The camellias, cherries, corylopsis, and other trees and shrubs are hard to miss but there are more subtle elements creeping into play. These are all low woodland perennials. We have, what's the technical term, a bazillion? different epimediums but this is the first. And it's got good-sized flowers. Plus it was wild collected. Seeing the hepatica cheers me up and depresses me at the same time. Within my lifetime, our native hepatica, which had been a predictable resident of open deciduous forests, has basically disappeared. Deer ate them all. I suppose there are isolated survivors, but you can't go for a walk in the woods now in late winter and expect to see hepatica.
Today's temps were reasonable for this time of year, but we're in a cold period. By next Thursday we're looking for 86F, 30C. That's seriously warm. I'm thinking we're 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule, and the odd thing is that I'm not worried about a late frost. It's going to drop to around freezing tonight, a few degrees above or a few degrees below, but that won't hurt anything. I guess I'm foolishly challenging fate by being so confident, but cold just doesn't seem like what's happening this year......Now ask me if I'm worried about ridiculously high summer temperatures and I'd have to admit that that has crossed my mind. The Washington Post weather blog just posting to the effect that very warm winters are normally followed by cool summers. I'm not completely convinced.