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February at the Botanical Garden

February 26, 2011

It’s cold. The snow is gone, but it’s cold, well below 0°C at night. During the day, it’s still cold, but you don’t feel it so much, because the sun is quite strong already… until you try to take pictures. No gloves? Not good!

The ice on the pond is still thick enough to walk on… I only tested it with one foot, close to the shore (it would be pretty embarrassing if it broke, and I had to sit in the greenhouses waiting for my trousers and shoes to dry…), but it seems pretty solid. Made me realize how long it’s been since the last time I went ice skating… years…

There are hellebores, some still little buds huddling among the leaves…

… others already proudly blooming in the sunshine:

Winter Jasmine:

Snowdrops and cyclamen:

And more snowdrops, all over the place:

There are crocuses:

By now I know the Botanical Garden well enough that I know where everything grows, and can even find those stray crocuses in the lawn:

But these aren’t hard to miss:


Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is coming up – I know you’re not supposed to pick anything at the Botanical Garden, but hell – it’s the first wild garlic of the year, I had to eat a leaf. I’m hoping for nice weather tomorrow so I can go to the forest and see if it’s already growing there as well… just thinking about it makes me hungry. Chives and garden cress from the kitchen window sill is fine, but nothing spells ‘spring’ like a slice of brown bread with butter and wild garlic!

The Witch Hazels are in full bloom now:

Can you tell I love Witch Hazel? I had to get a picture of every single one. More than one, actually, because my camera doesn’t always agree with me on what is interesting, and insists on focusing on the background – my poor, freezing fingers! I had no choice but to have hot chocolate and cake afterwards to warm up.


Inside the greenhouses, there wasn’t much of interest going on… just a bit of a bad smell:

Amorphophallus konjac


Though the smell wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected, considering there were about half a dozen of them blooming. So I’m not worried so much about mine blooming any more. Not that I need to be worried for a while, I think, considering these corms were all almost the size of a cantaloupe, and mine is as big as a cherry…


5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2011 05:08

    ::glare:: I don’t think I’ll be seeing blooms for 2-3 weeks still.

  2. Ginny Burton permalink
    February 28, 2011 15:34

    I should be ashamed to admit this, but I just don’t get the attraction of hellebores. The flowers seem so insipid to me.

    Everything else you photographed, however, I love.

  3. March 2, 2011 03:23

    I don’t know you Ginny but you just broke my heart! For us up in Minnesota (northern most part of the US if you’re not from the US) they’re the absolute first thing for us to bloom! It’s practically the most exciting thing ever!

  4. March 2, 2011 20:00

    My problem with hellebores is mostly the foliage – either it hides the flowers, or it’s all flat on the ground and ugly-looking…

    And I saw wild garlic from the train window on the way home from work today, so I’ll need to visit that forest as soon as possible.


  1. March at the Botanical Garden « Letters & Leaves

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