Well, believe it or not, I'm getting a few more spring blooms! And we'll get to them in just a minute. Really. But first I must tell you that (are you ready?!) I have my first winter-sown seedling babies!!!!!!!!! (Please excuse all the exclamation points, but I'm just so excited and I figure they still beat the dreaded all caps!) I am proud to introduce you to catchfly (Silene armeria 'Carmine Pink') and lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus 'Russells Prize Mix'). The former are the eeny beeny, teeny tiny, itsy bitsy seedlings, and the latter is the larger seedling. Noogie noog, they're so cute!
These are both perennials that must be fairly hardy. We haven't had any kind of crazy warm spurts, so they are coming up on their natural schedule. It may snow overnight, but they will be fine in their little winter-sowing containers (they're in the top row, second from left--wave hello!). Nothing else, by the way, is crazy enough to be up yet.
And now on to other treasures blooming in the garden! We have the happy, warm sunshine-yellow of crocus.
We have some more lemon-yellow aconites. Noogie!
Here we have a lovely and vibrant dwarf wild iris (Iris reticulata).
We have one solitary, but oh-so-lovely, snow drop.
And (drum roll, please) we welcome a hellebore into the garden!! Isn't she a beauty? I bought her today at the Ann Arbor farmer's market (which tends to be a bit pricey, but I needed eggs)... so there I was, minding my own business, trying to find the nice egg lady when I pass a bunch of hellebores. This plant has been on my in-the-back-of-my-mind wish list for at least a decade, but I somehow never managed to get one. Then I saw so many gorgeous ones blooming in all your blogs, and I was committed to get one! And here she is, waiting to be planted.
In case you are wondering why there are only one or two of many of my blooms, allow me to show you my tulips. As evidence of some kind of nibbling critter. This same pest also ate most of my crocuses, many of my dwarf wild irises, and probably some of the snow drops. Fortunately, it has so far (knock wood/toi toi toi!) left my daffodils and hyacinths alone.
You may recall my sundry travails with the groundhog. I always blamed him/her/them for this yearly destruction, based on the other things I actually caught them in the act of eating. But, as hard as this is to admit, I may have been wrong about that. You see, the groundhog is still hibernating. I always see the groundhog once it's active and I haven't seen it yet this year. So I'm going to guess it may instead be rabbits. Granted, I haven't seen them either, but they're a bit skittish, being lunch for so many other animals. And they don't hibernate and must be pretty hungry for greens this time of year.
Or, it could be squirrels, but they seem to do pretty well at my feeders and they tend to dig. These plants were chewed off and/or yanked out, not dug out.
I'm not going to harm whatever animal it is, I'd just like to know.
And, bananas! Last spring I swore I wouldn't buy any more bulbs and then in fall I promptly forgot and bought a bunch from Old House Gardens. Short memory, must have a short memory...(Yolanda, that's queuing Midnight Oil for you, right? Just re-listened and 26 years later, it's still good and still relevant!).
Added 3/29: Since yesterday, the tulips have been chewed down even farther, and the culprit had been identified — it was a groundhog! Today as I was looking out my front window while chatting on the phone, something caught my eye while moving along my front walkway. Right in the area of the devastated foliage, I might add. I glanced casually outside, expecting to see Fiona. It wasn't Fiona, but a darker brown animal. At first I thought it was the annoying unneutered cat that comes around from several houses over, but it wasn't. My brain couldn't actually process what I saw right away, because I so very much wanted to see a cat that I was a bit in denial. But, alas, yes. It was the dreaded member of the Sciuridae family, the Marmota monax, the groundhog, which scuttled away by the time I reached my camera.
Banana bites! OK, I know it's hungry after hibernation and bulb foliage is one of the few green things up. Fine. But does it have to rip off the crocus flowers, strewing them across the beds, before eating the crocus foliage? If it doesn't like the flowers, couldn't it at least have the decency to bury the evidence somewhere? I mean, it's one thing to process and accept chewed off foliage, but beheaded crocuses just add insult to injury. I ask you!!!
Thanks also to Mr. McGregor's Daughter and Frances who both pointed out that when I typed "Siberian iris" I really meant "dwarf wild iris" or "Iris reticulata." I do indeed have Siberian irises, but of course they're taller and bloom later, as well as bearded irises, which bloom later still and wouldn't really be confused with either of the former!