Thursday, March 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up March 2018: Bring on Spring!

March Garden
What a difference a day can make! Welcome to this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up! Saying that the month of March has been unpredictable would be an understatement. March came in like a lion on the 2nd. with one of the worst storms we have had in a while, bringing in high winds and torrential rains for the northeast. The rains brought renewal to the garden and with temperatures in the 40's and 50's, the landscape started to become alive. On the 7th, our first thunder snow in years brought thunder, lightening and 6 inches of snow, followed by sunshine, blue skies and melting on the 8th. The vernal equinox is just less than a week away and the gardens are showing signs of full spring ahead. Come along for a walk in my March Long Island garden, and be ready for some surprises along the way!
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' (Lenten Rose)
Hellebores are one of the first perennials to bloom in late winter/early spring, so I had to plant some in the north garden some years ago. I am always in awe over their large beautiful blooms.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' (Lenten Rose)
Lets get close up and take a look. The anatomy of the flower is quite intriguing, with an eye-catching spiral pattern of many stamens surrounding several pistils at the center, forming a structure that resembles a pin wheel.
Weeping Pussy Willow Catkins!
It's March, so it's time for Pussy Willow catkins. The tree's small white fuzzy buds emerged from brown pods and tripled in size after the rains.
Weeping Pussy Willow March
The birds that frequent the property compete for this Weeping Pussy Willow tree every spring to see who will get to nest there. All day long there is activity with various groupings of birds, mostly consisting of sparrows, mockingbirds and chickadees. They find the tree to be very reliable for providing protection and there are baby birds every spring.
Bird Visitors Seek A Nesting Site
Follow along with me towards the front of the property. One of my goals when planning is to create all year interest in the garden. The Golden Oriental Skyland's Spruce and Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum Sangu Kaku') do just that. Each specimen tree changes in appearance throughout the seasons.
Coral Bark Maple 'Sangu Kaku' Bright Red Bark in March (on left) and Skyland's Spruce (right)
Coral Bark Maple (photo left) starts off the season with light yellow-green foliage which turns to medium green and eventually to a vibrant golden-orange in fall. The bark glows a coral-red hue in wintertime, especially when the temperatures are at their lowest, and appears most vibrant when it snows.
Skylands Oriental Spruce (Left)and Coral Bark Maple (Right)
Skylands' Oriental Spruce (photo left) shows off its beautiful golden foliage all year long, but gets bright golden tips on new growth in spring. The tree produces large purplish-brown cones, which mature to their full size by the end of winter. If you look up, the underside of each branch is a deeper green with golden highlights on the upper surface, creating a two-toned effect.
Liriope (Front) and Blue Star Juniper (Backdrop)
Around to the east side, Liriope from last season and Juniperus 'Blue Star' still provide interest in the winter garden. The golden-green grass-like blades of the Liriope will be cut back within the next few weeks to allow for new growth. It is best not to cut this perennial all the way back in autumn, as the foliage provides protection during winter.

Front Walkway
Here is a long view of the front walkway area with Weeping White Birch, 'Blue Star' Juniper, Golden Sweet Flag and 'Gold Spot' Euonymus to the left of the tree. Beyond that is Euonymus 'Greenspire' and Weeping White Pine.
~OVER NIGHT~
March Snow on the 7th!
What???!!! Just as spring was on its way, March played it's unpredictable game on the 7th. Weather forecasts called for snow, but since the temperatures had been so mild, it was unlikely...right? The storm started as rain during the day and quickly turned into a heavy snow by late afternoon, bringing six inches of white to cover the landscape.
March Snow Covers the Garden
Being the enthusiastic gardener that I am, of course I had to quickly run outside with camera in hand to capture the snow covered garden from what was hopefully the last snowfall of the season. I do enjoy the view of the pool area covered in a blanket of white.
March Landscape in Snow 
The view of the Coral Bark Maple in the front is also a beautiful sight as the reddish bark actually seems to glow through the snow covered branches.
Garden Gal & Boy After the Snow
As quickly as the snow came, it started to melt. 
After the Snow Next Morning
The next day, the sky was as blue as could be and the garden was headed back into spring mode.
After the Snow By Afternoon
I think the Weeping Pussy Willow got even more catkins on it and the birds were happy that the snow was over 
as they went back to their usual routine.
Visitors
This Blue Jay actually allowed me to capture him through the camera lens as he perched on a tree above.
Blue Jay in March

~THREE DAYS AGO~
Bring on Spring! (Daylillies)
Now, let's get back to the tour after our step back in time. In the garden, daylilies, hyacinths and alliums are starting to emerge and make their appearance.
Hyacinths
If you look closely, you can see little purple and pink hyacinth buds forming. They will progress a bit each day from now on in.

Allium 'Globemaster'
The Allium 'Globemasster' bulbs are sprouting and have multiplied from the original three that were planted two years ago to now what is looking like a possible eight or nine!
Sedum
Sedum 'Brilliant' is one of those low maintenance perennials that looks attractive even when it is just coming up. A multitude of rosettes are now visible. Now, it is really starting to look like spring here on Long Island. Hopefully, there won't be any more surprises for the month of March, but we all know that March can be unpredictable!
OH NO!!! 
March 13th
March 2018 Garden

I hope you enjoyed this month's tour through my 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 Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods. Also check out Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides, Wednesday Around the WorldDishing It & Digging It and Image-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday.
Gardening Season is Almost Here!
Check Out My Books For Planning Your Garden:

~As Always...Happy Gardening and Happy Almost Spring!~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. 

44 comments:

  1. Hi there, Lee! What a great garden tour. Here in Scotland, UK, we had similar on and off snow from the end of February and into March. I enjoy watching the birds that find the garden feeders during times like this. I too enjoy the hellebores opening and the structure of their flower.

    As for your coral barked maple, I've got one too and love it early morning especially when sunshine just lights it up! it's fun to hear where your birds choose to nest. I always admire the Blue Jay in US gardens. Happy GBBD :-)

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    1. Hi Shirley. Thanks for visiting. I enjoyed your beautiful photographs and you have such a variety of bird visitors. The Waxwings are stunning and not a species we generally see around here, so you are lucky to have them.

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  2. Hello Lee!
    Yes March is unpredictable here as well. We have had a lot of snow but the temps climbed up to +3 C (35F), wind and rain that hit the snow and it began to melt. I was glad and as you took my camera to take photos. But the joy was short - winter came back, we have -7 C (20 F).
    Lovely pictures of hellebore, hyacinths and especially of Coral Bark Maple. What a nice plant!

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    1. Hi Nadezda. I saw your snowy pictures and it looks a lot colder there. Our temperatures have generally been in the 40's, which still seems cold for spring right around the corner!

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  3. Love your Hellebores! Enjoyed seeing the birds, and all those beautiful trees. Though we have not had snow in March, our temperatures have been going up and down like a yo-yo!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea in Mississippi

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    1. Thank you Lea! They give hope of spring while everything else is delayed. Your spring blooms are encouraging and the spirea blooms are so beautiful and dainty. It looks like spring has started where you are!

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  4. Yikes! That snow looks cold but beautiful. Love your gorgeous images of so much happening in your garden. Thank goodness that spring will eventually win this tug of war!

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    1. Thank you Peter. All your spring blooms are encouraging, especially the Iris reticulata 'Katherine Hodgkin' and Hellebores! Spring is struggling to get here, so hopefully soon!

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  5. The blue jay is a striking bird. We have more snow forecast - I’m hoping things change and it doesn’t materialise.

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    1. There's more snow in the forecast for here too. Spring can't come soon enough! I am glad your pretty blooms survived the snow.

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  6. It appears that you have all the memes covered. I love the coral bark maple. I can see that I have mine planted too close to the house. I am good at that. Your garden looks so mature. I love all the conifers. Weeping trees are some of my favorites. I have yet to get a weeper to live for me. Those dang house sparrows will nest anyplace. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Thank you Lisa. Planting for winter interest is a major goal of mine. I enjoyed seeing your lovely spring blooms and I especially love the assortment of Hellebores. Happy Bloom Day!

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  7. I love seeing what’s happening in other peoples’ gardens, and even though we live very far apart (I’m in Kent, UK) it is surprising how similar the stages of spring have been, with your day lilies and hyacinths being about where mine are, and some more snow on its way. Different birds though, which is lovely. Xxx

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    1. Hi Ali. Thank you for visiting. I always enjoy seeing visitors from across the globe. Even though we are far away from one another, it could be very possible that we are in the same zone with similar plants. It's nice that we are all connected that way.

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  8. What an absolutely stunning garden! As a gardener in Z5 in southern Wisconsin I really appreciate your beautiful evergreens and the glorious weeping willow. A beautiful looking garden in winter and without flowers. It must be a great sales tool when you talk with clients. Alas ,still cold enough here with lingering snow that little is happening.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Linda. I enjoyed your winter garden and see that you also have some nice evergreens. They are so essential in the northern garden, especially during the colder months.

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  9. How lovely to see spring in your garden, Lee. We are getting no break from the snow, with another nor'easter forecast for next week and very little thawing between storms. I love your weeping pussy willow. I had one in England, and should think about planting one here. P. x

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    1. Bulbs are running a little behind schedule here Pam, but the Weeping Pussy Willow always comes through! I enjoyed the virtual visit to the Philadelphia Flower Show through your blog. Thanks for sharing the spring views!

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  10. March really is a fickle month. That maple is stunning, especially when covered in snow.

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  11. I always enjoy a visit to your blog. You have certainly succeeded in your ambition to have year-round interest! I love the weeping pussy willow, for its shape and velvety catkins and because it is so wildlife friendly.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Deb. I enjoyed all your beautiful spring blooms and having Bluebirds is wonderful!

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  12. I am a new visitor to your blog and I enjoyed this post very much. While I live in the Northwest, I can still appreciate your approach to gardening and your appreciation of design! Hopefully you have seen the last of the snow!

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    1. Hi Angie. Thank you for visiting my blog, because that is how I found yours! I enjoyed the virtual tour of Durham and learning about its history.

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  13. And here I'd been describing our weather in coastal Southern California a roller-coaster, Lee. We've got nothing on you! I love those hellebores - mine are noticeably absent this year. I so wish I could grow pussy willows too.

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    1. Hi Kris. You are so far ahead of us and I am in awe over the abundance of blooms you have in your garden. Hopefully our roller coaster weather will subside and spring can get going in the northeast!

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  14. Your garden is certainly beautiful in every season of the year, Lee! I love the photo of the statue of the boy and girl topped with snow. We used to have a pussy willow tree, but it was felled by a storm one year. I've been thinking about replacing it and am inspired by your weeping pussy willow--love this one! We haven't been hit with all the snow you have had recently, but even so, your garden seems ahead of mine--amazing to see all the new green coming up already.

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    1. Thank you so much for you kind words Rose. As soon as I saw the little piles of snow on the heads of the garden statue, I had to run outside with camera to capture the moment before the snow melted. It just said it all! You seem to be having some signs of spring where you are, and your crocus are ahead of mine!

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  15. Gosh your garden is full of life. I love the catkins and the snow covered statue.
    Snow makes for beautiful photographs.
    I was hoping our snow would start to melt today but sadly it is snowing as I type....sigh.

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    1. Thank you Cheryl. It's getting there but we seem to be in the same weather pattern with snow. At least the Hellebores are blooming. I love the colors on yours!

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  16. How interesting to see the spring flowers and then snow! I do hope the snow doesn't stay very long.

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    1. It has been a roller coaster of a winter (and spring) Betty! Hopefully, we are on spring forward now.

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  17. Your hellebores are beautiful! You have some lovely trees! I don't think I've even seen a weeping Pussy Willow before, but it is so pretty. The Coral Bark looks so nice even in the snow! This March has been quite the winter rollercoaster, with nor'easter every week!

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    1. Thank you! The early blooms and coral red bark of the Maple keep me going from late winter into early spring. I enjoyed your visit to the Boston Flower Show. The local nursery opens here tomorrow and I can't wait!

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  18. Lovely images.
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-beautiful-biltmore-estate.html

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    1. Thank you for hosting Sue. I enjoyed the virtual tour of Biltmore!

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  19. This weather has been awful, but this is a lovely post Lee.. We had planted dogwood and spicebush and another shrub.. Six in all that we were out gently taking that heavy wet snow of as they were bending. We lost some lilac branches too....Michelle

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    1. It certainly has Michelle, but the snow is finally melting and my first crocus opened up today! We went through the entire winter with no damage until this last snow, when a branch snapped off my Weeping Japanese Maple. Luckily, the tree is large enough that anyone else wouldn't be able to tell. Sorry to hear about your Lilac. Hopefully this is it for winter weather!

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  20. The awakening of spring! Beautiful shots. The days are finally warming.

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    1. Thank you Lisa. I enjoyed all your glorious shades of crimson blooms for spring!

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  21. Your garden has been on a real roller coaster ride! Your goal of displaying winter interest has been achieved in spades. Such interesting texture and color combinations.

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    1. Thank you Robin! I love your color combination with the crocus and sedum and colorful views of Selby and Epcot. I'm with you on going to a theme park to look at the blooms, and gorgeous they are! Happy spring!

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  22. Love your Weeping Pussy Willow in particular. We had an oddly snowless March, but it has been really cold. Now that its April we've had snow, but at least it didn't stay on the ground. I am so looking forward to warmer weather!!!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer. It is my favorite for early spring delight! It has been a strange winter and early spring with snow all the way up to April 2nd. We need spring NOW!!!

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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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