African Garden + [witch hazel]

Minor Bulbs & Hellebores: March Bloom Day
Crocus chyrsanthus 'Princess Beatrix'

It's that time again, the 15th of month when Carol of May Dreams Gardens asks what's blooming in our gardens. Right now, the snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii) are finally taking their farewell bows, ceding the spotlight to those most stalwart and dramatic of early bloomers, the hellebores. This is a far different garden from that of March 15, 2011. In fact, the garden hasn't been this far along since 2000 (when things actually bloomed even earlier).

unnamed Helleborus x hybridus seedling

The unseasonably warm weather has called forth blooms from most of the hellebores already, including the decadently double 'Kingston Cardinal'.

My favorite is 'Ballerina strain'.

There are also solid dark purple, white ones and near black ones, but there's no room for photos of them here, as there's more to see in this March's garden.

There are the little irises in full bloom. The slightly shorter than average Iris reticulata 'Pixie',

and the larger blooming Iris histrioides 'Katharine Hodgkin'.

What makes these flowers such valuable additions to the early spring garden is that unlike crocuses and winter aconites (Eranthis species), which close up at night and on cloudy days, these little charmers remain open once they bloom.

The little daffodils are coming into bloom.

Narcissus 'February Silver'

'February Silver' just opened this morning. In a few days, the cup will fade to white.

The garden is not limited to bulbs and hellebores. The first of the native wildflowers has bloomed.

Hepatica nobilis var. acuta

The sharp-leaved hepatica always is the first to bloom in the parade of native woodland plants.

Still in full bloom and looking mighty fine is the witchhazel, Hammamelis x intermedia 'Sunburst'.

It seems to be trying to make up for its abysmal performance last year. Yes, all is forgiven. This morning, the Forsythia is showing colors in its buds; it will probably be in bloom within the week if this warm weather lasts.

Also in bloom:
Crocus siberi 'Tricolor'
Crocus tommasinianus
Eranthis cilicica
Galanthus elwesii
Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa
Narcissus 'Small Talk'
last fall's pansies
Scilla siberica