Everyone loves the bird feeder
Beware of the beetles

Color revealed after the snow

OK…  enough wildlife… back to plants. (Interesting stand-off between the pileated woodpecker and the black squirrel by the suet feeder this morning, though.)

Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance'. Image: ©GardenPhotos.com When the snow first melts and before the spring flowers emerge evergreen perennials which really are evergreen after winter temperatures 0F and below are invaluable.

It always amazes me how tough Arum italicum forms are (I think I talk them up every year) but this year they look a little less perky than usual I have to say – it’s been the coldest winter in ten years at least - but still colorful in their white-on-green patterns. The recent heucheras bred by Thierry Delabroye in France are also revealed pretty much unscathed after the snow and sunny ‘Citronelle’ lights up its quiet corner again. We need the full set, there must be a dozen now.

The foliage of hellebores, H. x hybridus, seems indestructible but is just a little bit leaden in its coloring. Hellebore queen Elizabeth Strangman always used to throw out any variegated seedlings with no reservations at all but a tasteful splash on a leaf might be just the thing when so much of the garden is, well, brown.

The yellow splashed leaves of Vinca ‘Illumination’, like the arums, are a little less pristine than usual but already seem to be freshening up while ‘Eco Treasure’, the prettily patterned form of the native Pachysandra procumbens selected by Don Jacobs, is invaluable in a quieter way.

One new star, though, is Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’. Its deep green, creamy-edged foliage is almost entirely unscathed except a little at the tips. It’s a spreader… So this time next year I hope we’ll have quite a patch.