Pink Rhododendron Blooms in February

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Like so many February days on the West Coast, it’s grey & overcast.  C & I head out for a walk over Mt. Tolmie anyway.  A block or so along Henderson Road, we’re surprised by pink blossoms at the edge of the sidewalk.  February blooms on a rhododendron ???  Don’t they usually bloom in May?  What a treat.

It’s a big shrub, and it’s covered in buds & flowers!  This is not just a confused branch sending out an aberrant flower…  This must be the regular season for this species to bloom.  Sweet.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I take a photo, then we continue our walk.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

But right next door is another blooming bush!    Well, I suppose this makes sense.  Who doesn’t yearn for the promise of spring at this time of year?   I’m guessing these neighbors share garden notes over the fence.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

A couple more houses along the way… Another pink rhododendron.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Around the corner; another! 

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Down the block: a 5th!

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

By this time we are sensing a trend.  C & I make bets on how many  pink rhodos we ‘ll find along our regular route.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The 6th discovery is down the next street.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Then it isn’t until after cresting Mt. Tolmie Park, and heading back home along the streets of the south-western slope, that we find more blooming evergreens.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

One is behind a fence (beside a blooming forsythia!)

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Two more grow in the garden of a fellow who’d moved into the neighborhood about the same time we had.

Pink blooming Rhododendron in February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The last one has buds just starting to open.  It’s right in front of a pink tree. (Perhaps a Cherry?  or Plum?).

There might be other rhodos we missed, but I reckon 11 is a pretty good collection – – certainly more than either of us expected.   Perhaps we should start looking for an early rhododendron for our garden.  (Not just to make an even dozen. or keep up with the Jones’s, or build community, but for our good mental health.)

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Happiness Is a Pink Tree

Pink blooming tree in mid February, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

When it’s grey and drizzling in Victoria, it’s still a good day to go for a walk with my sweetheart.  It’s even better when the early cherry trees (or plums?) burst into blossom for Valentines Day.

Isn’t Life Beautiful?

(You might like to check out the April blooms, too.)

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Don’t Pick The Flowers

How many treasures disappear over winter & re-appear in spring?

unusually early crocus in January, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

It’s magic.

How many are then weeded out by mistake?

Tragic!!

Some treasures, like crocus, send out blooms straight away, so they’re safe.

Others, like cyclamen,  have really distinctive leaves, so they’re safe too.

cyclamen leaf bud in January, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

But there are so many others…

The wee Blue Eyed Iris is one treasure I’ve weeded out.  (I mistook it for grass…. turns out its also called Blue Eyed GRASS!  Go figure. )

Shooting Star is another victim.  (I mistake the young leaves for dandelion.)

From these tragedies, I’ve become a little more cautious.

young sea blush Plectritis congesta in leaf garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The other day I was crawling around on our mountain (rocky outcropping), looking closely at plants growing in the moss.

So what is this – – Treasure ?  Weed??

My twitchy fingers  pluck out those blades of grass, but cautiously hold off on the other little plants.

young sea blush in flower, native plant, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Today I rejoice! They’ve proven themselves  to be the native annual: Sea Blush.  (I can recognize the flower.)

Yippee!
Caution pays off.

Thank goodness they’ve thrown a couple early blooms.  I don’t know how long I’d have held off from weeding them.  Now I’ll carefully tidy any competition around these gems & look forward to the moss blushing a lovely pink this April.

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