Mud Time March

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The hiatus is over. The computer is reconstructed (now Raid 10). New oaths have been sworn to save often and backup frequently. The photo/software closet is now very well organized! A couple of years ago I noticed a friend at work bagged all his machine software in quart sized zip locks. So now, we have a box with bags labeled for each machine. And another box containing bagged versions of Office, Lightroom, Quickbooks, etc. Would you believe I found a copy of Photoshop 3 ( that is, not CS3) still kicking around? The only thing left to reassemble is Quicken and my taxes. Luckily one can download quite a bit from banks now. I can't imagine entering all those checks. 

During all this machine terror, we took off for a Florida trade show. As we left I noticed both witch hazels blooming. They usually start opening February but I had missed it with all the computer meltdown.
Hamemelis x intermedia
The trip to Orlando was very successful- Rod came home with a Vesta Finalist plaque for his new modular masonry heater. And I came home with a few Camellia lutchuensis hybrids. (More on that odyssey later.) We returned to about a foot of snow still on the ground, mid March. Then overnight, we had a week of Florida weather: t-shirts and shorts. Next came the rain and the mud. The snow disappeared, and as it did, Crocus tommasinianus appeared with a roaring good show. But since it was so warm the show was over in a week. Not so for my early Hepatica transsilvanica. There are two patches which seem to alternate in vitality. This year, it is the plant under the maple that is putting on the show. I will admit I was digging around dividing the other last year, so it does have an excuse.
Hepatica transsilvanica
Unlike its name, Helleborus niger, the Christmas rose, never really opens here until mud season. And it is definitely Muddy March now. The foliage is not particularly attractive, as it is in milder areas, but the flowers are always welcome. I am happy that we have been having zone 6 winters here for the past few. It was always difficult to keep it from the ice of a zone 4 winter with no snow cover.
Helleborus niger
As I was remembering my joy - walking the rock garden path, I spied an unknown sax blooming today. I always thought Saxifraga sancta was the first herald among my collection. But it is still in bud. S sancta, so named when discovered on the 'holy' Mount Athos, is one of the easiest mats that needs no coddling. And it is quite hardy, even though from Greece. The unfamiliar new bun has a case of fading-label. (Funny that none of the other labels in that area have that problem.) It looks to be S. albana, but I cannot find any reference in literature to that name. It is quite a lovely thing. Perhaps you recognize it?