News & Events

Better early than late: Spring in February

Iris Katharine Hodgkin'

Iris ‘Katharine Hodgkin’

February came in like a lamb, and it’s trying to muster a roar as it takes advantage of leap year’s extra day of winter. Signs of green are everywhere, despite the official start to spring still weeks away. Northern gardeners like us know that the joke could be on us if we get too accustomed to this mild weather, before March has played out. But how can we not be giddy when a walk about the garden revealed these beacons of spring heralding the new season?


Nodding Double Snowdrops

Helleborus 'Wester Flisk'

Helleborus ‘Wester Flisk’

Helleborus 'Jade Tiger'

Helleborus ‘Jade Tiger’

Almost Black Helleborus

Almost Black Helleborus

Hamamellis ‘Feuerzauber’

The Galanthus (Snowdrops) are not too big a surprise, but little Iris ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ usually waits until late March to show off. Helleborus foetidus ‘Wester Flisk’ looks rather well this year, thanks to the mild winter.  Helleborus ‘Jade Tiger’  which we planted last year, proudly displays his first flower, but an older clump of an almost black Hellebore is not quite sure if it’s safe yet. For the past 3 weeks, the witchhazel Feuerzauber’ has been emitting the sweetest perfume. What little gems do you have in bloom in your garden right now?


  1. Winter jasmine, Gelsemium
    Scilla siberica
    Helleborus foetidus

    • You’re a ahead of us…where do you live. Signs of Scilla and Pushkina are emerging. Really have to try winter jasmine in a protected spot to see if we can get away with it.

  2. Katherine H. has not shown her face here yet but then we are a bit colder than your garden. Crocus and snowdrops and ‘Arnold Promise’. That ‘Feuerzauber’ is divine.

    • Ahh…The witch hazels, no northern gardenener should be without one, or two, or a dozen….

  3. Chris,

    These are beautiful photographs. For those of us who love plants, there’s nothing better than seeing the first signs of the growing season. I look forward to the opening of the nursery. Be well,


    • Doesn’t your pulse quicken when you see those first signs? I squealed with delight when I noticed the little Iris. Kathy

  4. These are beautiful captures! I really like how you’ve shot these at ground level even with the plants to really highlight the new growth.

    Here in southern Ohio I have a mess of daffodils coming in, but I’m most excited about my Major Wheeler plants!

    • Thanks. It’s a different world at ground level.

  5. I’ve fallen for the Iris “Katharine Hodgkin”. I hope this will be available this year.


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