Germinating the blog

Although there is more freezing weather and the possibility of snow in the forecast, spring is well underway in North Carolina.  The redbud trees are in full bloom, and the early yellow daffodils are fading.  The crocuses are already finished.

This is what they looked like a couple of weeks ago:

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The fence lizards are up and about.

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At this time of the year, when they are intent on sunning themselves, I can often approach close enough to gently touch them.  In summer, they’ll be up a tree and hiding around the other side of the trunk before I get near.

In my greenhouse, the longer days and more intense sunlight are waking up various plants from their winter dormancy.

Cattleya amethystoglossa flowers are just opening,

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while the St. Joseph’s Lily (Hippeastrum x johnsonii) is in full bloom.

Hippeastrum x johnsonii flowers

The yellow, spring blooming pachypodiums are just getting started.  This is Pachypodium bicolor, named for the slightly paler throat, unfortunately not very visible in this picture, that gives its flowers two colors:

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In the background is the pale yellow form of Pachypodium eburneum.

Opposite the pachypodium bench,  a vireya (tropical rhododendron) brightens up the corner with its intense orange flowers.  This unlabeled plant is probably a hybrid of Rhododendron javanicum, or possibly the species itself:

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With all this new growth and color, it seems like a good time to start the gardening blog that I have been thinking about.  My goal is to keep it going for at least a year, to document a full annual cycle of growth in the garden and greenhouse.  After that, we’ll see how it goes.

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