Today, Saturday, was a beauty of a day here in Chapel Hill with sunny skies and pleasant temperature of 61°F (16°C). In contrast, forecasts call for rain and maybe even a snow flurry Sunday morning and unseasonably cold on Monday with highs only in mid 30s and low 18°F.
Just after the grass was cut yesterday another heavy rain started falling. The ground was completely saturated again this morning.
Freshly Mown Grass Beside Meditation CIrcle
I stitched together a panorama capturing most of the garden as it appeared around 8:45 a.m. looking westward from the top of the screen porch stairs. Sunlight was just reaching into the tops of the trees; the garden was still shaded.
Garden Panorama 2016-01-16
About an hour later I had a chance to inspect the borders more closely. With leaves caked in mud this poor hyacinth, alternately enticed by days of warm sunlight and bashed by rain and cold, is the only one of its group to open. Others are up, but remain in tight bud.
Hyacinth orientalis ‘Woodstock’
By this time of year it is not unusual to have Hellebores in bloom; however, despite the many warm days this winter they do not seem to be opening very quickly. There are lots of buds.
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) is spreading far and wide. Fortunately it is easy to pull out when it oversteps its welcome.
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
I planted Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge) last spring and am happy with its color and form. Still covered in raindrops it seemed to be dancing in the morning light.
Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)
Last winter was unusually cold and long and a late February 2°F cold snap ruined the leaves and buds of Daphne odora (Winter daphne) before it could flower. It eventually recovered its foliage. This winter it has already been blooming for several weeks. There are 3 bushes clustered together. This one in front is Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata.’
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Pansies are blooming throughout the meditation circle, but the plants themselves have not grown much. In spring they should fill out more.
A female Northern Cardinal was one of many birds happy to find the feeder has been restocked.
Female Northern Cardinal