Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Big Thaw.

Between Christmas and NewYears Eve the storm that dumped a record breaking 45cm of  snow onto Montreal, left a very manageable 10cm here in Toronto. It snowed all night, coming straight down with no drifting and left a beautiful blanket of white that was easy to shovel ( almost a pleasure really).  This was not unusual for this time of year, however, a reversal of the weather at the end of the week has given us an extraordinary warm patch culminating in a sunny Saturday afternoon with the Spring-like temperature of 12C!
It has been a wonderful sight this weekend to see many plants reappearing from under the snow; Galanthus elwesii, I knew would be well advanced, and Helleborus niger 'Praecox' was completely unaffected by the weight of the snow, many of its blooms unfaded and still loaded with pollen.

Galanthus elwesii.

Helleborus niger 'Praecox'.
Other Hellebores also show signs of life, especially those with H. niger genes such as H. 'Pink Frost' and my old reliable H. nigercors.  Of course, the weather will change again and even without snow cover, I'm sure these plants will survive a sudden chill, however I am concerned about a newer hybrid H. 'Jade Tiger', which has a history ( for me anyway) of coming into bloom too early and ending with damage from the frost and sub-zero temperatures.  Every year  I plan to pot it up and bring it into the greenhouse, where it would make a spectacular show, but every year this never gets done. I think its only hope of its bloom reaching their full potential is to cover it with a cloche.

Hellborus 'Jade Tiger'.


Larry said...

Wow... you do have early bloom in your garden! We also had a big blizzard but also a big thaw over the past couple of days... lost a lot of the cover that I so appreciate when the temps get low which is going to happen here again soon. My hellebores were budding before Christmas but hopefully now will sit in a sort of suspended animation for a couple months at least!

Barry Parker said...

Hi Larry,
I live about 1km from Lake Ontario which modifies the climate in both winter and summer. Although this weekend has been very mild for all of the Toronto area.
Like you, I have great faith in plants ability to adapt and suspend animation until weather improves ( except for 'jade Tiger").