A mild 2011-12 winter meant early arrival of spring. Today is March 11, and azaleas are beginning to flower. Daffodils have been in bloom for more than a month. Tulip foliage is up. Viburnum and chinese snowball are budding. Tips of hostas are poking out of the ground. I should’ve finished spreading pine needles weeks ago – I fear stepping on new growth as I work in the gardens.
Below, the ‘Orange Dream’ Japanese maple is already beginning to leaf out. This is one of my favorites, an Ebay purchase from 2 years ago. Although it has doubled in size since I planted it, it’s not even 3 feet tall, and its adult height will be only 9 feet or so. If it survives until then, it will be a knockout in the garden. Its leaves are spectacular – chartreuse bordered with orange in early spring, bright green in summer, and gold in fall.