Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hellebores, spring and new bees

Yesterday I was driving and noticed yellow daffodils blooming right up the street. Then later found two places with Helleborus x hybridus in bloom red and white flowers were fully open.

Here at our place  Helleborus niger 'jacob' opened in late November then Helleborus foetidus opened shortly afterward. Now a few days ago Helleborus X ericsmithii HGC 'Silvermoon' has started blooming.

  Helleborus foetidus  from today, it is at least a third larger than last year. I honestly thought this plant was not going to make it, surprised me didn't it?
Helleborus niger 'jacob' you can see the seed pods maturing on these flowers. The seeds will not mature as this is plant is infertile and is produced by cloning.

Helleborus X ericsmithii HGC 'Silvermoon' 
The new camera failed on this photo, it does not do macro as well as my G11, but it zooms out for birds and the likeway better than the Canon  G11 and shoots better video.  

Last year I planted 3 of these HGC hellebores and we quickly lost Helleborus x ballardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost' and now Helleborus x ericsmithii HGC 'Winter's Song' is 1/10 the plant that purchased last spring. Just a personal note if you find your nursery with these cloned hellebores busting out of gallon pots, beware they might not survive on you. Most of these gallon pots had almost 50 blooms, just crazy.

Crocus in the garden, we now have 3 places with crocus ready to open up as soon as the weather warms back up. Yesterday a cold front moved in and the mid 20s will be the lows for the next 2 nights. So tonight we lit up the wood stove for the first time this year, currently the living room is a toasty 76 degrees!

Bees they are staying in the hive likely until Tuesday. I ordered another package of bees due in on April 14th for the new hive I built last fall. Also got better protection, a bee jacket with a zip in hat veil.  I lifted the hive on Friday and I think it might be down to 30 pounds of honey or less. So I'll be placing a new feeder inside the hive once it warms up to give them a little help.

My neighbor down the hill wants to set up 4-5 hives, so I might be helping him with that a bit. I also requested to be a beekeeper for 3 hives at an historic site in Durham, not sure if I'll get that, 1 hive is dead of the 3. The hives are not very far from Meg's school.

About the bird feeders here. Not seen a House Finch nor a Purple Finch yet, this is a first for us since we have had bird feeders. The Pine Warbler has been a no show as well, they are much less common at the feeders.  The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers has been a common visitor, never seen them at the feeders before last year when they rarely visited.

 Oh yeah robberies and crime scenes. A family member got burglarized the other night, the front door was kicked in and jewelery and some change was stolen. The crime scene was here tonight, my man cave bathroom! Our cute little Valentine destroyed a bluejay in my bathtub, what a mess... The bathtub does not get used, yet she is in big trouble. Given we are in the woods we rarely see bluejays  here. 

15 comments:

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

It has been a roller coaster of temperatures hasn't it? My Hellebore are no full blooms yet, just a couple of tight buds.
I haven't seen nearly the variety of birds this winter...maybe it is just late.
Poor bluejay!

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

I can't believe you have blooms. Good luck with the bees. Sounds like they will keep you busy.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

I can't believe you have blooms. Good luck with the bees. Sounds like they will keep you busy.

John said...

I've had similar experiences with the cloned Hellebores bought as gifts. They are lovely potted plants but tough to carry over to the garden...

Les said...

My hellebores have just started here as well. I do not have any of the newer hybrids, but have had marvelous success with H. foetidus and H. orientalis.

LKW said...

I've already seen daffodils in flower, too, but haven't checked the hellebores. We've been having lots of house finches at the feeders in the mountains.

The arugula and peas have succumbed to cold weather now, too. But, planting time is around the corner!

Lisa

Karen said...

I planted my first hellebore last summer, we'll see if it comes back this spring. I hope so; yours are beautiful.

This has been such a weird winter and now break-ins? Good grief.

Sounds like you will be very busy with the bees this coming year.

tina said...

30 pounds of honey is quite a lot! It's so sad when a bird is killed. Especially jays. That is quite a big bird. Terrible crime and also that your family was robbed.

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