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The Landscape Awakens

The nights may be cold, the days may be dreary, but spring has crept in nevertheless — slowly this year, not in an explosion of buds and blooms, but incrementally until I am forced to concede the season has overtaken winter. What winter? We hardly had one this year. Lou was outside yesterday, and mosquitos the size of land rovers bludgeoned him. With exceptionally mild winters two years running, the bugs have continued to breed, and I am left wanting at least a month of hard frosts. Too late now. 

But joy! The landscape is awakening. Cheery daffodils are always among the first blooms, and other flowers are joining them in the early spring garden.Clockwise from top left: Daffodils, candytuft, flowering quince, and snowflakes (Leucojum)

Edgeworthia is has been blooming with the daffodils for several weeks now. They remind me of ballet tutus!Above is what you see from the topAnd this is what you see from below!

Hellebores continue to amaze me. They are meant to be studied. Mine were once named varieties, but they have wantonly mated with each other and produced babies of questionable heritage. I love them all. (But I still ogle new hybrids with all sorts of frills and uppity pedigrees and prices to match. I would love to have some of those too!)

This is the year of the birdhouse. Among others, I recently refurbished an old cabin style birdhouse, and it has found a new home in the front garden in the area formerly inhabited by the cancer tree. I planted several shrubs in this area, unseen in the following photos and still dormant. I also plan to put flowers around the base of the birdhouse. The old iron stand once belonged to my father, who used it in his workshop with a piece of machinery bolted to it. I buried its heavy cross shaped bottom so that the appearance is more of a traditional post. The cancer tree, by the way, hasn't given up. Already I have found several sprouts insidiously snaking out of the ground, and I suspect I will be battling it with herbicide for a while.

Forsythia, seen above behind the birdhouse, is another early spring bloom that brightens even the gloomiest day. Another one is located at the edged of the woodland garden:

Camellias are blooming in several areas. The lovely shell pink one below is a mystery. Long ago we had to move a red flowering one from its spot behind the mailbox because of nearby construction. Some years later a new one sprouted in its old place, coming up through the low growing junipers that now occupy the site. I let it grow, and I was surprised when it produced a completely different and more beautiful flower than its presumed parent.

Top photo is the gorgeous mystery camellia. Below are two photos of another lovely camellia, Taylor's Perfection, located in the woodland garden.

Finally, here is a peek at a meandering moss path in the woodland garden, just as morning sunlight comes streaming through the trees. I hope to see more of this sunshine, now that spring is here!

May your heart be filled with sunlight, no matter what the weather may be....Deborah 

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Reader Comments (26)

Hi Deb
Thank you so much for this first touch of Spring. I can imagine how annoying it must be to fight insects but wow! look at your reward: your flowers and shrubs are in bloom already and so gorgeous. So nice to look at your photos while we wait for a slushy, sloppy rain/snow mix storm tomorrow. Yuck.

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

Lucky you guys didn't have much of a winter but oh those blooms looks so cheerful! Hooray for the arrival of spring (and it's just begun) :)

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

I'm sorry you're having to deal with mosquitos this time of year! Usually late summer is our worst time and it's really annoying.

Your spring flowers are beautiful! I love the last sun-filled shot too.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Hi Deb! You already have so many pretty flowers! I worked in my garden this weekend (we had two nice days) and then found a tick on my sweater! I love the birdhouse with the little chair outside on the porch....so creative. My Forsythia has a few buds, but it will be a while before I have any blooms. I just love paths through a garden, especially when you can't see where it's going!! Thanks for some great spring pictures!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

Your last images shouted SPRING so I hope you're right. Here the weather changes daily from harsh, icy winds, rain to warm sunshine, but now we've nearly reached the end of February I think, I hope, winter is over. Christina

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Your lovely photos look as though spring has arrived, such pretty flowers. Couldn't believe that you have "mozzies" already, what a pain!!
We don't have named varieties very often for our hellebores, so many people were selling seedlings as the named varieties, these days they are mainly sold as picotee or pink spotted or yellow double etc., you can still find some lovely new ones.
Your camellia is beautiful, such a delicate pink, do you think the rootstock has sprouted?

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

I complete agree with your last paragraph. The sunlight makes any season one to enjoy. Love the newly awakened garden, Deb, the images are so lovely.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I love your birdhouse. Is it for chickadees?

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

All of your flowers are beautiful. I am just beginning a love affair with hellebores. I would love it if they had offspring! How fun! The photo of your moss pathway is so enticing! Looks like it came from a fairy tale book.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

Spring always feels fantastic even if you didn't have much of a winter. Your hellebores are so beautiful you could sell them as a new cultivar.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah/Galloping Horse Garden

Hi everybody! I put this post up last night, and then today is cold and miserable with a possibility of snow this weekend! Maybe I spoke too soon! Pauline, the old camellia was transplanted with all its roots to another site, so I don't think the new one came from root stock, but I do think it was a seedling with some different genes. Jason, the little cabin is an old birdhouse that came from an estate sale. I don't know what birds have previously inhabited it, but the hole is a good size for bluebirds. I want to say thanks to all those who take time to leave comments. I enjoy reading them, and I appreciate each one very much! Deb

February 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

You are just enough ahead of us to have many plants that haven't started here yet, beautiful. Many camellias are grafted. Do you think the new camellias sprouted from the graft roots?

Thank you for sharing a sense of hope that is spring. Your photos are beautiful, and amazing. I enjoyed walking through your garden. I will make that same trip through my garden, again, tommorow in a hunt for the same signs of spring.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Deborah I am so in love with your gardens...I am speechless really! Mosquitoes oh my...ours are frozen still and still snow on the ground. But oh I can live spring thru you.

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Beautiful. I love your moss path, seductive, it really invites you in. Spring has definitely arrived!

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet/Plantaliscious

Well, that's how springlike weather goes: here one day, gone the next. Still, you've got it, despite the ups and downs. Nice to have a glimpse up here in New England, including one of my favorites, edgeworthia.

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

Oh my goodness...I nearly fainted when I saw the shell pink Camellia! Seriously! My heart fluttered a little bit. ;-) Lucky you to have Daffodils and Camellias and Hellebores all blooming together! I'm buried under yet another snowfall, but believe it or not there are signs of spring under the snow! That Edgeworthia sure is a fascinating plant, too!

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

Oh such seductive images! My daffodils are barely 6" above the ground and as for sunlight....well let's just say Seattle is living up to its name!

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Chapman

Jeg kom bare lige forbi.
Tak for de smukke billeder der fortæller at foråret er på vej.
Ha´ en god dag.

February 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLandbohaven

Love the first blooms of (pre) spring season. This is my first year to have forsythia (transplants from your garden Deb) and I was so glad to see them blooming. Forsythia has always been my indicator plant reminding me it's time to prune the things that need pruning in early spring. My neighbor was wanting some forsythia as well so I planted the ones you gave me along our property line so both families can enjoy them. So thank you from both families. Also--- Love the bird house especially the little porch swing.

February 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Mosquitoes already? Yuck! Spring is just barely waking up here but the daffs are up and winter will soon be a memory. Love that pink mystery camellia. :)

February 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

What a very sweet birdhouse...it looks like a chair attached to the front deck. Your hellebores are looking lovely:)

March 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Your spring garden is beautiful Deb. We hope to get a bit of spring next week. At this time I only have snowdrops and hellebores in the garden. The hellebores are very promiscuous. Mine also have produced babies of questionable heritage. I love your birdhouse with the little sofa on the porch.

March 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Thanks for sharing your spring with me while I wait for it to arrive here. In southern Pennsylvania, we've also had no winter to speak of (i.e., little snow), but temperatures have been colder than normal and spring is thus snow to arrive. My Maine garden is having a real old-fashioned Maine winter and will be under snow for a while yet.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Every spring, I live vicariously through the garden bloggers of the south until spring makes it way here. Beautiful!

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Deb, your landscape is indeed awakening, so very much to show us. All we have at the moment in bloom is, Hellebores and Iris Reticulata oh mustn't forget the Snowdrops. Hmm, I wonder if I would find more if I were to take a closer look.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair
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