February has been a ping pong month for its Spring-like days and winter weather.

Is anyone else confused about this month’s weather? Besides the plants, I mean. The maples are supposed to bloom this month, but the frigid weather keeps their buds tightly closed. Our hellebores began blooming in January, but only a few opened in February because of the sleet, snow and ice. Most of their buds have remained closed. The snowdrops bloomed early along with one golden-yellow crocus, which stopped blooming, but shows colorful buds. Our spring Witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) is in full bloom. Theirs is one of the sweetest fragrances in the garden, reminiscent of Jasmine, especially the Lakeview Jasmine shrub that blooms indoors in the winter. I’ve seen daffodils blooming around town, but none here yet. What is blooming in your garden? P.S. This is a good time to transplant trees and shrubs and buy new ones.  See you in the garden!

Early snowdrop bloom

Early snowdrop bloom

Newly opened flower of Lenten Rose

Newly opened flower of a deciduous Lenten Rose, (Helleborus atrorubens).

I miss my Fragrant Daphne and our Japanese Apricot (Prunus mume), both early blooming, because they went to plant heaven. They’ve been here many years, brightening the winter days with fragrance and color. Here are photos of my dearly departed.

Winter-blooming Daphne with sweetly  frangrant  flowes.

Winter-blooming Daphne
with sweetly fragrant

Japanese Flowering Apricot

Japanese Flowering Apricot



Winter Color 2012

'Pink Icicle' camellia buds

‘Pink Icicle’ camellia buds

'Warren's Red' Possumhaw deciduous holy, has never had more than 4 berries until this year.

‘Warren’s Red’ I. decidua,  another native deciduous holly, has never had more than 4 berries until this year.

Possumhaw with leaves.

‘Warren’s Red’ Possumhaw with leaves.

Winterberry, Ilex verticilata, is our newest deciduous holly.

Winterberry, Ilex verticillata, is our newest deciduous holly.

Our mature femaile yaupon, a native evergreen, has its heaviest berry crop ever.

Our mature female yaupon, Ilex vomitoria, a native evergreen holly, has its heaviest berry crop ever.

Camellia flowers in December

Camellia flowers in December

Hollies, both evergreen and deciduous, add their color to the garden. My ‘Pink Icicle’ Camellia began blooming in November and is still budding and blooming. We’ve also added Burford hollies and female yews on the new berm for their future berries.  Enjoy!

What’s new in February?

Early daffodil, Dick Wellband, is joined by Ice Follies, Tete-a-Tete and Campernelle.

Even with the unseasonably warm weather, lots of plants are blooming right on time: Winter Daphne, Flowering Quince, Red Maples, snowdrops and early daffodils. Purple hyacinths are blooming early but the Lenten Rose is open on Ash Wednesday, today. While the sun is shining, walk around your own yard or a park nearby and see what is blooming.

Winter daphne has the sweetest lemony blooms, better than gardenia for me.

snowdrops are opening on time.

Lenten roses can be of several different colors, Helleborus orientalis or x hybridus.

Another color of Lenten rose.

My purple hyacinths have multiplied 4-fold and are blooming very early.

Plants for Winter Blooms

The evergreen shrub above  should be a must-have for gardeners suffering from winter blues. Daphne (D. odora aureomarginata) is full of buds right now. It will start blooming the last of January and continue right through February. The best thing about the flowers, since they are small, is that they smell wonderful, a lemony sweet fragrance. Float a few of the flower clusters in a small bowl to bring the rich scent into the home.

The flowers below belong to my Japanese Flowering Apricot tree, Prunus mume. It is a lovely small tree, not grown for its fruit, but for the early flowers. It is completely budded now. The buds are still tight, but they will open around the first part of February. Branches may forced in the house for even earlier blooms.








Hellebores, in the third photo, are sometimes called Lenten Roses. They begin to bloom in February also, and come in several colors:  white, white with speckles, pink, dark rose and a deep maroon that is almost black. Their evergreen leaves are palmate and the nodding flowers show up well in the foliage.

These plants keep winter from being too dreary. Include some in your garden for year-round flowers.