January blooms

I don’t really expect much to be blooming outside in the middle of January but I also don’t expect it to be pushing 60°. A January thaw would seem more justified if the weeks leading to it had been frigid rather than merely gray, raw, and windy. But any time the air is soft and the bay is like a mirror, you won’t catch me complaining. You’ll catch me outside. The bees took advantage of yesterday’s warmth to look for flowers, so I figured I might as well look for some too. I didn’t find much though and what I did find was not covered in a swarm. …I wonder where the bees went and hope to learn more about their moves in bee school…

(click on pictures for a bigger view or mouse over for the caption.) 

While the bees did whatever they were out doing, I followed the sun around the Display Garden and cut back some of the completely fallen down stalks that were no longer contributing to the view. It was work that could have waited for the same kind of day in February or March, but didn’t have to. I left some stems as protection over the crown of certain plants like Salvia guaranitica and anise hyssop and just tidied them up a bit instead (cut them back by half or so). The betony (Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’) stalks broke off at the ground with barely any tugging as did all the fallen butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) so clearly, it was time for them to be compost. I also decided to whack back most of our Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’. Is it just me or is that grass a beast with few redeeming qualities? It definitely didn’t hold my winter interest and flopped around a little too much over the summer at least where we had it (smack in the middle of the pollinator bed path. I freely admit that was my bad idea. Maybe I’ll like it better somewhere else. Then again, maybe not. Live and learn.)

Have you had the chance to get outside during a balmy thaw yet? What did you do? – Anything blooming? For a world-wide look at January blooms, head over to May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!