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March 2013
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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day March 2013

'Angelina' sedum in winter. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Ok, I’ve been away for a few months. Did you miss me? I have kind of missed being a part of the group, tracking what’s going on in the landscapes and yards of friends far and wide.

Despite the challenges of work, life has been good. I spent four days in Los Angeles recently to work on two commercials for a garden product. I had to make gardens look like June 1 in the Midwest and Northeast. That was a challenge, trying to make that happen with plants that looked an awful lot like California and not too much like Indiana or Massachusetts. But we got it done, scouring garden centers for real lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) and not California lilacs (Ceanothus spp.) and other plants.

Iris reticulata. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

 

Snow drops. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

And with all the skill of a pseudo trompe l’oeil artist, silk plants were stuck in the ground or wired to shrubs to complete the illusion.

But who can complain about four days of 80-degree days, blue skies and just the right breeze. Accommodations at The Shutters in Santa Monica were first rate, even if a bit quirky. How many hotel rooms have you been in that come equipped with a yo-yo?

Trevi Fountain pulmonaria. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Returning to March’s lion-like entrance March 2, followed by a weekend of 60-degree days, encourages me to think the windy month will go out like a lamb.

The warm days definitely caused plants to pop from the ground. Tommies (Crocus tommasinianus) have formed their seas of blue in one of my neighbors’ lawns and have begun to form blue puddles in my yard. Note to self: Don’t plant yellow crocus in the lawn because they sort of look like dandelions.

Closing following the show of early crocus are the tiny Iris reticulata. There are probably or Iris species planted, but they are all iris reticulata to me. And, I’m grateful that the two new stands of snow drops (Galanthus nivalis) I planted last fall have graced me with their presence this spring.

I give it to ‘Trevi Fountain’ Pulmonariafrom Terra Nova Nurseries for pulling through another droughty summer and chilly winter. The leaves have been there most of the winter and are beginning to brighten in the spring light. Never any

Cinnamon Snow hellebore. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

mildew on this beauty, either. I’ve had this plant since the 1990s.

Crocus forms sea of blue in neighborh's yard. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

I also can’t deny my love of ‘Angelina’ Sedum rupestre, which honestly looks as good in winter and it does in summer. I especially like a very large stand of the hardy perennial in another neighbor’s yard.

And, where would we be without hellebores? I can’t say enough good things about ‘Cinnamon Snow’ (Helleborus ballardai), one of the Helleborus Gold Collection, which has been blooming since December and it still going strong, albeit a little ratty from some of the harsh winds and snow.

Spring and the plants that emerge nourish hope in the gardener. I’m ready. (Should I mention the winter annual purple henbit (Lamium purpureum) is blooming? Hoe, hoe, hoe.

Winter annual (Lamium purpurea)