and the Carolina Jessamine flowers will pop forth soon.

It's not been a good year (so far) for Asian early-bloomers.  Camellias, etc. have not fared well, dropping lots of buds, being frosted, etc. 

The Professor Sargent in front our house is full of brown, frost-bitten flowers at the moment, unlike in previous years.  

Here's what it looked like in 2011.

Professor Sargent camellia, 2011

But the first natives are creeping into sight -- early Trilliums at the SC Botanical Garden have already popped up.

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