Friday, February 10, 2012
Winter Bloomers in Tiger Gardens
Winter has hardly made an appearance here in my section of Tennessee and the blooms in the garden sure are putting on a great show with the unseasonably mild weather. I'm not complaining at all but hope the trees and shrubs don't break dormancy prematurely. If so there could be dire consequences for them. We are still experiencing the loss of large and mature trees due to the late freeze and subsequent drought of 2007. All gardeners who experienced that freeze will never forget it and I think it will be one for the history books that will be talked about for the next fifty years. At any rate the perennials, some early shrubs and bulbs are usually not too bothered by early blooming. The crocuses are a bit early in Tiger Gardens but the bees don't mind at all. Jimmy tried to catch a bee here and that didn't even faze the bees. And, he was not stung so that is good. Teenagers!
Quince is a never fail early bloomer. Quince is the only early red blooming shrub that I know of. I simply love the brilliant early red blooms. The shrub itself is not something to be desired though. It has a great deal of thorns and is nondescript the rest of the year. The one pictured above is 'Rubra'. I have two other types of quince blooming as well; which you'll soon see.
Have you ever seen the bloom of Petasites japonica? Me neither but I will as soon as this large bud opens its flowers. I purchased this plant from the University of Tennessee Trial Gardens in Jackson Tennessee during Summer Celebration one year. Petasites is a large plant that has leaves reminiscent of gunnera. Petasites likes a moist soil and can be quite invasive in the right (or wrong depending on your perspective) conditions so use care if you plant this plant. I planted mine behind Mr. Fix-it's garage in a wild area of the garden. It is not a terribly moist area but does get some runoff since it is a low area. So far during the past two and one half years that this petasites has been growing here I have had no issues whatsoever with it spreading. That may change at some point but so far it has behaved itself. It has a cool bloom though huh?
Christmas roses, aka Helleborus niger, are well behaved perennials. In fact, they are so well behaved that it is very hard to get them established in the garden. I've had this one since 2003 and with its two blooms it looks the best it has ever looked. Lenten roses, aka Helleborus species, are the complete opposite of Christmas roses. They take off pretty well. The major differences between the two as far as I can see from my garden is the bloom of the Christmas rose is about two inches across and is flatter. The leaves of the Christmas rose are also quite different.
Daffodils continue their march toward the big show to come in a another few weeks or so.
This quince is 'Texas Scarlet'. It is the quince that gifts me with real quince fruit nearly every year.
This gal is not a bloom perse, but a new addition to Tiger Gardens. My friend Sandra and her grandchildren gifted us with Speckles. She joins Cuddles in our garden. She has her own very elaborate rabbit hutch and lives out front where we can enjoy her company every day....
in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden