Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter and really early spring flowers

The temperatures this winter have fluctuated quite a lot.  Days of 30 and 40 degrees are followed by days of 60 and 70 degrees.  Then its back to the 30 and 40 degree days agai  n.  It is no wonder leaves are appearing on bushes and emerging from the ground.  The Paperwhites finished blooming soon after Christmas.  Now stalks bearing nodding clusters of  Lenten Rose and daffodils are appearing between the green foliage in the back garden.

The flowers of the Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) are shades of white, pink and purple with a greenish tinge.  Instead of petals, five large colorful sepals surround a ring of smaller cup shaped petals (called nectaries).  The flowers curves downwards, as if they are looking at the ground.  It is called a "Lenten Rose" because it blooms around the time of lent.  Another species is called the "Christmas Rose" because it blooms at Christmas time.

The bright yellow flowers of the Common Daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) bloom early.  These bulbs naturalize freely and spread across the garden and lawn!  Some of the bulbs in my garden are foundlings that came from old homesteads.  Even if it snows these flowers will survive and continue to bloom.

These are both images of in-progress journal pages.  I am working out the kinks with a new computer and scanning applications.  Unfortunately the programs on my old Power PC are not supported on my new Intel based Mac.

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