Yesterday was that first “true” spring day for me. You know what I am talking about – everyone has one. Its not always the same day for each person…the planets have to align for you to be outside on your special day. Its that day when you first realize the seasonal tide is turning away from winter’s grip to the embrace of spring. The harder the winter, the better your day will be. Kind of like a tall glass of iced water on a hot day. On my day, we reached the high 60s, the sun was strong and the breeze warm. I think birds sing more on sunny days…or maybe that is just me.
Spring is a very special time on Bainbridge Island. After months of gray, color returns. A fresh layer of compost in the gardens last weekend shows off the new foliage beautifully and everything is filling in. A few things I caught on film…
Polystichum makinoi – This is my favorite fern. The new fronds appear bedecked with jewels. This one takes a variety of soil conditions in my garden from dry to damp and also takes some northern sun in stride. I was surprised to see it at a LA nursery last month – it seems to have a wide range. Though it should be more at home here than there, sadly, I rarely see it at nurseries here.
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Blue Lady’ looking more red than blue when backlit in the sun. Grow this one for its nearly black flowers.
Corylopsis pauciflora – If you do not have one of these in your Pacific Northwest garden, it is a crime! Go get one…if you can find one, that is. Demand never seems to be high enough for this winter blooming beauty and nurseries only keep a few in stock. Typically I clean out Bainbridge nurseries in spring because I love to use Corylopsis in my designs. Corylopsis spicata is quite similar and readily available, though overall a much larger shrub. Flowers on spicata are not quite as dense as the abundant pauciflora…which is why “pauci” makes no sense. I’ve underplanted mine with black mondo grass which sets the flowers off nicely.
The promise of a fragrance that perfumes the entire garden – Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii). Powerfully sweet, it introduces the season in my garden.
I’m not a fan of garden chotchkies, though I do have a few small stone or metal birds perched here and there. Birds are the lifeblood of our garden, constantly flitting through the trees. They are welcome here, we feed them year round, leave winter debris for them to kick around and keep the predatory kitties inside. I like to think of these little sculptures as the bird welcome wagon. This one is perched on a well-aged rock (no shortage of moss here!) with fresh blades of Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ in the background.
Spring is in! Enjoy it.