The Galanthus elwesii are still blooming, and all of them have finally sprouted. What a cheery sight for winter-tired eyes.
I must divide them and spread them everywhere. Daffodils 'St. Keverne' and 'Ice Follies' are sprouting, as are some little crocuses and the species tulips. A couple pieces of monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii) that I missed while removing it from the raised bed have sent up the first leaves. I found new growth on Phlox paniculata 'Nicky' when I pulled fallen leaves off its crown.
The hellebores are not yet blooming, but the buds look promising.
|Helleborus x nigersmithii 'Walhelivor' (Ivory Prince)|
I couldn't resist the temptation to start hellebore cleanup.
The witch hazel (Hammamelis 'Sunburst') is still not blooming, and presumably will not bloom owing to the hegemony of bud-free branches. Half of the hazel (Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic') is dead, but the live half is sporting fat pink buds, ready to burst into leaf. I'm going to be taking stock soon of the damage wrought by the lack of rain last summer and fall, and the ravages of winter. In addition to the tragic loss suffered by the hazel, the three 'Little Honey' oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) sustained several broken limbs apiece, probably as a result of the blizzard winds and less than careful snow shoveling of the front walk. Oakleaf hydrangeas have notoriously (at least around here) weak and brittle branches.
This week's squirrel atrocities include a large excavation at the base of Hosta 'Winfield Gold', a half-eaten species tulip bulb (Tulipa humilis alba caerula) planted last fall (probably the last one), and the wanton exhumation of an Iris reticulata 'Katharine Hodgkin; planted last fall.
An order of Permatill should be arriving very soon.
Making a special appearance were the power company tree "trimmers." The blue spruce was left looking not exactly unlike a pollarded willow. They don't do as much damage as they used to since my very indulgent spouse has taken to chain sawing as a summertime hobby. In our defense, I must make clear that previous owners and nature are responsible for those lousy boxelders and the spruce under the power lines.
Migratory birds are on the wing; I've seen and heard several flocks of geese high overhead. It won't be long until the great blue herons and egrets return, but I won't be seeing them until the ice on and in the retention pond melts.
A box of two new Clematis arrived this week, but more about them later. We don't want to overdose on excitement this early in the season.