Signs of Spring

Achillea millefolium on 3-10-19, #552-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I took a few photos of the first perennials and bulbs coming up on March 7 and 10. Some have started coming up while others are a little slower. This winter has not been near as cold and we did have snow off and on which was different than last year. It makes a big difference as to what comes up and when. The constant cold spells and followed by warmer temps and thawing in between can cause some problems for some perennials. Even older well-established perennials can rot during winters like this one if not in a well-draining location.

The above photo shows new growth on the clump of Achillea millefolium closest to the house (o the north side) The one farther away from the house has not started coming up. I haven’t checked the one in front of the chicken house or by the barn. I haven’t noticed if the “wild” Achillea millefolium has started to come up or not. 2019 is our 8th anniversary.

Some of the Hosta has started coming up in the shade beds, but Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on the north side of the house is showing no sign. Hopefully, this is because the soil is still too cold in this spot.

I am going alphabetical order with the photos…

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-7-19, #551-1.

The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ (Bugleweed) under some remaining snow on March 7 is green and sending out new growth. 2019 is our 9th anniversary.

 

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-10-19, #552-2.

The colony that is by a Chinese Elm is still looking brown…

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ on 3-10-19, #552-3.

The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is starting to emerge from its winters sleep in the southwest corner bed. I need to keep a watchful eye on this one when its bugs start to open to see if it is really a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. I think someone goofed and put the wrong labels in the pots. The flowers on ‘Lunar Eclipse’ change color and I could have missed the “yellow” phase. I still think something is whacky though.

 

Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ on 3-7-19, #551-2.

All of the Heuchera (Coral Bells) are growing new leaves now. They don’t usually completely disappear over the winter even though they are dormant. Above, Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ is getting ready to strut its stuff again in 2019. It was definitely a top performer last summer even though the Japanese Beetles stripped its shade.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 3-7-19, #551-3.

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ struggled a little last summer but hopefully 2019 will be better. Maybe a little of ‘The Good Stuff’ is in order. This plant was nibbled on last spring but I am hoping it will escape that fate this year.

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 3-7-19, #551-4.

I AM THANKFUL for the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ continuing to do well after I almost lost it a couple of years ago. I moved it only a few feet from where it was to a new bed and it perked up. I really like this cultivar. We are celebrating our fifth annversary.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 3-7-19, #551-5.

Heuchera ‘Venus’ made it through the winter very well and appears to have started growing before the others. Maybe it is getting off to a good start for an AWESOME 2019. 🙂

If Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ returns it will be a miracle. It struggled last spring so I moved it to a new location. It continued to struggle and remained small although it was growing new leaves. It basically fizzled out by the end of the summer. BUT, you never know…

 

Geranium sanguineum on 3-10-19, #552-4.

The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) has had a few green leaves all winter. I wanted to move a few of these here and there last spring but didn’t. I think it would do better in a better-draining location. Sometimes it does very well here but sometimes not. To damp and crowded seems to cause a bit of a crown rot issue. They have survived here since dad relocated them from the “other house” in 1996. I planted them first in 1981 when I lived I “the other house” after grandpa died. Maybe this spring I can spread them around a little more. I guess this is the 38th anniversary of when I first bought the Geranium sanguineum from Bluestone Perennials in 1981.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ on 3-7-19, #551-6.

To be or not to be, that is the question… I bought this Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ from Mast’s Greenhouse last June 7th but it remained very small. That was very strange since this cultivar is supposed to get big. I am not sure if it was mislabeled or if the company they bought it from used a growth retardant to keep them small. Maybe they didn’t want to put them in a bigger pot. That would be weird since it is a Hosta and it seems they would have put them in larger pots in the first place (since ‘Blue Angel’ is a large Hosta). You just never know… I will see what happens this year… If it remains small I will have to figure out what cultivar it is.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 3-10-19, #552-5.

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is getting off to a good start although it is looked like this most of the winter. It is kind of weird and seems to like a good part of its, umm, clump above ground. I put it deeper last spring after it got going, and then again later I think and here it is like this again… GEEZ! This is my first miniature Hosta so maybe this is normal for them. I don’t know… The roots have not heaved up because it is firmly in the ground. Weird… I am just thankful it survived two winters doing the same thing.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 3-7-19, #551-7.

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is getting ready to start its second year. This is a very delightful gold-leaved Hosta that always brightens up the area. NICE!

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 3-7-19, #551-8.

Hmmm… There appears to be a hole where Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is supposed to be… What kind of a deal is this? Did it rot? Maybe it fell into a mole run… I will have to check in a few days.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 3-10-19, #552-6.

One of the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is just barely beginning to emerge while the other hasn’t even started. Hopefully, they will both come up so I can put them back together again. This is our 5th anniversary.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 3-7-19, #551-9.

The always AWESOME Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is up and ready to rumble. When this Hosta starts coming up and temperatures cooperate, there is nothing that can stop it. It takes off and starts growing like crazy. This is quite a beautiful large dark green leaved Hosta that I really like. This may be our 10th annversary.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ on 3-7-19, #551-10.

The Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ is just beginning to come up. Its clump is pretty large but only 1-2 sprouts have come up so far. This multiple award winner is always beautiful and one of the reasons I like Hosta so much. This is our 10th anniversary.

Hosta’s ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’, ‘Empress Wu’, ‘Kossa Regal’, ‘Red October’, ‘Sum and Substance’, and ‘Whirlwind’ have not appeared yet… ‘Empress Wu’ was coming up last March 3 when I took photos. ‘Abique Drinking Gourd’, ‘Krossa Regal’, and ‘Red October’ take a little longer. ‘Sum and Substance’ and Whirlwind’ were new in 2018 so I am not sure when they normally wake up.

 

Lycoris squamigera on 3-10-19, #552-8.

The Lycoris squamigera (Ressurection Lily, Surprise Lily) are up and beginning to give their spring display of green leaves. After the leaves die the bulbs will lie dormant then flower around the first part of August from their dormant bulbs. I thought they were Amaryllis belladonna for many years because they look and behave very similar. Both are members of the Amaryllis family Amaryllidaceae. These have not been flowering very well for several years and no doubt have been here since at least the 1960’s. Oh yeah, it also shares the name Naked Ladies with several other members in the family.

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ on 3-7-19, #551-11.

The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny) is off to a good start for 2019 because it remained all winter. When winters are very cold like last year, it completely disappears. No telling where it is heading this summer since it didn’t die back over the winter. GEEZ! That’s OK because there are several bare spots I can stick it as well as move it around here and there. It makes a great groundcover and living mulch. 🙂 This is our 5th anniversry.

 

Nandina domestica on 3-10-19, #552-9.

The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) has had a few green leaves all winter. I really love this shrub and I am very glad I bought it with me from Mississippi. Although it is a Japanese native that has become invasive in some areas. The Missouri Department of Conversation website says, “Many cultivars are available having more or less reddish leaves, smaller overall size, and so on. These are currently very popular in garden centers. We urge you to try a native-species alternative.” Hmmm… Heavenly Bamboo are evergreen in warmer climates. If you haven’t tried this shrub, I suggest you do. You will see why they are one of my favorites. It has been 11 years since I met the Nandina domestica.

 

Narcissus pseudonarcissus on 3-0-19, #552-10.

These Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Daffodile, etc.) have also been here on the farm since the 1960’s when my grandma, no doubt, planted them. There is a HUGE group of them beside the Lycoris squamigera. If these plants could talk I am sure they could tell you a lot about their history.

 

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ on 3-10-19, #552-11.

The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is growing again and ready to have the old trimmed away. I really like this plant because it is about as care-free you can get. Thriving in the fill in the corner by the back of the house and back porch, it doesn’t get a lot of attention but still performs amazingly well. I have concluded ‘Walker’s Low’ is a cultivar of the hybrid Nepeta x faassenii instead of Nepeta racemosa because it doesn’t seem to spread by seed. The seeds are sterile so this cultivar stays in a tidy clump. If it were a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa, it would be spreading by seed as well. Well, I am making that point because some websites call it Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (i.e. The Missouri Botanical Garden). One of the parents is N. racemosa… Ummm… One reliable website also says Nepeta faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ which is also incorrect. It should be written with an “x” to say it is a hybrid… Strange how the Missouri Botanical Garden says it is a cultivar of N. racemosa then say it has to be propagated by division because the seeds are sterile… Just saying… This will be our 3rd summer.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-12.

I uncovered the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ last week to see how it was doing. I usually keep a big flower pot over it over the winter just in case. The leaves didn’t even turn all brown and crispy this winter. This is our 6th anniversary.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-13.

I was glad to see new growth early again this year and I am always HOPEFUL it will flower. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I thought surely it would flower last year since it got an early start but it didn’t. You just never know… I thought about switching places with it and the Baptisia, which I still might do. The Baptisia gets taller and somewhat pushy…

 

Physostegia virginiana on 3-7-19, #551-14.

The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) has been covered with leaves in the southeast corner of the old foundation. Leaves always blow in this corner so the Obedient Plant is well protected over the winter. It has spread quite a bit which is why I wanted it in this spot. It is one of “those areas” I wanted something to fill in the corner which makes mowing and trimming easier. Putting “invasive” plants in corners where they can fill in seems like a good idea to me and it works nicely. Only our 2nd anniversary.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 3-10-19, #552-12.

I really need to do some work on the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’. I have them growing in various places and they all do OK. BUT, a couple of years ago I put a few in the northeast corner bed of the old foundation. It this spot they have gone completely bananananananas so they need to be spread out a little. There are also several Rudbeckia hirta (the wild species) in this location which has also done well. This is our 7th anniversary (from Walley Morse in Mississippi).

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 3-10-19, #552-13.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (May Night’) is always jumping and raring to go and the first of the perennials to emerge. This plants clump has barely gotten larger since the spring of 2013… This is our 6th anniversary.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ on 3-7-19, #551-15.

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’, like the other Sedum, are all aglow in their winter colors. Well, I suppose it isn’t really glowing, more like blushing. The lower leaves of the sedum fall off during the winter while the top leaves remain and turn a reddish color. I thankful Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ survived the winter. Hopefully, the plant with the mostly white leaves will return so I can attempt to take a few cuttings. Such a joy when one of your plants “mutates” into something different. This is our 7th anniversary (I brought it from Mississippi).

 

Sedum kamtschaticum on 3-7-19, #551-16.

The Sedum kamtschaticum (Orange or Russian Stonecrop) that isn’t variegated sprawled out a bit last summer which led more plants. I really like the bigger chartreuse-green leaves on this Sedum. If it does well, maybe I can determine if it is the subspecies Sedum kamtschaticum subsp. ellacombeanum which is larger with bigger leaves. This is our 3rd anniversary although it seems much longer…

 

Sedum spurium on 3-7-19, #551-17.

I still haven’t decided if I should call this Sedum spurium the cultivar ‘Dragon’s Blood’ or not. It has always done well but it doesn’t appreciate being called ‘?’. There are other options besides ‘Dragon’s Blood’ which determining the cultivar somewhat difficult. ‘Dragon’s Blood’ has been popular for many years and since I bought it unlabeled from an Amish Greenhouse, it is pretty likely that is what it is. This could be our 4th anniversary.

 

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ on 3-7-19, #551-18.

The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ has really spread a lot since 2017 and it kind of getting out of its boundary. It tells me since it is a Sedum spurium it doesn’t have boundaries. I think we need a new contract specifically describing its limitations…

 

Sempervivum ‘Killer’ on 3-7-19, #551-19.

Last summer the Sempervivum ‘Killer’ amazed me with so many flowers! I had not had any Semps flower before, so I was pretty impressed. The problem is, Sempervivum are monocarpic which means the plant that flowers die… That has left a lot of dead plants in this cluster although there is a number of smaller pants that are taking their place. I just have to clean up the clump and make sure all the rosettes are in the soil. There are quite a few that are just laying on the surface of the soil. This is our 2nd anniversary.

 

Stachys byzantina on 3-10-19, #552-14.

I think there is only one remaining clump of the Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear). I am thankful it survived and has spread somewhat so I can relocate a few. This is our 6th anniversary.

 

Syringa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-7.

There are several Lilac (Syringa sp.) in “the other yard” that are very old. Heck, they were old and overgrown when I was a kid. There are different species of Lilac and they don’t all bud and flower at the same time. Only one is budding at the moment but the other two will soon follow. There was another one but it had Poison Ivy growing in it. I sprayed the Poison Ivy after a few years of trying other means to eradicate it. Next thing I knew, the whole Lilac bush was also dead…

 

Tulipa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-15.

The AWESOME cluster of red Tulips are up and soon will dazzle us with flowers. There was a big bed of tulip in the “other front yard” grandma had planted many years ago. when I moved to the farm in the 1980’s I dug what I could up and moved them along the fence by the garden (I also added more I bought). None of them are there now but there are always a few that come up in the old bed. They are still there because the bulbs are so deep I couldn’t find them.

I haven’t noticed the yellow Crocus in “the other yard” that magically came up last spring. Neither dad or I planted them and neither one of us had ever seen them before. That covers a 37 year period…

Well, that’s it for now. I hope your spring is filled with joy and happiness and you have a great summer ahead. I am so glad to see the grass beginning to turn green and the trees budding out. Time for some color! Time to GET DIRTY!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive.

8 comments on “Signs of Spring

  1. Jim R says:

    You are well ahead of us. Finally, our snow cover is mostly gone. There are still ice mountains along the curbs and near parking lots. But the ground is visible in the yard and the trees behind. If I did some close inspection, I’d find some evidence of growth. Vultures should be back within the next week or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s wonderful seeing those new shoots pushing their way through the earth as Spring gets underway..
    Take care Mr R.. and lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Debbie from surrey uk says:

    Great to see all the plants popping their heads up! The sun 🌞 is out here & im off to get dirty!

    Liked by 1 person

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