Friday, February 26, 2010

Have You Noticed?

Have you seen the new wash of color on the willows and red maples on the roadside as well as on distant hills? Have you heard the increasing chatter of the birds & chitter of the squirrels? Have you seen the hawks wheeling above the treetops?
The picture above, taken in Paul Young's marvelous Bethel garden, shows the glow of late-winter color on redtwig dogwood and pondside willow. The wood duck house awaits new inhabitants.

Spring is Coming!

Witch hazel is in bloom, snowdrops are ready to burst forth at the first sign of sun, and days are appreciably longer. Sugaring is in full force, so 'tis time to plant seeds, assemble the garden tools, lay in a supply of potting soil and fertilizer. Once again Mother Nature is sounding her siren song.

It's time to listen.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Color is a-Coming In!

It's a dreary, overcast, raw February day, & spring is weeks off. But there's color in the garden! I just checked the witch hazel. Both 'Jelena' and 'Arnold Promise' are about to bloom. These witch hazel cultivars were a present from Paul Young, who grows magnificent specimens in his garden. The chubby buds on 'Jelena' are robust orangy-earthy tone, and 'Arnie" is boasting a hint of his bright yellow. When we get a warm day, perhaps above 40 degrees, they'll both unfurl their bright little banners of color. They are often fragrant, and the scent wafts over the White Pine Garden while I clear it of winter debris.

And take a look at the pieris! These set their flower buds the previous season, and they sit, patiently awaiting the blue skies of March to burst forth. But they give us a color present while they wait.

Both pieris and witch hazel are easy shrubs for the shade garden. Deer disregard pieris, but you'll have to spray repellent on the witch hazel. It's worth it for the preview of the season to come, isn't it?