dec 2015 niger and orientalisTHE FIRST DOSE of winter 2015-16 arrived overnight on December 28. It layered an inch of sleety snow onto plants that seemed to think it was more like March (or maybe even May, since Christmas Eve had reached 70 degrees F). We are all confused, but trying to be brave.

jelena hamamelisAppearances were already being made by three species of hellebores, at least a month ahead of my prior earliest-ever showings for those perennials. Some hybrid witch-hazels, especially orange-flowered ‘Jelena’ (above), are already in full bloom, too.

dec2515 foetidusFor the record, then, I’m just noting it all–Helleborus foetidus (above), Helleborus niger (my first-ever with the so-called “Christmas rose” in bloom at Christmas; top left), and even a few of the orientalis hybrids (top right)–and trying not to panic, or make any predictions about what it means for spring. All bets are off, I figure.

What freakish happenings are you seeing in your garden?

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