Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spring Fever, caught even earlier than usual.

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.


  1. my Euphorbia 'Blackbird' plants are doing the same thing. Neat little "buds" of new growth that hang over the top of the plant. On mine they are a dark-pink that glows against the background of dark-purple foliage on the rest of the plant.

  2. Isn't it fun to watch your plants close up throughout the day? Glad you had some sun, it sure looked bright...

  3. I noticed those "hooks" too, yesterday when I was out and about. Love the shot of the sunshine bursting through your door...Lila will get used to it.

  4. Your euphorbias look so promising and hopeful. You can hardly be faulted for pushing spring: every day that passes is another day closer to frost-free mid-April.

    I just checked my e. 'Bonfire": it's toast. Now that I've gotten over my fear of them spreading, and actually want a few euphorbias, it seems I can't keep even one of them alive.

    It could be warmer, but I've been reveling in the sunshine, along with kitties Pearl and Elvis, who love to snooze in the big sun puddles coming in our south windows.

  5. Hi Loree, This weather has been nice hasn't it? I've been trying to get as much sun as possible to stave off the SAD. My Euphorbies are doing the same thing. Can't argue with nature. My fingers are crossed that your in-ground loves come out of it.

  6. Euphorbia happiness! I love them all! A friend gave us a bunch of wulfenii seedlings last Spring, and they're getting BIG. They're the only plant I know for certain is safe from gopher attacks.

  7. We have the fever too! The cherry tree is blooming and we planted a row of spinach....Yikes!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  8. all the Euphorbias...especially that architectural. Sadly, my 'Blackbird' seems not to have endured the winter well...not sure why, but I may have to shovel prune the poor dear if he doesn't perk up a little more :-(

  9. I guess that's what they mean by "barking mad," eh? Wish I could say we have spring fever in Austin, but we're frozen solid and expecting snow tonight.

  10. Ryan, you paint a pretty picture there! I'm jealous, I killed my only 'Blackbird' last year! It was in a pot on the front porch and I neglected to water it...wrongly assuming it was getting enough moisture from the rain.

    Darla, it was! I even had to dig out my sunglasses.

    ricki, I think you're right. Soon she'll be back to her sun-bathing ways.

    MulchMaid, "sun puddles" just sound so lovely. If I find any healthy volunteer E. characias ssp wulfenii coming up I'll let you know (if you want them).

    Thank you Grace!

    Megan, that reminds me I gave some to a friend in Seattle, I need to ask her how they are doing.

    Wyatt, planting veggies! You've got it bad!

    scott, you're in good company with that 'Blackbird' (me).

    Pam, your pictures of your frozen stock tank pond certainly say it all. I hope things warm up there soon!!!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!