Loving Winter Blooms-Hellebores, Snowdrops & Viburnum

This week has brought us drier weather and warmer temperatures.I couldn’t be more delighted. You see, I am not a fan of winter. Sure, we all need a break from the garden but when January rolls around I am eager to get back out there and get my fingernails dirty. Most years it’s too wet and grey to even think of venturing out in the garden. This winter has been forty percent drier this year. The ski hills are begging for snow and it’s not happening. Of course, this lack of rainfall will have us on water restrictions again this summer. I sit here wondering if the rain we are so used to will come  this spring. If only we knew. I took a chance and began to pull back some of the heavy leaf mulch on my front garden.

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The leaves from the oak tree were about four inches deep and I could see new growth from spring bulbs poking through. I also found this Hellebore crying out for attention. Its time to remove any old leaves from your plants to avoid any leaf spot disease. New leaves will soon emerge from the base of the plant and will look fresh and new again. Hellebores are wonderful winter blooming plants that bloom from January to March. Just plant them in a site in partial shade and you will have them blooming for years. Once established Hellebores are drought tolerant. That’s a good things as we receive less rain each year.

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My favourite shrub is still in bloom and has been since last November. I delight in its beauty as I sit in my office and see it from the window. Viburnum bodnantense is a joy to have in the winter garden. Its pinkish-white blooms are so very fragrant. The flowers will finish in February and the leaves will start to appear. Although it is nondescript in the summer, it still provides habitat for small birds. It loves a site in dappled light and a well-drained soil. With all the deciduous trees bare of leaves, the shade garden is full of light. This makes it the ideal home for spring bulbs and winter blooming plants. A few choice evergreens provide shade where it is needed. Imagine this shrub placed next to a dark green hedge. Viburnum bodnantense grows to ten feet high and about eight feet wide. It would be a great shrub for a small space garden.

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My last winter flower of this week is Galanthus commonly known as snowdrops. I know, it looks like I was a bit tipsy taking this photo. They are growing underneath a large Rhododendron and I quickly took a photo not realizing I would have all of you tilting to one side. These tiny white nodding flowers are a sign that spring is on it’s way. I don’t know about your gardens but my shrubs are sending out new growth and its all I can do to resist the urge to prune the Roses.

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I did get out last week and pruned back the Buddleia. It’s usually done in February so I cut it back halfway and will do a bit more pruning next month. I took about five feet off this shrub.  I never prune it back hard as it’s a background shrub in this garden and I want some height on it.

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I also took some time to comb out the Blue Oat Grass. Right now the blades are a rainbow of colours from a straw colour, green and red. Later as the new growth appears the grass blades are a lovely shade of blue. That’s about it for my garden today. I am linking over at Tootsie Time for Fertlizer Friday.

 

 

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