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Vernal Equinox 2023

Spring rolls into Durham, NC officially at 5:24 p.m. today, March 20th. The first full day of Spring is tomorrow which coincides with a new moon. It will truly feel like Spring or even early summer by the end of the week. We might reach 80 degrees in three or four days time after a very cool string of days. It is 39 degrees as I start this post.


We had an extremely mild February, so many typical Spring plants like our camellia and our tiny daffodils (narcissus) have already bloomed. The ever reliable Winter Bliss hellebore is wearing its Spring green. The flowers open as a beautiful creamy white and mature to this wonderful shade of green. I'm sure we must have a leprechaun or fairy hanging around. :)

The three white azaleas with pink speckles/freckles have been at their best this year. Two of these beauties were rescued from a neighbor years ago who was digging them up to go into the lawn waste.


Carolina wrens are already building their nests. One nest was started in the garage . I think she has changed her mind though. We haven't seen her at the nest in a few days.


These are heirloom daffodils. They lived next door for many years until we transplanted them into our yard during the house renovation. This is a classic Spring moment for this time of year. The pink oxalis in front of the daffodils will be blooming before we know it.


The 'Jazz Hands' loropetalum is starting its Spring show.


The yellow epimediums are blooming beautifully. They are great for dry shade areas. I wouldn't recommend deep shade though. They bloom better with a little bit of sun. Unfortunately, the 'Domino' epimediums that I planted in deep shade have died. That might be down to the fact that they are a different variety of epimedium. They lasted about three years.


Even epimedium foliage is lovely. This is a little over-exposed, but you can see the burgundy outline on the leaves.

The columbines are starting to open. I purchased this delicately colored one last year from a local vendor, Flowering Earth Natives who sells at our Farmer's Market.


Tomorrow our freeze warnings are done for awhile. Ian and I plan on transplanting some existing plants and planting some that were recently purchased, like dianthus 'Bath's Pink'.


Our biggest job is moving this suffering gardenia, 'Frostproof', to a large pot. Part of the plant is dead, but we hope we can nurse it back to life. It will be replaced with 'Miss Lemon' abelia. It arrived via Amazon this week. I'm finding that abelias are a great option here.

The 'Green Spice' heucheras that were planted this Fall illustrate how mild our winter was. We purchased these from Sooner Plant Farm. They didn't die back for the winter. The established heucheras in the foreground are just peeking out of the ground.


Well, its time for a little lunch. I'm craving scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and toast since its Spring. I'll clip some of the fennel and chives. Yum.


Happy Vernal Equinox! I hope the sun is shining for you.

6 Comments


julie.buckmaster
Mar 28, 2023

The Domino epimedium is just starting to sprout in our Northern Indiana garden. Looking forward to seeing it bloom this Spring! Finally the daffodils and narcissus are in bloom too! 😊 Of course it's supposed to snow tomorrow! ❄️

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chende2292
chende2292
Apr 12, 2023
Replying to

Hopefully, they were stunted by the cold and will come up later.

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julie.buckmaster
Mar 21, 2023

What a great steward of your gardens you are! 😍Savings treasures from your neighbor's garden as well as saving your own gardenia - a labor of love! 🚑We also had wrens make a nest - in some flower pots which were stacked and had fallen over. Sadly, we disturbed the pots before we realized the nest was there. This will be the first year for our epimediums - we hope they made it thru the Winter.🌨️

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chende2292
chende2292
Mar 21, 2023
Replying to

I'll bet that wren is busy elsewhere in your garden, now. Its good it happened early in the season. I really enjoyed the Domino epimediums. Let me know how yours do. I might try them again, but not in deep shade.

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