I’ve been trying really hard to deny it, but it just keeps growing! It’s undeniable…I’ve got Spring Fever! It’s too early isn’t it?
Being home during the daytime has definitely helped me avoid serious winter blues this year…I am more in touch with the garden than I’ve ever been, I’m sure that has something to do with it. I can throw an eye on things regularly and note even the smallest indicator. Like the fact that the tips of the Euphorbia characias ssp wulfenii are starting to form their pre-bloom “hook” (my made up term). The E. 'Ascot Rainbow' has it too. The E. amygdaloides var. Robbiae is really getting in the flowering mood. New shoots and leaves are appearing on the Euphorbia polychroma. And the biggest surprise of all? An E. rigida bloom! I take this as a sign that all is good in the shade pavilion “greenhouse”. I bought this plant late last summer and put it in a container, one of those insurance policies I’m so fond of. My other E. rigida (a gift) is in the front garden and is clearly not so happy. Still the stems that haven’t flopped over in despair are greening up. Unfortunately there is no new growth at the base. Maybe later when it starts to warm up that will happen. I took advantage of a dry and semi-sunny (fog in the morning, sun in the afternoon) day last week to perform my annual rite of early spring/late winter…the whacking back of the hydrangea monster. Before (sorry the sun as welcome as it is makes for a bad photo): After: It seems I always find a few surprises when cutting back the hydrangea, some expected, like these Clematis armandii buds (I grow this vine through the hydrangea to help give it some winter interest). And some unexpected like this strange lichen (?)…I’ve never seen one quite like this. Best of all when cleaning up all the fallen soggy leaves under the hydrangea monster I uncovered this little forgotten Hellebore. The sun made a return to Portland again this week bringing cold temperatures but some much needed bright light. I opened the front door yesterday morning to let even more of it in. Shortly after that Lila (my faithful canine gardening companion) woke up from a nap and started barking, at the sun. You know you’ve been living sunshine deprived when your dog is frightened by the sight of the sun.