Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up March 2017: Seasonal Changes and Spring!

March 2017 Garden
As we head into spring, it is time to reflect on the garden once again. It has certainly been another unusual winter here in the northeast. There have been significant signs of a changing climate over the past few years with seasons shifting by several weeks. While Autumn has lingered well into December and January with milder than normal temperatures, winter has set back in with hopefully its last performance. Spring arrives in just five days, but the true arrival of spring temperatures this year and over the past few years have been delayed. There are many signs of spring however; and it's time for another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up. Come along and walk with me in my Long Island garden to see what's new for month of March!
Heuchera 'Caramel' and 'Evergold' Sedge
There have been visible foliage changes on many of the semi-evergreen perennials, such as on Heuchera 'Caramel' and 'Evergold' Sedge. Several days with temperatures up into the 60's over the past couple of weeks have prompted new growth. Right before new growth emerges, some of the foliage turns into a rainbow of color. 
Heuchera 'Caramel' (Coral Bells)
Heuchera 'Caramel' is showing its newer foliage much quicker in this sunnier location. The caramel colored foliage is really amazing, and as you know...it is one of my favorite perennials for all year interest!

Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
The Hellebore 'Shooting Star' is now in full bloom now during the month of March. They bring such a joy to the garden during the winter months, with blooms right into spring.

Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
I have three clusters of Hellebores on the north side of the property and they have been blooming ever since January. All they really need is a mostly shaded area with a well-drained soil. The only maintenance required is the removal of worn out leaves to allow for new growth. You can read more about Hellebores in a recent post.

Hellebore 'Shooting Star' Bud
The newly formed buds display a pinkish hue before opening to a large mature greenish-white flower with a tinge of pink towards the center.
'Crippsii' Hinoki Cypress (Left) and Nandina 'domestica' (Right)
Along on the northern side of the property with the Hellebores is Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii' (Crippsii Hinoki Cypress). The evergreen keeps its bright golden foliage all year long, and in spring new growth is lighter in color than deeper tones within. Next to the cypress is Nandina 'domestica' with its bright winter berries. Nandina domestica is also known as "false bamboo" because even though the foliage resembles bamboo, it is not a member of the bamboo family.
Nellie Stevens Berries March
Here are the Nellie Stevens Holly on the west side of the property.  This winter has been very good for their production of berries and these evergreen trees can be perceived from a distance as almost glowing! 
Weeping Pussy Willow March
One of my favorite trees at this time of year is Weeping Pussy Willow (Salix caprea Pendula). Weeping Pussy Willow is hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and grows to an approximate height and width of 6-8 feet. Its beautiful weeping characteristic is almost fountain-like and adds much interest to the landscape. The development of its large silvery-white catkins are one of the first signs of spring!
Weeping Pussy Willow Catkins March
The outer silvery hairs that appear as catkins are actually a protective cover for the reproductive parts below. Larger male catkins and smaller female catkins form in March on the same plant and burst open later in the month, exposing yellow pollen-bearing anthers and stigmas. 

Crocus Buds March

Here is a grouping of white crocus in the southwestern perennial border. There is always so much excitement with the sighting of the first buds. These appeared almost overnight!
Hyacinth Bud March
The Hyacinths in the perennial border are showing their buds as well.
Sedum
Here is Sedum 'Brilliant' forming its perfectly shaped rosettes that signal spring. Bright shocking pink blooms don't appear until late summer on this plant, but the foliage is just as to be admired. It is one of the most dependable and maintenance free perennials in the garden.

Hinoki Cypress 'Nana' and 'Montgomery' Globe Blue Spruce
As I have mentioned in the past, evergreens are the backbone of the garden, especially during the winter months. Here is a combination you have not seen before. In the backdrop is Dwarf Hinoki Cypress 'Nana' with Montgomery Globe Spruce in the foreground. Cypress 'Nana' is a true dwarf, this one reaching a height of only five feet in fifteen years. It is perfect for small spaces. In this case, I wanted the golden color of the evergreen without too much height in front of the pool area.
Northern Cardinal
The Cardinals are welcomed guests all winter long here on Long Island. I was able to get a capture of this Cardinal along with a Sparrow in mid-flight.

Northern Cardinal
I always find the male Cardinals to look so majestic!
Garden Whimsy
There's nothing like a little garden whimsy. This garden statue depicts a playful game of leap frog! You are getting a glimpse of it as we pass by the back secret garden.
March Visitor

Many of the birds that reside on the property have been carefully analyzing trees for housing, as they are anticipating building their nests for spring. I have noticed this ritual over the years and have seen a pattern of particular birds preferring certain trees. They get very territorial and tend to claim their real estate quickly!
Weeping Norway Spruce Left Pool Garden
The month of March has certainly been an interesting one. While I had already been out working in the garden during the milder days, the weekend right before Bloom Day brought about some of the coldest days of the winter, with a snowfall on the 10th.
March 10th Snowstorm
As quickly as spring bulbs were emerging, the snow came down and covered them, insulating them a little longer from the colder temperatures on the way. 
March 10th Snowstorm (Winter Storm Stella on the 14th)
The weekend before Bloom Day brought the northeast some of the coldest days of the entire winter with wind chills of -10 to -15 below zero, and now as Bloom Day has arrived, Winter Storm Stella just slammed much of the northeast with blizzard force winds and over a foot of snow. Due to the storm shifting west, the snow on the south shore of Long Island quickly changed over to sleet and rain.
March Garden 2017
While winter gets in its final farewell, this gardener is dreaming of spring. 
March Garden 2017
I hope you enjoyed your stroll through my March garden. Special thanks go out to our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Today's FlowersFloral FridaysMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods. Also check out Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides and Saturday's Critters at Viewing Nature with Eileen.


Gardening season is on the way! Have you had a chance to check out my books? If not, you can see my author page with links to previews of both books here. The first, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening focuses on specific types of gardens with plant recommendations and maintenance tips to keep your garden looking its best. The second book, Landscape Design Combinations goes into greater detail, teaching the concepts of design, while offering a multitude of garden plans with numbering and detailed descriptions of each plant suggested. If you have read either A Guide to Northeastern Gardening or Landscape Design Combinations and found them to be useful, please consider leaving a brief review. Reviews help a book get noticed (especially when new), and I would really appreciate your help! 




Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved


36 comments:

  1. Thanks for a walk through your garden, Lee. I liked the Globe Blue Spruce, it seems very pretty in this season. I also love nice white crocuses, mine are small as well.
    I agree, winter doesn't want to disappear, we have a little snow and below O (30 F) at night.

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    1. Your spring blooms peeking out from beneath the snow are beautiful Nadezda. Hopefully the snow will disappear and we will get warmer temperatures soon!

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  2. I have enjoyed this tour of your garden. The Pussy Willow catkins are so pretty! Glad you included the bird photos, too!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the tour Lea. I just got done admiring your beautiful Hellebores and Kerria, and cannot believe how many Daffodils you have blooming already! Happy Bloom Day!

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  3. Beautiful blooms and foliage. And snow! Stay warm.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy! It was a delight visiting your zone 9 garden. You have so many wonderful blooms in March. You have me looking forward to the Redbud blooms, but it will be a couple of months!

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  4. Thank you, as always, for your most beautiful pictures. Nothing for me to show today outdoors but lots of snow (almost 3 feet) so they were most welcome. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Alana! Spring cannot come soon enough, but we can dream about it for now. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful indoor blooms!

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  5. Glad you missed the worst of the storm, sounds like it's been pretty rough over there. Hellebore 'Shooting Star' is gorgeous.

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    1. We were very lucky Jessica but the poor folks north of us got a lot of snow. Hopefully springlike temperatures will arrive soon for all. I loved seeing your beautiful seed grown Hellebores. They are so hard to find in nurseries and I have thought of growing them from seed but was not sure how successful they would be. Love the Helleborus ‘Cinderella’!

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  6. Looks like your garden has weathered the snow pretty well.

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    1. I am glad your snow melted too Lisa so you can enjoy those pretty blooms. This winter certainly has been unpredictable with terrible weather. Hopefully March will go out "like a lamb" and spring will be wonderful!

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  7. What a bipolar month March has been for you folks in the northeast. Your blooms are only a week or so behind mine in zone 8 but we've had colder than normal temperatures and nearly constant rain. Happy GBBD!

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    1. It certainly has Peter. I enjoyed all the varieties of Hellebores you have in your garden and your camellia are also so gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Bloom Day!

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  8. It seems you escaped lightly where the snow was concerned, just as well for all your flowers. Your Globe Blue spruce is such a beautiful colour, it shines out in the sunshine.

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    1. Thank you Pauline. It is still freezing cold, but it is winter just getting in its last punch! The Hyacinths have gotten so much bigger and now the Daffoldils are coming up too!

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  9. Beautiful photos and nice blog. I´m glad to meet you. Greetings from Galicia.

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    1. Thank you Tania. I enjoyed your blog as well. Your wooden home in the woods surrounded by all that nature is simply wonderful!

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  10. Your garden is looking lovely! I really love your Heuchera. When I started gardening, I overlooked this plant. Now, It's one of my favorites. Happy almost spring :)

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    1. Thank you Angie! The new varieties of Heuchera just keep getting better and better! I enjoyed your latest post and seeing your spring container just makes me want to run right out to the local nursery and get my violas! Hope you weathered the storm alright and I guess for now we can just keep dreaming of spring.

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  11. Your garden is lovely under a cap of snow, Lee. And it's fun to the see the birds enjoying your garden foliage too. But my fave combo of the post has to be the Heuchera and 'Evergold' sedge - love it! Pam/Digging: penick.net

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    1. Thank you Pam! The Heuchera 'Caramel' became a real favorite of mine, since it is semi-evergreen, and even has color in wintertime. The foliage combination of the Coral Bells and Sedge is also one of my favorites, one that I had featured in my most recent book. Thanks for hosting Foliage Follow-Up!

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  12. I always enjoy touring your garden, Lee! The last few photos taken after the snowfall are especially lovely, though I'm sure you're as ready for spring as I am. Love the photos of the cardinals, too--they are my favorite, and I've seen them scouting out nesting locations lately here, too. I agree about the changing climate; we had very little snow this winter, which is very unusual.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the tour Rose and thank you for your kind words. You have some beautiful blooms as they find their way through winter's blanket of snow.

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  13. I see your winter has been even more volatile than mine! When will real spring arrive?

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    1. It has been crazy! You are definitely ahead of us Robin, so I will live virtually through your garden for now!

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    1. Our gardens certainly are different Endah and I enjoy seeing the different types of plants. Your ferns are beautiful!

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  15. Your March garden is lovely, Lee. My early blooms disappeared under 2 feet of snow. BTW - Sorry I haven't yet reviewed your books on Amazon -- I promise I'll get to it. P x

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    1. Thank you Pam! I hope your snow disappears soon from winter storm Stella. Spring has officially arrived, so we need to think warm thoughts and blooms! I am glad to have experienced the Philadelphia Garden Show along with you virtually through your wonderful photos!

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  16. Thank you for sharing your garden with us. There is this strange bright orb in the sky today. Maybe plants will spring to life soon.

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  17. New England springs are so unpredictable, we hope springs eternal! I'm waiting.

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    1. Yes...they certainly are! Each year spring seems to be a little more delayed, but the crocus (and now daffodils) are being resilient! Bring it on!

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  18. What a comprehensive post Lee...I enjoyed seeing everything that you have blooming and surprised by the snow that you got....I will check out your books, thank you for posting about them and thank you for linking in.....Michelle

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    1. Thank you Michelle! I am so glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for hosting. I always enjoy your wonderful photographs and stories.

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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