Friday, January 22, 2010

Viburnum farreri, Fragrant Viburnum

Betty came in yesterday, Thursday. She's the first Thursday volunteer I've seen since I got back from Florida. It's been a fairly cold winter. We walked through the collection and noticed this Viburnum flowering at the entrance to China Valley. Despite its common name, I was unable to detect any fragrance. Just like last year. Still, my motto is, "flowers in mid-winter are a good thing!" V. farreri is one of the parents of V x 'Dawn'. Dawn is a plant similar in appearance and quite fragrant. It's an old hybrid, dating from the mid 1930s and isn't seen much anymore. V. x 'Mohawk', an Arboretum release and a burkwood, is a more compact, more floriferous plant with a wonderful fragrance.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prunus mume Tohji-bai', Helleborus thibetanus, Hamamelis mollis.... It's still winter, but the warmer weather of the past week has brought some flowers out

I know winter isn't over yet, but it's fun to search out the early flowers.  Helleborus thibetanus, is a Chinese species that has only in recent years been introduced to western gardeners. Though not common in the trade, I expect that condition to change. Ours seed readily and grow rapidly. Unlike the commoner Helleores, it it goes completely dormant, disappearing entirely from the garden in summer returning again in winter.

Bulb planting at the Capitol thing led to another and look, we're well into January...better late than never

Hey we sort of fell into these bulbs and not until mid-December. Then it snowed and then the ground froze but they're planted now. In a ribbon woven through the existing plantings. We drew our inspiration from a talk by Jacqueline van der Kloet at the Perennial Plant Conference at Swarthmore this past fall. I like the idea because the permanent plantings are not early season plants and this will be a fun colorful opening act.

I anticipate, based on many years experience, not problem with planting at this late date. I've done it many times both in my own garden and for other people. Possibly if we were farther north and the ground was going to freeze solid there could be problems, but we aren't and there won't be.