Early Spring 2017

 This year……we did not go to Mexico and it was the worst winter on the record…. it was brutal and spring just did not  want to come. I do not know how we survived it…..but we did but some of mine more tender plants did not. In early April very few plants were blooming. Some shrubs tinged green but no flowers .  Some shrubs were beaten up and deformed by the heavy snow. It caught me by surprise and I had no opportunity to protect them.

2 shrubs that herald the spring here on the Island and are blooming usually in early March were blooming in the first part of April.

A native shrub  Oemleria cerasiformis  also known as Osoberry or Indian plum. 

This picture of Osoberry was taken on April 4th and the flower is not completely opened but the picture shows the shape of the leaf nicely.They are quite happy in the endless rains. It will grow in deepest shade and at difficult sites. I noticed only one on the property and it almost looks like it was planted there by human, not birds. I noticed it after we moved in but never knew what it was and it looked somewhat insignificant so I did not bother to explore it further. Only couple of years ago it sparked my interest when I started to clear many ferns in that area.

 

Native  Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant) blooming in early April. We have both varieties, red and white. The red one is growing wild but the white was planted on edge of the forest by one of the previous residents and it’s now a sizable bush.

 Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’

 

Mahonia aquifolium  (Oregon grape ) is another native plant  that is blooming in early April. l It is an understory of our Douglas-fir forests. I consider it invasive on in our environment . The inner bark of stems and roots of Oregon-grap eare used by aboriginal people for yellow dye; the berries give purple dye.

Deer path through Mahonia aquifolium under the Douglas Firs and Big leaf Maples

Violas grow in the grass in middle of April

Primroses look at their best in April also and bloom for long time. I love these cheerful little plants in early spring  . They grow wild everywhere in many colours (probably cross pollinated).

The more cultivated ones I grow in my flower beds as this  Primula vulgaris Belarina Pink Ice

 

Hellebores did not mind the snow and cool temperatures. Thre is a local craze about them but I have only 3. Although they are somewhat pretty they never exited me. I should love them as the deer and rabbits don’t.. Maybe in the future I could thin my colchicums and plant few more hellebores. They starting to introduce new hybrids and some are little bit more interesting than my old ones. Especially the leaves. Colchicums have also large leaves (not pretty) and smother everything else in the border…..but comes fall and they are stars in the garden when all the other plants are gone.

I do not have name for this Hellebores.

Hellebores Merlin starts this pink and fades to beige and then to almost green.. It is a smaller plant which is not noticeable from this picture.

Winter Daphne also blooms in early April and in addition, it smells heavenly.

Rhododendron Christmas Cheers is blooming since February. 2 little plants are blooming by the guest house.

These are my few early March to early April bloomers) Other plants are starting to wake up in the middle of April and explode by May. Lots around here was planted for May show and this property is at its best at that time.

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This is the last time I saw her. It was March 26th. She lived with us all winter. She slept behind the shop and basically stayed in sight most of the time. I think she felt safe here . We have no dogs to chase her and I mostly ignored her. We almost became friends even though I knew that she will be a problem comes spring. I also think that she was born on this property and felt that this was her home.She did not look entirely healthy and because of the snow there was very little to eat. Unfortunately,  she was in some plants which are poisonous if eaten in larger quantities…..such as rhododendrons . Some of my rhododendrons were stripped. Hopefully she found a friend and left with him. I think of her often. So far I did not see any deer damage.

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Rhubarb cheesecake . We have lots of healthy rhubarb this year.

Robins are back, building their nests and destroying our grass areas.

Such is life

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