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My garden is finally moving into high gear. In addition to all the yellow and white daffodils, my double orange and white one is blooming.

The double flowering daffodils are a bit trickier to grow. Wild fluctuations of temperatures can lead to bud blast, when the flower buds don't open. I have one that is not going to open, but the others did.

I cut one that was laying on the ground and it is now gracing my kitchen. I love the color.

My pieris is blooming!

I had quite a few flower buds but I thought the winter got them, so imagine my surprise. Do you see why they have the common name lily-of-the-valley shrub?

In this last picture you can see some flower buds that were frozen and won't open, but I will enjoy what I have. Pieris is related to azaleas and does well in shady gardens. It is slow growing and likes a well-drained but moist soil. The new growth can be shades of burgundy or red, and it sets its flower buds in the late summer to early fall and blooms in the spring.

My hyacinths are also blooming and their sweet fragrance permeates the garden.

Buds are swelling on my red buckeye

and deciduous azaleas

and I had my first open blooms on my magnolia soulangiana (tulip magnolia).

I have a later blooming, dark pink flowering form.

Some blooms I was not as happy to see were these mouse-eared chickweed

and hairy bittercress.

Both are winter weeds, and their blooms mean more seed set for more weeds next year. I guess I could say I am growing double duty edible weeds, since both are considered edible. Maybe I will pick some and throw it into my salad!

Saturday would have been a great day to work in the garden, but I was speaking about new plants at River Valley Horticulture Nursery out on Lawson Road.

I repeated my talk in the morning and afternoon to two really good crowds.

Whenever you talk about plants, gardeners get excited. They had time to shop after my talk and there were a lot of plants moving out of there. Not everything I talked about is ready to go yet, but everything on the list will be available by April. There are some great new plants you need for your garden!

Thanks to River Valley crew for transforming their shop into a beautiful lecture hall!

It was so fun visiting with so many gardeners and talking plants, but I have to admit, I was pooped at the end of the day. I left my house at 8:30 and made it home at 4:15. To think I did that almost daily just a little over a year ago, plus drove all over the state. I am definitely out of practice for that pace. Retirement has softened me! My next talk will be in Monroe County on Saturday, March 28. Pre-registration is required.


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