Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

By the time you read this, perhaps I should wish you a Happy Belated Valentine's Day! It's late. The kids are watching TV, as there's no school tomorrow, and I'm playing catch up after a week of sick kids, Valentine's festivities, and seed sowing. Tomorrow, my sister undergoes surgery to remove a large tumor from her spine. I'll be playing nurse for awhile...poor Becky! Still, I know we'll all be relieved tomorrow when her surgery is over.

So, because I'll be a bit busy tomorrow, I cheated a little and took photos of today's blooms for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by May Dreams Gardens.

First, though, a Valentine for you from my garden..

'Something Magic' Hardy Cyclamen. The foliage is as lovely as its flowers.

'Silver Leaf' Hardy Cyclamen's vibrant blooms add a nice burst of color to the gray winter garden.

Although it's only February, spring feels close in South Carolina. It's hard not to feel anxious to start planting, because the garden is beginning to come alive.

Crocuses...peeking out from under leaf litter...

'Ice Follies' daffodils, one of my favorites, are a sure sign that spring is near. I've already harvested several bouquets for the kitchen.


Paperwhites, planted late in a new bed along the side of the house. The new bed, located in deep shade under a forest border, also contains... 


...snowdrops, fraise des bois, oak leaf hydrangeas, hostas, and blueberry bushes. I'm working hard to develop a forest garden leading to the greenhouses.

Thank goodness for hellebores in the winter. Our few original plants have multiplied and spread throughout the front beds, forming thick clumps filled with blooms. A bee buzzed by me as I tried for a close up. (I abandoned my efforts, since I'm so allergic to bees.) 

The fall planted witch hazel seems on the verge of blooming. Honestly, though--it has been in this stage for a week. Will it come through and deliver its fragrant blooms? I'm crossing my fingers...

The forsythia is ready to pop. This year, I'm taking a few branches inside to enjoy their heralding of spring.

Aren't these the most adorable little irises? Iris reticulata, how I adore you. I wish I had planted hundreds of these bulbs in the garden.

Spring bulbs, in case you haven't noticed from my obsession with them for the cutting garden, are my favorite. Forced hyacinth bulbs add the loveliest sweet fragrance throughout the house...

...and soon, their fragrance will also fill the garden.

Still, nothing can beat the amazing fragrance of winter daphne. Planted in containers next to the front walk, I take a deep breath whenever I pass. My neighbors planted daphne in their front beds, and the scent drifting into our yard is incredible.

Our sweet camellias continue to bloom...

...with another round of blossoms soon to appear. 


But the bloom I'm most excited about this February? My first orange blossom! Last year, I purchased six citrus trees, overwintering them in the greenhouse. And today--the first bud burst open! I'm so excited! The fragrance is delicious.

The greenhouse is quickly filling with seedlings for Garden Delights--organic heirloom herbs, tomatoes, peppers, flowers...but that's a story for another day. 

Did you do anything special to celebrate Valentine's Day? Wishing you the loveliest of Valentine's Days--and a very happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! And, if you have a moment tomorrow, please think good thoughts for my sister. Thanks so much, friends.




  1. So many lovely blooms!
    We went out to eat for Valentine's Day. Grilled fish for me, pork chops for my love.
    I am praying for your sister.
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. Oh, you have so many spring flowers going already! I have all of these, but with the cold weather we have had in Britain lately everything is quite delayed. My cyclamens have been flowering since October, and my hellebores are just about to open., the rest is leaving me waiting…my camellia doesn’t flower until late March usually. Your irises are adorable, I have wanted to get some of these for a long time, since they emerge so early, think I need to put them on my wish list!
    Hope your sister is OK, I know what she is going through. Take care, Helene.

  3. Good luck to your sister. you have some lovely blooms for Bloom day, I agree about the irises, you can't have too many, even though they often don't reflower a second year for me. Christina

  4. Looking good! By our next post, spring will be all over the Upstate!

  5. This was a wonderful Valentine's Day gift! Thank you! I love the heart leaf. And I hope all goes well with your sister.

  6. Hope your sisters op went well. Lovely blooms. I really need to get myself some Daphne for next year.

  7. Oh I'm going to come over here every morning for my "indoor" spring fix! Lovely flowers and photos!

  8. Julie, your garden is already looking beautiful. Thanks for sharing your photos. And thank you for visiting The Dirt Diaries and leaving a comment. I appreciate it. Sometimes I feel like a voice in the wilderness (:

    Hope your sis is okay.

  9. Beautiful. Makes me want spring to hurry up and get here.

  10. Beautiful beautiful. Those little irises are so sweet. I can't even imagine how wonderful that orange blossom I have cyclamen envy from all the blogs posting cyclamen photos now.