What’s Blooming in January

Normally I don’t think we’d have anything actually blooming in our backyard this time of year except for the Hellebore.

This winter being so frighteningly warm, we have a few more things to add to the “blooming or on the way up” list.

Here is the Hellebore, which I planted a year and a half ago.  This is its first time blooming.  It is quite small, only one flower, but it’s been blooming for a few weeks now and is lovely to see.  It rained yesterday so it’s a bit dirty, but lovely to see nonetheless.

Hellebore in bloom

My Galanthus seems to have decided that it’s officially Spring:

Snowdrops in bloom already! Last year it was March before they emerged.

That’s it for actual blooms, although several things are already poking their way through soil and up into the air…I’m not certain what most of them are, thanks to the lousy job I did labeling bulbs last year!  Time will tell, and once they’re up this year I’m going to label!

Bulbs emerging...I think this is Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) Maybe.

All bets are on Daffodils here...

I think these are crocus leaves...

Here’s one I do know, thanks to Bev who helped me to identify.  I sent her a picture and  told her it had a really unique smell when I rubbed the leaves…sort of spicy, musky…”like aftershave” was as close as I could get!  She immediately identified it as Feverfew!  I’m glad to know some of the seeds I planted last year came up (and didn’t get mistakenly identified as a WEED by me and subsequently pulled.)

Feverfew, nice and green - and it will stay green all winter!

Here’s another one I didn’t label:

this could be Foam Flower or Lavender...(it's Tiarella / Foam Flower!)

Last year Bev gave me a Purple Coneflower transplant that had some Sweet Woodruff tagging along in the pot.  Here they are, apparently doing well and starting to spread!

lovely little Sweet Woodruff

one of a few tiny patches of Sweet Woodruff

This next one has me stumped – and a bit worried…

This plant smells very strongly of oregano or thyme, or some savory herb.

It’s growing around my Mondarda (Bee Balm) and once again, my lack of labeling plants last year now puts me in the position of now knowing if this something I planted by seed or a volunteer of some sort.  Here’s the close up and the worrying part:

same plant - is that POWDERY MILDEW on the leaves??

I noticed toward the end of summer that the Monarda has a pretty bad case of powdery mildew, and this is right under it.  I hope I don’t have a big problem on my hands here! Not sure what can be done about powdery mildew, but I did notice some in that area of the garden at the end of last summer.  Yikes!  At least the Sweet Woodruff, which is in the same area, isn’t showing signs of being affected!

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16 thoughts on “What’s Blooming in January

  1. Lots going on…the bulbs look like hyacinth, daff and crocus..the others I am unsure of…interesting the mildew is still there…best to clean up the affected leaves and pitch them…we have frigid temps, some storm damage form winds and still have about 10 inches of snow…nothing showing in the garden

  2. The mere possibility of naming a post “blooming in January” puts your garden at the top of the class!! How wonderful to see ANYTHING popping at this time of winter.

    The foamflower/lavender question is not likely to be lavender. Those clustering buds are more typical of Heuchera (coral bells) or Tiarella (foamflower).

    The low patch of foliage near the Beebalm looks like the ends of Beebalm runners, popping up to enlarge the patch. They will run like mint. (square stems?) You may be able to locate the long runner from the parent with a bit of shallow excavation. Their opposite leaves with the slight redness in the center is similar to my young Beebalm sections. Its relegated to a sunken pot because it misbehaves A LOT. If you are seeing powdery mildew now on your Beebalm, increasing air circulation may help to discourage its spread. Clearing out debris, or removing old stalks, even thinning the new runners or separating them more, moving it away from the wall, e.g. I have heard spraying the foliage with milk may help prevent powdery mildew, but I don’t think it works to halt it once it has appeared. Maybe a foliar spray of compost tea, run through a strainer first.

    Those emerging bulbs (below the Galanthus) may be the Bluebells which have leaves similar to hyacinth (closely related). The one after that does look like daffodils to me and the third one seems like what my crocuses look like.

    I’m so glad your Sweet Woodruff had taken hold. It’s a versatile and attractive groundcover.

    That hellebore is so gorgeous! I have the Bearsfoot one (H. foetidus), a gift from a friend, and it is building up to a bloom with the center “tower” of buds. Carolyn’s Shade Gardens had it on one of her recent posts.

    • Aha! It must be Tiarella (Foamflower)….my Huechera is planted on the other side of the yard – that one I know, at least. 🙂

      Beebalm runners, huh? That would make sense, as they are all around the base / surrounding area of the plant. I’ll have to check out the stems. I guess I’ll clear out all the leaves from the ground there and thin out some of the runners, maybe try that compost tea spray – and I think I’ll just remove the leaves that are affected and toss them in the trash. This is not a tightly planted area by any means, but it is quite near the driveway wall.

      The emerging bulbs bellow the Galanthus photo could be the Muscari (grape hyacinth.) I don’t have any large hyacinths planted in the yard at all, and the Bluebells are planted in a different location – and their leaves are still green and doing well, helping me to see where the plant lives.

      I’m very excited about the Sweet Woodruff and eager to see how much it grows this year! Thanks!

    • It’s very unusual to have anything blooming right now here, that’s for sure. I’m hoping that Hellebore will keep on growing and I’m already thinking I should get more…so nice to have winter blooms.

  3. Hi! Yes, I must agree that you are lucky to have so many signs of Spring in January! We just received our first winter snow in my area so we have awhile yet before there are any signs of spring. I would bet also that the one picture (low mound of foliage) is spreading Bee Balm. It has done that in my garden too before. Things are looking good where you are, very pretty Hellebore.

    • Thanks! I’m loving that Hellebore. Definitely adding more of them to my list. I’m glad to have an ID on those Bee Balm runners. Now if I can just shake the powdery mildew!

  4. It’s been so mild this winter! I have a lot of bulbs coming up as well. That’s interesting about the feverfew – I didn’t know it had such an interesting smell. I just got some feverfew seeds from a swap recently, so I’m excited to plant them!

  5. Hi Indie! The feverfew in my photo was direct seeded, and it has taken off! It should bloom next year, I hope. The foliage definitely has a really unique smell. My friend Bev said it’s the telltale sign of new seedlings that emerge from it self-sowing. Young foliage looks a bit like parsley, but definitely doesn’t smell like it! Good luck with yours!

  6. Wow, I’m really impressed with your city garden and am enjoying reading your entries. Cute kitties, too! It’s great that you’re giving them a home. As exciting as it is to see that your spring bulbs are already up, its a bit disturbing. Global warming?

    • Hi Emily! Thanks for stopping by. I’m already a big fan of your blog and I’m looking forward to keeping up with you across the miles. Too bad we’re not closer or I’d be in on your chicken “share” plan – love it. I read about something similar in California with goats and it sounded really ideal for everyone, including the goats!

      Yes, it is completely disturbing that my spring bulbs are already on the way up – global warming indeed. It kind of terrifies me, actually, but I try to not let it stop me from enjoying a warm sunny day…still, though. Ugh. Very disturbing!

  7. Yes, monarda is a spreader. I, too, just planted it new last year and had a terrible time with it, especially the dwarf Raspberry. I sprayed with a solution of chamommile soap and baking soda, but I didn’t see much improvement. They were not crowded, and were getting plenty of air circulation so there wasn’t much I could to to improve the growing conditions. I probably will let them come up this spring and see how they do. If they are still covered with it, I’ll yank them out!

    The sweet woodruff can be very nice as a groundcover. It fills in quickly and doesn’t mind being moved around, so you can interplant easily.

    • Hmmm…that rascally Monarda. If it continues to misbehave it may have to go. I can’t have it spreading itself and powdery mildew all over the place here. The fact that yours also had PM while getting plenty of air circulation is not encouraging. Too bad, as it is such a lovely flower!

      The sweet woodruff, however, can spread as far as it wants to. It’s a keeper for sure. Great to know it doesn’t mind being moved around either…once it’s established enough I’d love to spread it a little further than it could make it on its own.

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