Saturday, March 7, 2015

Welcoming an early Spring

Three in a row—pale pink on the end is Nuccio's Pearl
Last weekend I went with the usual group of plant-loving friends to the first plant expo of the year and as we drove through Portland in the sunshine and warming air, with trees and flowers breaking out in blooms a month early, I made a comment about it being Spring. The driver said, "It's February." I responded, "But this has been going on so long." I couldn't think of it as winter any longer, with temps at or above average all but two days of the month.

Dainty California
And I still can't, even though we've still got almost two weeks to official Spring. My early camellias are all blooming a month early. Two weeks ago, we were all holding our breath that another freeze would hit and freeze the unfurling buds on everything that was early.

But with every day that went by, I knew the chances of that were lessening. In the ten years I've been here, we've had a few snows and freezes in March, so it's still possible. But the last few days have reached over 60, so I have to act as if it is Spring, and start doing my Spring garden work. I did get my fruit pruning done in January—during a 50ยบ week—so now it's early planting and lots and lots and lots of cleanup.
Unnamed bicolor
But I sure am enjoying my camellias. Every bush is bigger than last year, and every one has dozens and dozens of flowers. They've been blooming almost two weeks now, and the flower fall has started, so every bush has its pool of color around it, like a floating reflection, red, pink and white, all over the garden.

Unnamed peony-flowered variety
The bigger they get, the more I like them. I loved the 7'x7' bushes in the Camellia garden at Huntington Garden. You could sit on the benches in between the shrubs and just be surrounded by flowers, higher than you were.

Pink Dawn and Dainty California
I went out to take more pictures this morning. The buds on my oldest PJM Rhodie have been opening up a little bit every day, and today the flowers were finally open. I got this shot as as the sun was hitting them.

Rhododendron PJM
I don't remember the last time I got an early Spring. I'm really enjoying this one. Next year I should have a Camellia festival.