“What’s Blooming” with Mark Burton

Over the last couple weeks, you may have noticed some early blooms popping up around your neighborhood. Though it’s still February, unseasonably warm, wet weather has inspired a rush of spring growth. Our horticulturist, Mark Burton, has made note of some of the plants he’s seen blooming in his garden, and what other gardeners should look out for as February transitions into March.

Winter Jasmine

winter jasmine

Photo by Amanda Slater.

Winter Jasmine is a viny, green shrub that sprouts odorless yellow flowers in late winter. Typically, winter jasmine blooms in March or April, but warm weather can cause blooms to appear in late February or even earlier. This shrub prefers ample sunlight and can grow in a wide range of soil conditions. Mark has noticed these vines popping up in yards across Roanoke County.



Photo by Joy Yagid.

Hellebore or “The Christmas Rose” produces large, bowl-shaped pink and white flowers. These plants ae highly frost resistant, and many produce flowers in the dead of winter. They prefer moist, partially shaded soil, so you may find them popping up under bushes or trees. Hellebore has long been known as a plant that can brighten even the gloomiest of winters, but this wet and warm weather has it shining in full force.



Photo by Tejvan Pettinger.

Daffodils are one of the most popular kinds of spring flowers; up to 60 different kinds can grow in the wild. Typically, daffodils bloom is early spring and are considered harbingers of the season. However, some daffodils have been known to bloom in the snow. They prefer well-drained, sunny soil. Patches of wild daffodils can be found around Roanoke County, and many home and business owners cultivate daffodil patches throughout the winter.

Hairy Bittercress

Mulch prevents weed growth

Mark’s Mulching Technique

Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress by F.D Richards.

Hairy Bittercress, an edible weed that belongs to the mustard family, can be found across the United States. It typically produces small white flowers in early spring, but Mark has noticed bittercress blooms popping up everywhere lately—even in his own yard! This weed typically grows in damp soil, open ground, or turf. If you’ve seen it in your garden, a 2” layer of mulch may prevent it from germinating.

What have you seen blooming? Comment and let us know!


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