That first sunny warm day in February seduces me into my garden to begin my spring gardening tasks before the last snowstorms of winter reappear for a brief visit. It is a happy day for me each year when I reach for my Felco’s, put on my gardening gloves, pick up my rake and head out to reunite with my garden.
Hellebores remain evergreen and provide winter interest in my winter garden.
I always start by trimming the hellebores since the longer I wait the more complicated the job becomes. Those stalwart evergreen leaves that have decorated my garden all winter are by this time raggy, spotted and brownish. Hiding beneath them are the brand new buds of the Hellebore flowers just waiting to burst through heralding spring. I love uncovering their light deprived lime green growth and freeing them to bask in the sunshine.
Cutting the old leaves at this very early stage makes it less likely that I’ll damage the new growth. The old stems are long and thick at this time and easy to differentiate between the short almost stemless new growth. On the years that for one reason or another I wasn’t quick enough to do this early trimming, the job took twice as long as I had to carefully select between the old and new growth leaves. Not easy to do without accidentally cutting off a few buds. Full disclosure: When I do cut or damage a plant in my garden I reflexively find myself apologizing to it out loud…sigh…
Not to worry about uncovering the hellebores when inevitably another bout of winter arrives since these are very hardy plants in my zone 6 garden. When the weather turns cold again for the next few weeks of winter I enjoy watching spring emerge through the windows in my home. Those hellebores burst through with so much optimism.
After trimming the old leaves, the emerging flowers of the Hellebore are a great glimpse of optimism for the upcoming spring season.
I saw this wonderful flower arranging video on YouTube. I want to share it with you since it is so clear and shows the creative mind at work.
In this video Jane Godschalk takes us through a flower arranging technique from the book Flower Arranging the American Way by Nancy D’Oench, Deen Day Sanders and Mike Hales. I have the book and it is worth getting if you are like formal and competition flower arranging. This is the kind of floral aranging that you see at The Garden Club of America and National Garden Clubs flower shows.
It is nice to see an Artist in action.
I am always walking around my garden looking for creative solutions for both inside and outside display.
My garden encourages my creativity in design and the creation of my Fine Art.
Today the sun is shining on the beauty of my garden after the blizzard of February 10th, 2010.
I haven’t been out yet since I’m leaving all the shoveling to my hubby Dave. But I ventured to take the screens out of some upstairs windows and shot some photos and video of the heavily snow-laden branches.
It seems from my perspective so far that the only major damage is the loss, yet again, of the top of the American Holly, (Ilex opaca). I don’t remember what year it was but it happened once before over 15 years ago. The central apex broke at the time from another snowstorm but grew back with a double lead. I don’t know yet whether I’ve lost just one or both.
I made a short, one-minute video of the garden as it looks this morning before the wind picks up and blows all the heavy snow from the branches. It will be fun to watch the garden perk up during the day as the snow begins to rearrange itself.
In June of 2009 my garden was featured on the annual Northport Historical Society garden tour event. Weeks of preparation for a full day of garden connoisseurs visiting your garden takes an act of courage and lots and lots of hard physical work. The day was a rousing success and I’m glad I did it.
Sharon Ruedeman captured the event and created this energetic video of that time.