Early spring blossoms: Crocus and snowdrops

– Posted in: Snowdrops, What's up/blooming
14 comments

Image of white crocus with slate blue feathering
The temperatures are still dropping into the teens every night (last night’s low: 17.5F or -8C) and even when the high hits 40F (4C) the brisk wind makes it feel chillier. But at least a hurried stroll around the premises is now rewarded with signs that Spring is slowly making inroads in Winter’s territory. These crocuses started blooming yesterday, but despite the sunshine they just can’t bring themselves to open fully.
Image of blooming snowdrops
The snowdrops have finally opened, but still don’t look really enthusiastic. I can’t say I blame them. I know I should be out there pruning shrubs and raking road grit out of the lawn, but when that wind blows, I want to get back in the house just as soon as I’ve checked for new sprouts shooting out of the still semi-frozen earth.

Does my reluctance indicate traces of remaining sanity or lack of horticultural ambition?

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Kathy Purdy April 2, 2008, 2:10 pm

Mr. McGregor’s Daughter, I had never realized my snowdrops were fragrant before! Why is that? Maybe it’s usually not warm enough? Yesterday it was in the 60s, and I detected a sweet but elusive fragrance on the air. I walked over to the snowdrop patch, stooped down, and took a big whiff. Yes! That was the fragrance I had noticed.

Kim March 26, 2008, 7:54 pm

Wow… I would say that your snowdrops look pretty enthusiastic! Numerous, at the very least. 🙂

Dee/reddirtramblings March 26, 2008, 5:38 pm

Kathy, the better weather will come soon enough, and you’ll get your chores done. Can’t wait to see you next weekend.~~Dee

cyndy March 26, 2008, 11:00 am

Oh Kathy, I think that your reluctance indicates the decision of a wise and seasoned gardener…like those crocus, your ambition will bloom when the time is right!

Kathy Purdy March 25, 2008, 7:37 pm

MSS and Annie,
Sun hat: check. Sun block: check. Shorts–shorts!! in April!! Um, my lily white legs aren’t ready for shorts. I’ll consider a denim skirt.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter March 25, 2008, 11:18 am

I hope you have somewhere to sit near those Snowdrops because when the wind finally dies down & the sun shines, it is going to smell heavenly! I think you’re suffering from a lack of ambition brought on by gray skies & howling winds.

Annie in Austin March 24, 2008, 11:47 pm

There are so many snowdrops in that photo – I quit counting after 60. And remember how thrilled I once was when 15 bloomed at once in Illinois.

Hat, yes- definitely a hat, Kathy!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Amy March 24, 2008, 11:19 pm

I vote for sanity 🙂

mss @ Zanthan Gardens March 24, 2008, 9:26 pm

In a couple of weeks, you’ll be in Austin and you’ll have to get our your shorts and a sun hat…possibly mosquito repellant and definitely sunscreen.

David Perry March 24, 2008, 8:37 pm

Stunning Work!
Having spent a bit of time in your company, I’m pretty sure it can’t be traces of remaining sanity. You strike me as perfectly, delightfully crazy. Hmmmm, but lack of ambition? You?
Are those really our only two choices?

Kathy Purdy March 24, 2008, 6:52 pm

Yeah, I was wearing long underwear, too. The wind makes all the difference. I know I’ve gone out on walks on sunny winter days when it didn’t get above freezing, and had to unzip my jacket.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens March 24, 2008, 6:45 pm

Hmmm… sanity or lack of ambition? How about the need for a warmer coat?

I know what you mean, sometimes that wind blows so that no coat can keep it out, no matter how warm the coat is or how think the long underwear.

entangled March 24, 2008, 6:35 pm

I think those snowdrops are showing much more enthusiasm than mine ever do 😉

kate March 24, 2008, 5:34 pm

I’ll vote on the side of remaining sanity. In these early spring days, wind and cold temperatures don’t make for a pleasant experience. Besides those snowdrops look as if they are shivering. That is an impressive patch of snowdrops!