As luck would have it, though, the warm weather we've (finally) been having the last few days has brought out a bit of new growth, so today I'm celebrating the first new shoots of spring, calendar be damned. Fair warning. I may have gotten a teensy bit carried away. After the winter we've had, new growth is even more exciting than usual.
Today was gorgeously sunny, a welcome respite from the rain. I went out to take photos and then spent several hours weeding and doing a bit of pruning, not getting back in to process the photos I just took until late in the afternoon.
Lovely blue new leaves on a columbine
Woolly young shoots of the native pearly everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea, are popping up everywhere. I love this plant. Try to ignore all the weeds around it. I'll get to those...eventually...
Sedum spathulifolium, another native, is forming both new rosettes and the beginnings of blooms. You can see bloom stalks from last year on the left.
Another native, Sedum oreganum, also looking good after this winter. Not that I worried about either of these plants. It just makes me happy.
The alliums are popping up. Allium christophii may be turning into a bit of a weed in the driveway island. Besides these shoots from the bulbs, I'm pretty sure there are swarms of seedlings germinating.
Yes, I'm crossing into the ridiculous with my new shoot excitement. This is a Macleaya microcarpa I planted last summer. I've been eagerly awaiting its return.
I tore my three huge clumps of Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' into tiny pieces last summer to spread them over a large area. They're starting to grow now.
The golden Leycesteria formosa is leafing out.
As are the native Oemleria cerasiformis. The blooms are just about open, too, for which the hummingbirds are waiting impatiently.
Buds expanding on the golden Metasequoia glyptostroboides. It's in a slightly dry spot, so I'm at least glad this wet winter (and probably wet spring) will help it get established.
New growth on Kodiak Black Diervilla rivularis.
I love the furry little leaves emerging on the Hydrangea quercifolia.
Croziers unfurling on Woodwardia unigemmata. I was a bit worried about this one, since it went into this cold winter rather stressed. Worries over.
Native Dicentra formosa emerging.
The snow flattened the otherwise evergreen Disporum longistylum, but I cut the broken shoots and the new ones are coming in quickly to replace them.
I find it a little funny now that I ever thought Parahebe perfoliata was tender or deciduous. This is how it looks now, after such a hard winter.
It barely even stopped growing, and as soon as temperatures came back above freezing, new shoots began to expand. Of course, now that it's warmer, they're growing a bit faster.
I'm happy to see the vigorous new growth on the California fuchsias, UC hybrid pictured below.
The primulas are loving all the rain, like these baby Primula bulleyana next to a rather large-leaved Asarum caudatum.
The fuchsias are starting to grow. The first to show new growth was 'Delta Sarah', shown below.
I was a little worried about Fuchsia excorticata, but obviously I needed have been. It's coming back just fine. While it will never attain the tree-sized proportions here that it does on the Oregon coast or in its native haunts in New Zealand, it can still become a large shrub in a single season and show off its beautiful peeling bark.
Tricyrtis 'Blue Wonder' is turning out to be a bit of a runner. That's OK, though. It can mingle with the swath of black mondo grass.
New growth on Luzula sylvatica 'Marginata'
It's a bit hard to see, but Eccremocarpus scaber is showing new growth. There's one shoot at the base of the stem I'm holding down, and more out of view around the base of the plant. I'm really surprised by this plant. I was expecting the parent to be blasted by this winter and have to rely on seeds germinating. It dropped a lot of seed, so there should be quite a few. I'll transplant some and give others away if they're ready in time for the spring swap.
Ok, here's a foliage vignette that isn't a ridiculously tiny new shoot. Carex comans and a variegated Acorus. The Acorus is finally starting to look like something. I say "finally" but it's only been a year or two since I planted it there.
One of the two tree peonies I grew from seed. I wonder how many more years I'll have to wait to see them bloom?
I have lots of tiny baby Mikado Red California poppies, but the new growth on this plant from last year is more impressive. It's going to be a very orange summer.
I'm inordinately excited by these little lupine seedlings. They came from a single plant that arose from the meadow mix I planted last year from Silverfalls Seed Company in Oregon. It was plant with upright, branching stems, rather than the basal foliage of the Lupinus polyphyllus already occurring on the property. I'm not sure what species it is. From the species listed on their website, it could be L. rivularis, L. perennis, or a Russell hybrid. I didn't get technical in examining the details to find out which one. But there was something about it that I just loved. So I'm happy to have more!
Dasiphora fruticosa really is an amazing plant. I planted these rooted cuttings all over last fall. They didn't even have time to put on any significant growth before going dormant. With deciduous cuttings, this can often spell certain death. Normally a winter like the one we've had this year is less than nothing to this shrub from high up in the Cascades, but I did worry since they were so tiny. The plant in the photo is only about 4 inches tall, and didn't have time last fall to build up much in the way of energy reserves. I love this plant. I don't even mind that it's deciduous. The seedheads are kind of nice in the winter and it's quick to leaf out in spring.
Spotty new shoots on Dracunculus vulgaris.
I've lost Mentha requenii to cold winters before, but the three patches I came across last fall in the Acer griseum bed, and subsequently transplanted to base of the log bordering that bed, didn't bat an eye at the cold this year. Perhaps because this spot has more moisture than the places I've lost it.
Calceolaria arachnoidea did get a bit mushy from all the cold, though it held up surprisingly well. I cut it back because it was set to smother the surrounding plants in the coming season. It still might. I never thought it would be so vigorous. Look at all those healthy new shoots!
Calceolaria 'Kentish Hero' is significantly less hardy than the species above, being evergreen only down to about 20 degrees, maybe a little lower. Thankfully, it's root hardy into zone 7b. Actually, a couple cuttings I planted elsewhere in this bed fared better than the parent plant, a phenomenon I noticed with the California fuchsias, as well. The cuttings stayed more evergreen, while the established plants all died tot the ground.
New shoots on daylilies.
I've been enjoying how evergreen this Gallium odoratum is. It hitched a ride with the euphorbia, but I'm glad it did. I've heard it usually looks worn out this time of year. Perhaps it will in the future, but this year it's wonderful.
Such a fast spreader, though. Should I be worried? Nah. I need groundcovers like this to fill in around the larger plants. Since it did so well in this spot with hot afternoon sun in the summer and very little water, I'm going to try it in my dry shade nightmare bed, too!