Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, February 15, 2010

Abracadabra~Watch me Pull A Rabbit Out Of My Hat For GBBD!

After consulting the wisest of wise...
It's been concluded that there will be little if any
Witch hazel 'Bernice' this past weekend

bloom like we had last year.
Those days were balmy and
the hellebores, daffodils, crocus, pansies and
of course the glorious 'Bernice' Hamamelis vernalis and 'Diane' H intermedia
declared in last year's post
"I'm Ready For My Close-Up".
Indeed they were beautiful.

We've had unusually harsh weather and
only the witch hazels have been brave enough

to unfurl their crepe paper petals
and that is only when the
day warms up.

Yowie Zowie!

Look what I found!
Hellebore buds!
They were hiding under the leaves!
I was looking for the crocus I planted last fall
and pushed aside the leaves to see
how the hellebore were fairing.

I am so gosh darned excited!
They are dressed and
ready to take a bow.

Though winter's hold is still tight and snow is expected for the next few days;
residents of this garden have a lot to celebrate...

There is beauty all around.
You have to look closely or
you might overlook a gem hidden here and there.
Behind the brilliant cardinal is
'White By The Gate' Camelia japonica
If you look closely (try squinting your eyes)
there are a few buds that aren't completely brown!
Yippee! We might have flowers after all.

On top of discovering some bloom in the garden~
There's been a revitalizing vacation to Spa Archives.
Where my love affair with the garden has been re-kindled.
Long time visitors know that
there was never any danger of a breakup,
but, my attention had been straying.

Who can fault a gardener for

California Dreamin on such a winter's day

So, please spring~~ don't keep us waiting much longer!

Whether you are lost in day dreams of warm and sunny days or firmly rooted in your own garden; it's February 15 and that means Bloom Day! An event that knows no geographical boundaries and is celebrated hither and yon in this great big wonderful world we inhabit. Please visit Carol, May Dreams Gardens for a link to all gardenbloggers who are celebrating the day!

Have fun out there, keep warm and be safe.


Oz image credit


  1. Our gardens are in a similar state. I refused to post brown camellia blossoms, but I was able to find two hellebores and a pansy. It's pathetic.

    I see that you still have your spirits. Happy GBBD!

  2. You are so lucky to have hellebore buds and your Witch Hazel. Here all is covered by snow. I did get out yesterday and take a picture of the few snowdrops that dare to bloom before the snow dumped on us again. No Hellebore buds. I looked for them. boo hoo. Spring will eventually get here. I am sure of it. It happens every year, she says to herself unconvincingly. Happy GBBD.

  3. The Witch Hazel is a tough plant...lovely Hellebore buds..yes this winter has been very harsh! Here's to looking forward..

  4. Hooray for the hellebore buds, and anything else that looks like it might bloom in the future after this dire winter blows on through! Bernice looks lovely and is a reminder of a sweet lady, wicked sense of humor or not. We in fact consider wicked remarks a personality plus! Do stay warm and enjoy the Spa! :-)

  5. Gail,

    There sure isn't much happening right now around here. A nice blanket of white this morning though. One day our witch hazels will look as nice as yours, I hope. I'm ready for winter to move on!

  6. But, Bullwinkle, that trick never works. HA! Love the witch hazel blooms and hellebore buds.

  7. I love the budding flowers of your trees. Always great sign to know that spring is right around the corner.

  8. Having those Witch Hazels make this a great GBBD ! Love the different colors. I too am California Dreamin' or at least warmer temps dreamin'.

  9. This long, long winter hasn't dulled your inspiration, Gail--what a clever post! I love Bernice and Diane, of course, but how exciting to see some hellebore buds. I'd go outside right now to see if I could find any buds on mine, but unfortunately, the snow is falling once again. I'm doing some "Arizona dreamin'" right now:)

  10. Fantastic post!

    And, this 100% seals the deal that I MUST RUN, not walk, to my local garden center and procure some witchhazels.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  11. It's great that the hellebore has a bud! How fun! Happy bloom day!

  12. Pull a rabbit out of a hat, or coax a bird out of a bush. Either way, February holds promises for the coming season. Stay warm.

  13. Lovely blooms. I have been finding some life ones the leaves here too(-: I need to hurry and get the leaves all raked up!(-: Happy Bloom Day!

  14. Some rabbit Gail. They are gorgeous. My camellia has bloomed & all the rain we've had it literally pulled the blooms off. They are laying on the ground.

  15. Good morning. Those hellebore certainly are tough little guys.

    If I had to show a bloom today, I would be forced to photograph my floral sofa pillows:) You all south of here are lucky:) Hope this latest round of snowstorms doesn't hit you.

    BTW, love the photo of the Red Bellied Woodpecker on the sidebar!!!

  16. Ah, yes, that California Dreamin'

    Of course we have mudslides and Tule fog, and don't get me started on our budget crisis.

    I actually wouldn't mind that much being over there where you are in winter, snow has its own charm. What would get to me are the bugs you wrote about in summer...

    Happy bloom day Gail!

  17. I would be excited too Gail ... to find your beautiful perfect Hellebore buds!! Spring is in your garden ... courageously standing up to winters fickleness. I hope you get lots of blooms on your camellia! Beautiful magical photos! Carol

  18. Gail, you are still a bit ahead of us. We are shivering in Oklahoma, but we can still wish you a Happy Bloom Day. Come on spring!~~Dee

  19. I like those hellebore buds... but am completely besotted by 'Bernice'!!! :) Happy Bloom Day, Gail!

  20. Wonderful witch hazels, Gail - what a treat to see them, and the hellebore too. It gives those of us in the snowy north hope for spring!

  21. aloha,

    what a cool video,thanks for posting that it made my day!

  22. Hello Gail,

    I enjoy the photos of beautiful Witch Hazel blooms that I have seen lately. It does not grow in the Arizona desert, so I get to enjoy others blooms. The pink shade is my favorite. Just think....next month the weather will be warmer and the Hellebores will be in full bloom :^)

  23. How nice to find little garden surprises!

    I just walked out thru my beds. Not much out there but I have to say my strawberry plants are looking good considering how much snow they were buried under.

  24. Who was it that said a single flower in winter is more thrilling than an entire bouquet in summer? Okay so that isn't verbatim but the idea is there. Your hellebores are such a rich color and the foliage is the perfect accompaniment.

    It's interesting how the witch hazel blossoms are turned in. They don't like the cold either. :)

    After two years of drawn out winters we're getting an early spring this year. So far anyway.

    My fingers are crossed for the safe arrival of the camellia blossoms.

  25. Hi Gail....it has been such a long and cold winter, has it not?
    It is lovely to see the beautiful witch hazel and the breaking buds of the hellebore. Any bloom at this time is welcome.....

    We are expecting more snow.......I am just hoping the forecast is wrong.

    Time for us all to do a bit of dreaming I think......

  26. Isn't it funny how different this year is compared to last year? Your hellebore is quite beautiful and deserves star treatment. I also have a few camellias whose buds are not brown but they just won't open, darn it. My list of blooms for today is pathetic. But at least the sun is shining. :-)

  27. Ah, witch hazel and hellebores! They do brighten the late winter landscape, but nothing brightens it for me like the colorful feathers of birds. Love that cardinal!

  28. Wonderful post Gail. The weather certainly hasn't been spring-like -- at all. I have to say California Dreamin is one of my favorite oldies.

  29. Gail, I've always been amazed at the bloggers who participate in monthly MEMEs! No schedules for me, please! :-)

    You've done well finding the Hellebore buds on a cold winter day. Since my Winter Daphne died during Grumpy Gardener's summer visit, I have no winter blooms.

    Take care... is your hand better?

  30. Cameron, It's so much better...I do occasionally forget and grab a heavy bag of groceries and soon regret that!
    I spoke with the PT and she totally believes I will be able to nip tiles and garden again...Thank you for asking.


  31. Beautiful shots, I love those witch hazels!

  32. I can't get enough of those Witch Hazels!! It just doesn't get cold enough here for them to do their 'beautiful thing'. And what a GORGEOUS cardinal! I've only seen one once in person, and never forgot it...such a Winter beauty!

  33. Maybe I need to get out there and dig around too? That's so encouraging to find the hellebore bud isn't it? If the snow ever stops and the temperature climbs the least little bit, you'll have blooms! We are all going to really appreciate spring this year, aren't we?!

  34. Gail, I love your titles. They are always so inventive and make me smile even before I have read your post. What a find! I would be excited too!! I'm afraid I'd have to dig under 2 foot snow drifts to find anything growing here.

    (I love, love, love the Mama;s and Papa's!)

  35. Great cardinal picture! My favorite bird at fairegarden too.

  36. Thanks for your lovely assortment! Quite a few bloggers I've dropped in on today have hellebores blooming. I love the dusky colors but am not so fond of the straight green ones. Maybe I'll try some, I'm curious about these unusual blooms. They're deer-resistent I think, too.

  37. Gail -- So glad your Hellebores were playing hide and seek with you under there to give you a nice surprise! You're right - what a different year this is than last. We barely had 1 freeze last year and we're downright cold this year! Happy GBBD.

  38. A Hellebore blooms can be tricky - they hide under the leaves. The color of your plant is wonderful!

  39. Okay, Gail...now I'm pushing 'Diane' out of the way...I want 'Bernice!' She is such a rich, exquisite color! I really need to find her.
    Happy GBBD!

  40. I love the blooms of witch hazel, very lovely.

  41. Hi there Gail, very nice posting for GBBD! I’m completely with you on the excitement of finding hellebore buds… as you know I found some too :-D

    Ah… swoon… every time I see pictures of this Witch hazel I wish I could find the space for it. I love its firework blooms. I also love the intense colour of your Cardinal males. Thanks for sharing yours :-D

    Wishing you a great week. Happy GBBD :-D

  42. Hi Gailie! That hellobore looks just like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors! I'm glad to see you typing away; your hand must be feeling better...I ordered vegetable garden seeds last week, but it will be awhile up here before it is planting time! We're supposed to get 5-7 inches of snow today, the first in awhile, all those big snow storms went south of us.

    Love you, Lynn

  43. Similar situation in Zone 7b Mississippi.
    Great witch hazel pics. My Diane is still blooming after 2 weeks but with tattered brown leaves. Bummer! Maybe I'll adorn her with some beads to make up for this shortcoming.
    Today is Mardi Gras - Happy Fat Tuesday, y'all!!!

  44. Gail "Yowie Zowie!" for sure finding all those buds in your winter garden!! I am sure you have not stopped smiling since discovering these signs of Spring renewal!

  45. Gail: I am just now reading in comment box about your wrist surgery!
    Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending comfort and healing energy.
    You have a garden to tend to soon girl!! xo hugs aNNa

  46. That hellebore bud is going to be gorgeous! I'm looking forward to the picture when it opens. I have a couple of buds on mine, but it might be a month before they get around to opening, we'll see.

  47. I love your excitement on discovering your beautiful Hellebores - it's a time of year when just one plant can make all the difference - you tend to appreciate them more than when the garden is full of colour at other times of the year - hope spring comes in its fullness very soon - Miranda x

  48. Spring's coming. Drum roll ... let us see those blooms!

  49. Nice hellebore...maybe I'll plant some this year.
    No blooms here just mounds of snow.

  50. Hi Gail, You have great things happening over there! :-) Not magic, though...

    Say - what's happened to Blotanical? The logo disappeared from my site so I replaced it with their address... but the address isn't working. (Look down here at your sidebar.)

  51. You're right, we have the choice to focus on brown or green, winter-dead or green spring birth. And hope feels better than depression.

    It was particularly fun to see the birds in your garden during this Great Backyard Bird Count time.

  52. Gail, I hope you will see some camelias before the season ends. I bet she still has some to share without browning and 'dying'...I didn't want to use that word, but...How fortunate to find hellebore buds! I want some so very badly. I know there have to be some, but I will wait until the snow melts to go hellebore 'hunting';-) I added several new plants last year, it'll be exciting if any of those new ones put forth buds/blooms. It has been a particularly difficult winter everywhere, so you are lucky to see what you did, at this point in time. I hope your hands are doing better...you just typed a bunch there, girl! Be careful;)

  53. Take my breath away, Gail! You are indeed blessed. (My 'Spring Promise' helleborus is also blooming ... INDOORS!)

  54. Gail girl here I am at the back of the pack again .. I can't seem to catch up ?
    I am so jealous of your hellebore flower buds ! .. and that amazing Cardinal ? the red just screams "look at ME!" ..
    I am so interested in getting a small witch-hazel .. when you talk about the scent I am so curious to know what it smells like and those amazing flowers .. I must find a space some where !!!

  55. My kingdom for a pink Hellebore like yours! (I can imagine your excitement!) And at least one Witch Hazel! I love that you planted Bernice in memory of your mom. I'm sure she's smiling about that :)
    The Cardinal is such a beautiful, bright spot of color. They take my breath away. Love the nuthatches too...the way they creep up and down the trees.
    And the Mommas and Poppas! Yeah!California Dreamin I am! Takes me way back. And forward to spring! Thank you, Gail :)

  56. I am quite envious of the hellebores, witch hazels, daffodils and other spring bloomers popping up around the country. Mine are still buried under snow, and I fear they will never emerge. It's the worst Ohio winter I've known, and I'm feeling like I could perhaps move back to Michigan for better weather! LOL

  57. I have a friend living in Franklin and she's kept me updated on your harsh winter weather. To be honest, I find it hard to feel sorry for her:)

    What I wouldn't give to brush away the leaves in February and find such a lovely hellebore bud. Just perfect for GBBD.


  58. Oh, those hellebore buds are just luscious! It was a vastly different bloom day here on my corner of Katy, too. We just have to keep hanging on and hope that the spring will be as beautiful as winter was harsh.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson