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New Growth

April 11, 2011

No matter how many springs I live through, the appearance of new growth on plants that have been dormant through the winter never fails to thrill me. I am enjoying that annual thrill now in my Gettysburg, Pennsylvania garden.

In the front flower bed, the Pulmonaria (lungwort) has produced both new leaves and flower buds, and the bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) grow visibly each day.

New growth on pulmonaria (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Dicentra spectabilis in early spring (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
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Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ has produced new growth in both the front and back flower beds, and daylilies (Hemerocallis) are well up out of the ground in every part of the garden.

Fresh growth on Biokovo (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Daylily new growth (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
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Viburnum breaking dormancy (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) The sight of Viburnum breaking dormancy with with its pink buds and new leaves is a special thrill.
And at this time of year, I find myself visually scouring the garden each day for the first sign of hostas breaking the surface. The biggest thrill of all is the discovery of those red nubs of new growth. Hosta new growth breaking the surface (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
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Spring is sweet!

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2011 3:07 am

    Don’t the new growth spikes of hostas look like horns of some kind! Spring really does get the pulse racing, doesn’t it. I am jealous of your Dicentra, mine is a lot smaller, I’m not sure it is entirely happy with the heavy soil.

    • April 15, 2011 12:15 pm

      Janet, You’re right; the hosta spikes do look like horns. (I never noticed that before. :-)) The soil here is pretty heavy clay (well, at least compared to the very sandy soil of my Maine garden), but this is the happiest Dicentra spectabilis I’ve ever seen. When it is in it’s full glory, it will pretty much fill up the whole 5′ width of the flower bed. I have to make sure that I have someone cut it back in mid-summer or the later-blooming daylilies buried underneath it in spring will never get a chance to bloom.

  2. April 12, 2011 5:53 am

    I’m doing the same thing here, Jean, walking around the property, peering under plants – delighted each time I see fresh green!

    The hosta leaves poking up are just the best!

  3. April 12, 2011 10:33 am

    Alas! I have no hosta nubs! I hope they didn’t succumb to the winter.

  4. April 12, 2011 10:55 am

    It’s like seeing old friends again!

    • April 15, 2011 12:55 pm

      Diane, I think this is such a characteristic gardener behavior in spring — wearing paths as we walk around several times a day looking to see what (if anything) is happening yet. The hostas are particularly exciting not only because they are later than many other plants, but because it’s so easy to miss them when they first poke through the surface. After I noticed one, I went back around to other flower beds and — sure enough — there they were!

      Thomas, You’ve hit the nail on the head; that’s exactly what it’s like. Yesterday I noticed barely visible tips of new growth on my platycodon (the last plant to come up here), and I was doing a little jig in the garden, “You’re back! you’re back!”

      Susan, Don’t lose hope. I always think those late-appearing plants like hosta and platycodon aren’t going to reappear. I suppose the suspense is what makes their eventual appearance so exciting. I do have a few plants that truly didn’t appear. They didn’t succumb to the winter, though, but to two consecutive summers when I was away on sabbatical and no one watered. But my sadness at the loss is tempered by the fact that I now have a good excuse for my other favorite spring activity, going to nurseries and buying plants! 🙂

  5. April 12, 2011 11:07 am

    There’s a profusion of lovely new spring growth in your garden. I’ve never been successful at hostas, the slugs mow right through them at just about that stage. I get very anxious to see some of our plants break dormancy too. It’s always most exciting, right as I’ve almost given up hope, to see those first signs of life after a long winter.

  6. April 12, 2011 7:49 pm

    This really is a fun time of year, poking through the leaves and twigs to see if you can spot a bit of green. It doesn’t get any better than this.

  7. April 12, 2011 8:00 pm

    I am making a daily walk around the garden looking for all those new blooms and the continuos growth…your plants are looking large and lovely..ready to break through with flowers…

  8. April 12, 2011 8:25 pm

    I have little devil hosta spikes coming up too… I find it interesting that they don’t seem to care if its warm or cold, they come up the same time for nearly everyone.

  9. April 14, 2011 9:01 am

    Hello Jean, I’ve very much enjoyed a little visit to your spring garden, especially as the first little chills creep into my garden signalling that winter is on her way!

  10. Lula (onbotanicalphotography.blogspot.com) permalink
    April 14, 2011 1:08 pm

    Yes, spring is so sweet! and I wonder how great this technology is, that I can get to see your garden’s progress!

  11. April 15, 2011 4:04 pm

    Spring is Sweet! I feel free, excited and alive again. Its like I was dormant! LOL- I was, except for my appetite!
    I am walking around each day to see whats new or blooming!
    I almost missed my tiny reticulata iris 2 days ago they just appeared! Its wonderful!

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