Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pushing Forward / Reaching Out

March is one of my favorite months because plants that have been sleeping all winter wake up and push out new leaves, new growth, new stems to meet the world.  

Virginia Mountain Mint regrowing (Pycnanthemum virginianum)
Of course this winter has been so warm that there was some waking up way too early, but I can just hope for the best.  The worry with too early wake-up calls is that plants come out of dormancy and then get nailed when the temperature drops again. For hardy herbs it is not a problem but tender peach flowers don't like that chill!
Self seeded chervil
Some fragrant herbs have been leafing out, offering us fresh bunches of chervil and cilantro to cook with or chop into salads.

Peach flower buds on a Hale Haven tree

Flowering Cherry

Elderberry leafing out
Hazelwood shrubs are going about pollinating each other right about now.  The male flowers called catkins have been hanging on the shrubs all winter.  Now, they open up and shed pollen that the wind hopefully will carry to other trees' female flowers.  The female flowers are small and red and located right against the branches. Hazelwoods do best with plantings of multiple trees to pollinate each other.  Since this will be our first year getting nuts, I used my finger to help do a little hand pollinating for some extra insurance.

Pollen on a male hazelwood flower (catkin)

Red female flowers on hazelwood

Regrowth of Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Anise hyssop is one of my favorite flowers / herbs.  It seeds itself everywhere which is fine with me.  Its leaves and flowers give off an anise scent when crushed and bumblebees adore its lovely purple flower spikes.  

Ida Joe with purple sage
I am looking forward to Spring and love seeing all these reminders that it is coming!