Starting out inside with the houseplants, my Clivia miniata with plain green leaves got to come in from the greenhouse so we could enjoy the blooms. Actually, it hasn't been very happy in the greenhouse, the leaves becoming too yellow, so it's going to start spending winters in the house again. I've never had trouble getting clivia to bloom as a houseplant. It just means the timing is a little more random, rather than occurring reliably in late winter/early spring.
Various Phalaenopsis are blooming. First up is Phalaenopsis schilleriana var. purpurea.
This is another Phalaenopsis schilleriana, labelled as a dark form. It's neither as dark nor as well-formed as the previous flower, but still nice. This one also has more silver leaves, but I have another species with similar leaves. I have six of these mottled-leaf moth orchids, and the plan was always to reduce that number as I saw their blooms. Time to start culling. Actually, the flower shape on this one could improve as the plant gets older, since this is its first bloom. I'm sure the leaves alone will be enough for it to find a home at the next plant swap.
Phalaenopsis 'Philishill' is a hybrid of Phal. schilleriana and Phal. philippinensis.
Phalaenopsis stuartiana 'Sogo' is a select form of the species. My favorite feature is the brown spots on the lower sepals, sort of like the spots on a giraffe. I have a second Phal. stuartiana that I'm still waiting to see bloom before I decide which to keep. This species has been a little more finicky for me than the ones in the photos above.
Renanetia Sunrise is an intergeneric hybrid between Neofinetia falcata and Renanthera imschootiana. After it failed to bloom last year, forming new leafy shoots, instead, I threatened to discard it if it didn't bloom this year. It's a well-known motivational tactic among orchid growers. I'm glad it worked. Those flowers are spectacularly vibrant. Some seedlings of this cross are more orange. I'm really happy with the range of shades and spots on mine.
Porphyrocoma pohliana is a plant I'm keeping around to fill in at the base of my Dracaena 'Lemon Lime'. I love the deep green leaves with silver markings. If I gave it more light, it would also have more of these charming tubular purple flowers emerging from red cone-like bracts, from whence the common names Brazilian fireworks and rose pine cone arise. Even when I gave it its own pot and fairly bright light (in the dark PNW winters, that is) I never managed a display like what you see in plant catalogs. So I take what I can get and let it hitchhike with another plant because I'm a plant hoarder.
Vriesea ospinae-gruberi has been blooming for several weeks now, beginning not long after bloom day last month. It's interesting, though not especially showy. As I've said before, I'm more excited by the prospect of pups, so I can start this massive monster over. I noticed the first pup forming yesterday. I wonder if I can expect more. With such a massive plant, it seems like it should produce several pups. The plant is about twice as big as what you can see in the photo below.
Zooming in a bit on the little yellow flowers emerging from the bracts. Like most bromeliads, the individual flowers are short-lived.
My Paphiopedilum Macabre is still blooming, but since it hasn't changed since last month, I won't include another photo in this post. My big white Phalaenopsis is still in bud, probably another month from blooming. Hoya multiflora is preparing for another flush of blooms, and there are a couple more Tillansia blooming that I didn't include, but there's so much more to show, so we'll move on.
Out in the greenhouse, Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross' has a few flowers hiding under the tangle of stems.
And this unidentified Agapetes (or possibly Vaccinium) from the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden is still blooming.
I came home from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show at the end of February to this wonderful surprise: a blooming Rhododendron acrophilum. One of my tropical vireyas, this rhododendron spends winters in the greenhouse. I wasn't sure if any of its buds would produce blooms, as several others had opened to reveal leaves. Last year, it bloomed yellow, but I read it sometimes did that the first year in a new home before going back to orange the next. I'm so happy that proved true. Those orange flowers are why I bought this plant.
I started moving a few of the hardier plants out of the greenhouse, like Grevillea 'Ivanhoe' (below). But now I see a low of 34F in the forecast which, at my higher elevation, is close enough to freezing that I may shove them back in for that night.
We're finally getting to the outdoor garden blooms. What's blooming outside right now? Crocus! Crocus EVERYWHERE! Masses of them! Oodles and oodles.
Most of them are Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant'. You can see a couple Crocus 'Twilight' in the photo below. They're the darker purple ones with the more cupped petals. The Galanthus are on the downhill slope of their bloom season.
They're coming up through the heathers...
And the thyme.
And even here. How'd you get there?
I like these ones popping up through native Penstemon serrulatus.
Swaths of purple.
So. Much. Purple. After this long winter, such saturated color is almost comedic and overwhelming.
The hellebores are going full bore. See what I did there? Helleborus x sternii in my garden seems a quite a bit later than in others, coming out about the same time as the x hybridus types.
A smattering of the Helleborus x hybridus blooming in my garden now.
Penny's Pink hellebore started blooming before any of the others, and is the most floriferous by far.
Hutchinsia alpina has had a scatter of blooms basically since the temperature rose above freezing, but it's starting to ramp up for its main bloom, where the foliage will be smothered in white.
The first of the pieris flowers opened on this variegated cultivar. The others are all newer to the garden and still settling in, which I think is why they're blooms are a bit delayed. While I'm a little tired of all this rain, at least it should help those plants get established better and grow lots this year to bloom next year.
Grevillea 'Leane' has one golden cluster of buds. I'm impressed that this plant, added last summer, didn't even whimper at the cold of its first winter. It should take off this year and produce more blooms.
I rescued this sad Arctostaphylos 'John Dourley' last year and was impressed with how well it came back. It still looks a bit thin, but it even managed a few clusters of pink flowers this month.
Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis flowers are finishing up, but I can still detect their scent, so I'll say their still flowering this month.
This is the season for Corylus avellana 'Contorta' to briefly have its moment of true glory, dripping with golden yellow catkins. You can even see a few of the tiny pink female flowers in this photo.
Pulmonaria are sending up flower stems.
The other major group in bloom or close to blooming in my garden is the euphorbias. This dwarf form of Euphorbia characias (or was it a x martinii? Where's that label...) is open a bit before the full-size E. characias.
I love the developing inflorescence on Euphorbia characias.
I'm cheating a bit with this Euphorbia 'Ascott Rainbow'. I just purchased nine of these and added them to the garden, so they're a little ahead of the one I planted last year.
The one I planted last year still has a ways to go. It's really all about the foliage with this plant, anyway.
Most of my Euphorbia rigida turned to mush, but the ones on the slope along the ramp to the front door came through fine and are blooming. I'm not quite sure why these made it while the ones in the driveway island just a few yards away turned to mush. The soil in the island is better-draining, but flat. That bed seems to create odd cold pockets, while also making many plants grow more lushly, decreasing hardiness. The harsher conditions on the slope, in addition to the better air drainage, kept these ones from turning to mush.