it’s just a lovely spring january day!

There is no global warming, right? Just a figment of our imagination, right?

For perspective, a year ago today in 2019:

My garden thought it was late March/early April yesterday. Today it’s definitely ready for spring break.

The air feels unnatural because it is this time of year for cold, crisp air not buoyant spring air. My bulbs are popping and this will wreak havoc with my hydrangeas undoubtedly. Also? Harmful pests won’t die off properly.

Is winter my favorite season? No not really but winter is a very important season in my garden. Right now even the songbirds are confused!

I did wander about looking at my witch hazels some more. They are supposed to be blooming!

And I checked out my evergreen ferns. They are so cool to see in the winter….hopefully winter returns soon. We need it or more of my plants will become confused and not just the daffodil bulbs starting to pop.

My rhododendrons are setting wonderful buds. Yet another reason for winter to return. I want flowers in the spring please.

Today I ordered tree peonies to be planted next fall. I am pretty excited about that. Mutan or tree peonies are slow growing but so worth it. Here is a bloom from 2016:

My dear friend Dr. Foo has the most amazing tree peony garden. The photo above this paragraph is one he gave to me a few years ago. He was even part of a big tree peony article in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2011.

These next two photos are tree peonies from Dr. Foo’s garden:

I do not have room for a lot of tree peonies, but I do want to introduce a couple more next fall. The good thing about the bones of a winter garden is you can look out and imagine where something might like to go.

Last year was a hard year on my peonies. While some bloomed amazingly well, I may have lost one or two to rot from too much rain, and later drought-like conditions may have also harmed other peonies.

There are three kinds of peonies. Tree, herbaceous, and Itoh. I have all three in my garden. My most reliable are the old time peonies (three bare root peonies purchased from White Flower Farm) but peonies can take a few years to get established so I have others which are getting fairly well established like the pair of Sorbet peonies I purchased from Applied Climatology a few years ago.

This is my sorbet:

Peonies do require patience. And when you plant them bare root, maybe you will get a flower or two your first subsequent spring, maybe nothing for a couple of subsequent springs. They need to get established. And if you don’t plant them exactly right they are fussy too. I planted a couple of peonies a smidge too deep and they didn’t bloom the first year after I planted them!

We’ll see what happens this spring with a lot of my newer peonies. I did have some bare roots I planted in the fall of 2018 that really didn’t show up last spring in 2019. We will see what happens this spring.

But until spring is truly here, I will be appreciative of my winter bloomers – my witch hazels.

Thanks for visiting with me today!