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Pre-Spring in the Garden

Temperatures here have fluctuated from near freezing to shirt-sleeve warm. On warmer days I have enjoyed the chance to kick off 2017 gardening with clean-up and late winter pruning. Early bloomers are trying to push the season into spring a bit early. I know hard frosts are still likely; but as more blooms open daily, I am getting excited about spring. I won't say spring has arrived, but we are definitely into pre-spring!

Here is a look at some early blooms. Daffodils and forsythia:

Flowering quince (chaemoneles) with forsythia in the background:

Forsythia is an old-fashioned, common shrub, but who can resist its cheerful burst of blooms on a gray February day?

Daphne odora 'Marginata' has a pleasing fragrance and waxy blooms that contrast beautifully with its variegated foliage:

My pale pink camellia by the mailbox has smaller blooms than usual this year. I am amazed it has any blooms at all. We were 3 months into our drought last fall before I noticed its leaves wilting and finally gave it some supplemental water:This camellia began as a volunteer seedling. Its parent has red blooms.

Magnolia 'Jane' began blooming this weekend. It is often called a tulip tree because of its tulip-like blooms:

Hellebores are reliable late-winter bloomers:

Anise (Illicium parviflorum) 'Florida Sunshine' is not known for its inconspicuous blooms, but its chartreuse foliage and red stems light up the winter garden. The leaves have a wonderful licorice fragrance::

Finally, I came across these colorful little mushrooms while walking in the woodland garden. They were a nice surprise that came from all the rain we have been having:

Happy pre-spring!

You may also enjoy my previous post:  Are You a Plant Snob?

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Reader Comments (16)

I saw at least two kinds of daffodils in your photos. Beautiful. We are having pre-spring, too. Redbuds and azaleas are blooming. My Louis Philipe rose never stopped blooming. A fabulous rose to have in one's garden. So glad you finally got a decent amount of rain.

February 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Hi Deb, oh my your daffodils are just amazing. They are so pretty when mass planted, it is such joy to look at them. That must have been so much work to plant all these bulbs, but so worth it. Or naturalize daffodils easily in your neck of the woods?
I also especially love your Flowering quince (chaemoneles), a shrub that I know from Germany and that I bought branches of from the florist at this time of the year.
To me, your garden looks like it has woken up into spring and I so hope that you don't get any strong frosts anymore to sap all the wonderful flowers.
Happy Gardening, Deb!
Warm regards,

February 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Pre-spring? That looks suspiciously like spring to me!

February 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

That Camellia makes my heart pound so fast. I'm jealous because we can't grow them here. Sigh. Spring seems to be in full swing by you--when Daffodils, Magnolias, and Forsythias bloom here, we consider it springtime. It appears spring is happening early here, too--I was surprised to see the Daffodils poking out of the soil the other day, and most of our snow is melted. We'll probably have a snowstorm or two or more before the winter is out, but at least we're making some progress now. :) Beautiful photos!

February 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

I forgot to tell you about my flag photo you asked about. It was snowing becki that night, and I simply took a flash photo of my flagpole. The flash illuminated the snowflakes! I had discovered that technique by accident when I took a snowy photo of my lamp post, and loved it.

February 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

spring flower heaven!! Love your daffodils and especially the tulip Magnolia 'Jane'. Gorgeous!

February 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGone Tropical

It's only pre spring and yet you have so many colours in your garden, how lovely!

February 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Looking great, Deb.

The Chaenomeles has been blooming for quite some time now, right?

It looks like your daffodils are just a bit ahead of mine (not too surprising).

Enjoy the pre-spring and let's hope that true spring is just around the corner :)

February 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

You have some beautiful daffodils Deb; are they early for you? Mine are only just pushing their noses above the soil. I love seeing daffodils in great drifts like yours!! Thank you for sharing them.

February 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Your pre-spring blooms are spectacular, Deb! I was surprised to see the gorgeous mass of daffodils in your garden - I just stumbled over the first daffodil bloom in my own garden this morning (while cleaning up after last night's latest raccoon rampage). I'm impressed by the hellebore too - my hellebores, if they bloom at all, don't usually show up until spring but perhaps their schedule here is rain-related.

February 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

The pink camellia is gorgeous! We moved into our house in August and I discovered that a camellia was growing on one side of the house. It's covered in buds and I can't wait to find out what color they are.

February 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTammie

Wow, bulbs, trees and shrubs blooming. So pretty and unexpected when I opened your blog post. We have had crazy weather fluctuations too. In the 60's then drops to below freezing. There is no sense of a regular winter here anymore in the last number of years. It will be a while before my bulbs bloom. Your garden is wonderful and a pleasant surprise.

February 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Fantastic daffodils? When I see that many daffs in bloom, I'd say it is really spring, not pre-spring. Love the Daphnes also.

February 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I definitely think of forsythia and daffodils as spring flowers. We still have a couple of months to wait for them here, so thanks for sharing yours.

February 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Oh this was so lovely! Your daffodils are just gorgeous and I love that winter daphne. You have such a beautiful garden Deb, with so much to enjoy in every season.

February 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

OMG! My daffodils are just showing their greens. You have lovely, lovely early spring there, Deb! Have a great March!

March 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTatyana

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