So far winter has been relatively kind to us (*knocking on wood*) — especially after last year’s ice storm after ice storm extravaganza. And as a result, it’s been easier to be outside noticing the slow progress towards spring. A dip into colder weather can place some things on pause, but others are responding to the increasing light. I know I am. We’ve now had our first crocus bloom, the Daphne odora is ready to burst, and the swollen buds of this coming season’s growth are everywhere.
Our garden’s first crocus bloom this year.
I can’t remember what this is — maybe Asarum?
Aspidistra elatior ‘Asahi’ from Cistus Nursery – I love these leaves.
Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’ – also from Cistus Nursery.
Fatsia Japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ – This particular state of the variegated leaves’ development is my favorite.
Clematis fasciculiflora ‘Silver Leaf Form’ – this was newly planted last year & hasn’t flowered for us yet. Should be flowering soon — can’t wait!
Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Purple Stem’ – I prefer this to the standard Sweet Box.
Fatshedera lizei ‘Angyo Star’
A favorite shady ground cover, Cardamine trifolia.
A gorgeous Hebe from Xera Plants. That new growth is just stunning.
I have lots of terra cotta pots planted up with spring bulbs so I can move them around to enjoy them when they’re blooming, then put them away when they’re done. I like the layered approach of biggest bulbs on the bottom, layered up with smaller bulbs moving towards the surface. That way you get weeks of bloom.
Eccremocarpus scaber / Chilean Glory Vine — this is a Zone 10a plant I bought as an annual at Portland Nursery last year and it’s throwing out new growth in January like we live in California! Beloved by hummingbirds.
Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid’ / Wallflower – This has glorious blooms that fade from tangerine to deep mauve with deep purple buds. I wouldn’t be without this plant.
Clematis cirrhosa is having a wonderful year after spending last year recovering from being dug up, and stuck in a pot & forgotten during a construction project.
Euphorbia characias ‘Glacier Blue’ is starting its nodding stem ends, which I love. I prefer this variety over ‘Tasmanian Tiger.’
Abutilon ‘Lucky Lantern Yellow’ is tucked up against the east-facing concrete wall of our foundation and hasn’t stopped blooming all winter. It will stay small, but I’m hoping for a bunch of new growth this coming season.
It’s a time of great hopefulness, despite what’s happening in the world. That’s one of the reasons I love gardening so much — it doesn’t care what the headlines are. Plants respond to the seasons no matter what else is happening in your life — you just have to choose to get out there & be reminded of the bigger picture.
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Kate–That Abutilon is amazing! (and the other from Zone 10…wow). (I hope this replying to your mid-January post; not 100% obvious, but I think it’s OK.) Asking about your Erysimum ‘Winter Orchid.’ Does it thrive a year or two, like the others, and then decline? I find they bloom their little hearts out. Wondering if you propagate or replace every so often?
Hi Alyse — Yes, the erysimum is usually good for a couple of years, and then I just replace it. This one is on year 2 at the moment — we’ll see what it’s like later in the season whether I give it more time or not. I do find that they do better when I regularly trim them back to make arrangements with the flowers b/c the scent is amazing. They certainly do give it their all in the time they’ve got 🙂