A Welcome Sight

Winter is the time of year I most appreciate living in the Deep South.  Today the temperature was in the upper sixties. The forecast calls for similar highs well into next week with lows only in the middle forties. It’s the one time of year I don’t mind temperatures here being twenty degrees warmer than much of the rest of the country.

When I lived in Kentucky, crocus were typically the first flowers of the season. Snow crocus typically bloomed in mid- to late-February, but sometimes bloomed as early as late January. They were followed a few weeks later by giant crocus, which preceded the bright yellow blooms of daffodils.

Daffodils bloom weeks–sometimes even months–before crocus here in Athens. Last month, I saw a big grouping of paperwhite narcissus in bloom on my drive home from work.  At first I thought they were artificial. They weren’t.

I found a daffodil blossom in my yard today. There are probably 75 to 100 of this variety planted in my garden, but only one is blooming.  Yeah, it’s early. Our coldest weather usually comes in February.  Still, finding the bright yellow blossom right outside my door less than a week into the year is a very welcome sight.

The first daffodil of 2012

Camellias start blooming in October, and depending on the variety, continue to bloom through March and into April. The picture below is a variety called ‘Candy Cane’. The blossom turned a little brown because of the unseasonably cold weather we had earlier this week. Given the forecast, I expect to see a lot of new blossoms open over the next few days.

A slightly frost-bitten camellia blossom

Helleborus orientalis, commonly known as Lenten Rose, typically start blooming in mid- to late- January here.  I started out with three plants, each blooming in a different color (white, dark pink, and light pink). They self-seed prolifically and I now have dozens of plants. Several white ones are blooming now.

Lenten Rose

There are few things I enjoy more than the first flowers of the season.  Here in Athens, we tend to have something blooming all the time. In no way has that diminished my appreciation for the first blooms of the year here at…

My Glass House

4 responses to “A Welcome Sight”

  1. I had no idea all these bloomed so early. I’m from California where everything blooms all the time. You don’t pay much attention because there are no seasons anyway. This is fascinating for me. Thanks Michael.

  2. I love Hellebore! Mine is early this year…it has been very warm this winter and some things are being fooled into earlier than usual bloom. Generally, Hellebore is a February plant for us. It’s exciting to see new life…I keep thinking maybe I should plant lettuce! 😀

    • We’ll get some cold weather in February which I hope won’t do too much harm. It shouldn’t. Most stuff that blooms this time of year can handle the cold.