}

December 22, 2011

A mild December - What's in bloom, outdoors.

A DAPHNE MEZEREUM 'ALBA' IS IN FULL BLOOM, ON THIS MILD, DECEMBER MORNING
Every Few Years, we experience a mild December, if not a mild winter here in New England, making some of us dream a little that perhaps, we are gardening in Britain, when such winters are the norm. Much of Europe and the UK have winters that hover around freezing, allowing Hellebores and Daphne to bloom in December and January. Dreams of such weather occuring in the Boston area are unrealistic, since December and January typically means deep snow and frigid temperatures near 0 deg. F.





 Call it an effect from global warming, El Nino or just a freak coincidence - our zone 5 New England garden feels more like Worcester England, than Worcester, Massachusetts, with a record-breaking "warmest November and December in recorded history'. There are some benefits, however, besides my greenhouse heating bill being reduced significantly - many plants are blooming much earlier this year, both inside the greenhouse, and most noticiably, outdoors. Hellebores are budding, narcissus are emerging and some late-winter blooming shrubs are starting to flower.

 It's not unusual for our garden to have something in bloom outdoors, each month of the year, but often one needs to look harder than we have this year. Surely, colder weather will arrive, and put an end to all of this talk about an early spring, but until then, we enjoy our 'very British' winter. 

A HELLEBORE IS NOT SHY ABOUT SHOWING  ITS BUDS - IN A 'NORMAL' SEASON, WE WOULD NOT SEE THIS  BUD FORMATION UNTIL MARCH. HELLEBORES ARE INDEED WINTER-BLOOMING PLANTS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, FOR THEY PREFER MILD WINTERS.

EVEN ALPINES ARE STARTING TO BUD, LOOK CLOSELY AND FIND THE YELLOW BUD ON THIS DRABA SPECIES GROWING IN AN ALPINE TROUGH.

2 comments :

  1. Glad you're having a mild winter so far! When I moved to PDX a few years ago, I couldn't believe how mild the winters are.

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  2. It is nice to see these blooming now giving gardeners their perfect Christmas presents. Have to try a daphne again, especially like the white form.

    I have had hellebores blooming, not just in bud. I even had one of my snowdrops bloom last month.

    Merry Christmas.

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