Sunday, February 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – February 15

On the 15th of each month May Dreams Gardens hosts “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.” She and other Garden Bloggers want to know what’s blooming in our gardens. This should be very interesting as these Bloggers come from around the world. With this post, I’m jumping in! Here is what is blooming in my yard in mid-February in south eastern North Carolina (Zone 8).

This is a Prunus sp. ‘Okame’ or Okame Cherry. It is a small 1-1/2-inch caliper tree and is blooming a month early this year!

Okame Cherry

Here is a close up of its blossoms:

Cherry Blossom

Can you believe I also saw a honey bee working these flowers in February?! In my part of the world, the Okame Cherrys bloom first, usually in mid-March. After they finish blooming, the Prunus yedoensis (Yoshino Cherrys) bloom, usually around early April. Finally, in early May, the Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’ (Kwanzan Cherrys) bloom. This is perfect and gives us two solid months of flowering cherrys!

When I think of flowering cherry trees I always recall the Cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. They are spectacular!

Did you know that there are roughly 3750 cherry trees planted around the Tidal Basin? Most are Yoshino cherrys. Their peak bloom time varies depending on the year. To see a history of peak bloom times for these trees go Here. In 1912, the trees were given to the United States as a gift of friendship by the people of Japan. First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. These two original trees are still standing today near the John Paul Jones statue at the south end of 17th Street. If you ever get the opportunity to visit Washington, DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival, do it! It truly is a spectacular sight to see in our nation’s capitol.

Going back to my garden, which seems quite dull next to those Washington, DC cherry trees, I also have Narcissus sp. or daffodils in bloom.


Dutch Master daffodil2

The one on the left looks to me like a large yellow – most likely a ‘Dutch Master.’ The other one, I have no idea about as it was given to me. I also have ‘Ice Follies’ and ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ in other parts of my yard that are not in bloom yet. The Sir Winston Churchill’s are late-blooming with a double flower. I grow them for their wonderful fragrance! Although I have broken my rule here, I normally always plant massings of daffodils in with evergreen Liriope muscari. I normally use either ‘Big Blue’ or ‘Evergreen Giant’ liriope. The leaves of the daffodils are very similar in form and size to the liriope and this adds a wonderful seasonal dimension to the masses of liriope.

So, there you have it. Not a lot of action yet. However, Spring really is just around the corner!


  1. The cherry tree is lovely. It really seems to symbolize spring.

    Always Growing

  2. Great blooms to get you started thinking about springtime! I've had some smaller narcissus but no proper daffodils yet. Ice Follies is one of the few ones of the standard varieties that will do return subsequent years here in San Diego where it's warmer. I think I saw some buds. Enjoy yours!

  3. Thanks for sharing your blooms with us. Cherry trees and daffodils... great combo. Very 'springy'.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. No, daffodils in February are NOT boring!!

    Spring is definitely around the corner. I knew Chuck (groundhog) was right again and not Phil.

  5. I've been pondering getting an Okame cherry. :) Does yours get fall color?

    My parents lived in DC for a couple of years and they still talk about the Yoshino Cherries. They are magnificent.

  6. Your Cherry tree is beautiful -- how exciting it must be to see that beauty in the early Spring each year. And thanks for the lesson about the different varieties and Washington's famous trees. I hope to get to see them myself some day. My DH travels and works in DC during the week often, so he's lucky.

  7. I live in the Wilmington, NC area - zone 8, same as yours. I looked at the Okame cherry tree today. I've also seen Yoshino and Kwanzan at local nurseries. Any idea which is best for our local, coastal area?


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