Primroses in the cemetery
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Spring fixations

At this time of year, I always seem to have a burst of indulging my pre-occupations. Already I’ve posted about roadside blackthorn, roadside daffodils, winter survivors, the new RHS Plant Finder – all of which have been mentioned (not to say discussed at length) in previous years. So let’s get the rest of this stuff covered here and now and then we can move on to something new.

So what else do I tend to bash on about at this time of year? Let’s knock them all off.

Arum italicum 'White Winter'. Image © Arum italicum Unexpectedly tough evergreen perennial with a vast variety of leaf forms and patterns. Invasive in some areas but I’ve never seen a seedling here in north east PA. This one is ‘White Winter. Invaluable.

Hellebores Plants from Pine Knot Farms, Don Jacobs, David Culp, Russell Graham, Joseph Heuger in Germany and others have mainly been in place a few years now and are clumping up well. The taller ones have been battered by heavy rain. ‘Silvermoon’, with attractive evergreen foliage and pink and green flowers is one of the best of recent arrivals.

Skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, eaten by black bear. Image © Skunk cabbage The plant the bear tears up at this time of year and whose leaves are now being freely munched. I’m hoping for sudden snow so I can get a better picture of how the heat generated by the flowers melts the snow around them. Doesn’t look very likely (see below).

Sanguinarias The native bloodroot has opened in its many forms – double, semi-double, pink flowered, cut-leaved and so on. The variation in just this one familiar native is fascinating… The flowers are fleeting so I’m looking for really good foliage forms. Recent temperatures of almost 90F/32C have truncated their flowering season even more than usual.