January blooms

I don’t really expect much to be blooming outside in the middle of January but I also don’t expect it to be pushing 60°. A January thaw would seem more justified if the weeks leading to it had been frigid rather than merely gray, raw, and windy. But any time the air is soft and the bay is like a mirror, you won’t catch me complaining. You’ll catch me outside. The bees took advantage of yesterday’s warmth to look for flowers, so I figured I might as well look for some too. I didn’t find much though and what I did find was not covered in a swarm. …I wonder where the bees went and hope to learn more about their moves in bee school…

(click on pictures for a bigger view or mouse over for the caption.) 

While the bees did whatever they were out doing, I followed the sun around the Display Garden and cut back some of the completely fallen down stalks that were no longer contributing to the view. It was work that could have waited for the same kind of day in February or March, but didn’t have to. I left some stems as protection over the crown of certain plants like Salvia guaranitica and anise hyssop and just tidied them up a bit instead (cut them back by half or so). The betony (Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’) stalks broke off at the ground with barely any tugging as did all the fallen butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) so clearly, it was time for them to be compost. I also decided to whack back most of our Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’. Is it just me or is that grass a beast with few redeeming qualities? It definitely didn’t hold my winter interest and flopped around a little too much over the summer at least where we had it (smack in the middle of the pollinator bed path. I freely admit that was my bad idea. Maybe I’ll like it better somewhere else. Then again, maybe not. Live and learn.)

Have you had the chance to get outside during a balmy thaw yet? What did you do? – Anything blooming? For a world-wide look at January blooms, head over to May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

6 thoughts on “January blooms

  1. You can depend on alyssum, always. Iberis to follow.

    I get outside every day despite any disagreeable weather. We’ve had unusually warm weather lately and bees and butterflies ventured out, too. I’ve started pruning.

    Nell Jean, I think you’re made of sterner stuff than I am. That and your winters are probably a bit milder than ours generally! -kris

  2. It’s 9F outside right now with a foot of snow on the ground, so no. Nothing doing like this here. Watch out for when this cold front moves your way.

    eeu Susan, say it isn’t so! Though I think I’d rather a decent snow than the slushy stuff we keep getting… -kris

  3. It was warm up there~More about bee school please! We’ve had really balmy weather in between some extreme rain events, now we’re having winter ice storms, but we do get to get outside and garden a lot during our winters. It’s time to take the perennials down and once it dries out I will.

    Gail, good luck with the ice storms. Those scare me. Stay warm and stay tuned for bee school updates – classes start in February! -kris

  4. I have witch hazel “jelena”. In full bloom now. My Pennisetum Hamlin looks like a bun on someone’s head. All tucked down by the snow. I considered cutting it down but wonder if it might look better with a ‘fluffing and comb out”??

    Susan, I love your description of Hamlin and think a “fluffing and comb out” is worth a try! I was surprised that a miscanthus I have at home popped back up (mostly) after being smashed… Is it early for your Jelena? I should have checked ours… -kris

  5. Well, 2 days ago I scrubbed the dirt off my front porch, today it’s covered with snow. Next?
    At least I can still scan poinsettias indoors…
    I love your blog, Kris.

    Thanks, Ellen! I hope you post those images soon – your New Year’s post is exquisite (I like lichen)! -kris

  6. Hi Kris~
    Last week I spotted a gardener snake out and about! I thought it was frozen but it wasn’t. It did not move as fast though ha! First for me.

    Wow, Crystal, I don’t think I’ve ever spotted one in January either. But there was that one day when if I could have sunned myself on a rock, I would have… -kris

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