Mud Season Color: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 2009

– Posted in: Mud Season, What's up/blooming

As soon as the snow melts, before anything even blooms, there is color.

'Pistache' heuchera, a trial plant from Skagit Gardens, was the last plant glowing in autumn and the first to shine in spring.

'Pistache' heuchera, a trial plant from Skagit Gardens, was the last plant glowing in autumn and the first to shine in spring.

If you are aware that some plants can grow underneath the snow, this is not a complete surprise, though I always marvel when it is an attractive garden plant that pulls this trick, and not just the tap-rooted and creeping weeds.
The new growth on 'Geogia Peach' heuchera, a Terra Nova trial plant, has a more intense color

The new growth on 'Geogia Peach' heuchera, a Terra Nova trial plant, has a more intense color

The first flowers are not far behind, however. My first blooms of 2009 opened on March 7th.
These winter aconites were shared with me by another garden blogger.

These winter aconites were shared with me by another garden blogger.

When I learned that Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ bloomed earlier than the G. nivalis snowdrops along the Secret Garden path, I divided them last spring and put some by the kitchen door.
Encouraged by heat radiating from the concrete step, these snowdrops bloom earlier than any others.

Encouraged by heat radiating from the concrete step, these snowdrops bloom earlier than any others.

From a single bulb purchased in 2004, I had enough to divide and plant in two new locations. That’s a nice return on investment. (A few Secret Garden snowdrops are blooming, too, which means they are a bit earlier than last year.) And today, just in time for Bloom Day, my first crocus opened:
The first crocus, soon to be joined by many more.

The first crocus, soon to be joined by many more.

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

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.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

Comments on this entry are closed.

Rosie March 15, 2010, 12:38 pm

Hi Kathy its Rosie here from Scotland popping over to say hello and have a wee lookie to see whats blooming over at your place. You must have had it really cold but is’nt good to know that the Pistache heuchera on trial is going to be a winner if it can cope with this last winter. I’ve a terrible habit of when I see a snowdrop I want to see what it looks like up underneath the petals – you’ll see what I mean if you go to my GBBD post! Good to finally see some flowers in your garden.

rosemarie March 20, 2009, 12:28 pm

I love the fact that underneath 4′ of snow, the heucheras are in bloom!

kerri March 19, 2009, 12:16 pm

I too was noticing recently how well the heuchera fares through the snow and cold. I haven’t seen a crocus yet, but I’m hoping they’ll show up soon. I have seeds of aconite from a friend to plant so we’ll see what happens with those next spring.
I’ll put a few of my snowdrops the patio and see if they bloom earlier. Interesting tip. Thanks.
Happy spring, Kathy!

Daphne March 18, 2009, 7:17 am

I love the brave little crocus. Out before any other of his kind. I really need to plant some of these, but my squirrels have such a taste for them.

Les March 16, 2009, 5:05 pm

I am glad your plants have pushed their selves up out of the mud and snow and spring is coming to your part of the world.

LINDA FROM EACH LITTLE WORLD March 15, 2009, 10:25 pm

Last year I took photos on 3/29 to record how much snow was still covering the garden. This year I have snowdrops on 3/15! I moved mine from the north side (duh!) to the south side near a window a couple of years ago. Can’t believe the difference it made!

Lynn March 15, 2009, 7:55 pm

Hi Kathy, there must be some magic happening over there in the secret garden–great ROI on one bulb. Our snowdrops are a little like that, since we didn’t even know they were here, and they’re coming up all around the house, in the grass, and out by the shed. Such a lovely thing since the crocus are taking their time. But hey! Colchicums are sprouting, oo, and they look meaty!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter March 15, 2009, 6:52 pm

Last year was just the worst in a long time. I reviewed my records & found that things were later last year than this year. Of course, things are still late this year by normal standards. You have a nice group of Snowdrops. I’ve never grown that cultivar.

Cindy, MCOK March 15, 2009, 6:48 pm

That winter aconite is so COOL. I’m lusting out of my zone …

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2009, 7:39 pm

Cindy, you should know I had to lay on my belly on the wet ground to get that shot. It is no higher than a crocus. But I agree, the intricate interior of the flower is really cool.

Katie Elzer-Peters March 15, 2009, 5:52 pm

Love the Heucheras! Those count as blooms to me.

BTW: I never sent the Kale soup recipe. Here it is:

Eight cups Kale
Four cups chicken broth
One large can white kidney beans
Two cans diced tomatoes
1 pound of kielbasa
Pinch of caraway seeds

Put everything in a pot and cook until the Kale is tender! Yum!

Annie in Austin March 15, 2009, 5:29 pm

Your photos make me wonder if any snowdrops still grow in my Illinois garden. Like yours, the patch that bloomed first was near concrete. They were under a Mountain Ash tree, close to the sidewalk and front porch.

Investing in Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ was wiser than most other investments. What an increase!

Happy GBBD, Kathy!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

MNGarden March 15, 2009, 5:28 pm

I’m totally enamored with the heucheras. I have one in a large container that looked good through most of the winter until recently. I guess everything needs a bit of a rest sometime if only for a few weeks.

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2009, 7:37 pm

Donna, the ‘Pistache’ on the northwest side of the house is the one pictured. I have another one in a west-southwest exposure that looks burnt to a crisp and makes me wonder if it will come back. Location seems to be everything with these plants. When they’re good, they’re really, really good.

Donalyn March 15, 2009, 5:15 pm

I really need to get some snowdrops in. And my earliest crocus bloomed this morning. Purty little yellow ones. Love the Terra Nova intro – gorgeous color!

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2009, 7:35 pm

Donalyn, the best way to get snowdrops is as a passalong. They “take” better if planted in their new home while the leaves are still green. I have some golden crocus, but those pale silvery blue ones are even earlier.

Scherrie March 15, 2009, 5:08 pm

Your flowers are lovely. I have a question for you. Last fall, I planted crocus beneath my forsythia bush. This spring, I checked on them and found holes where the squirrels had dug them up! This is the second time I’ve tried planting crocus …always the same results. Do you have a secret?

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2009, 7:33 pm

Scherrie, the closest thing I have to a secret is that most of mine are planted in subsoil, which is hard for both critters and humans to dig in. See my crocus bank essay for details.

Dee/ March 15, 2009, 3:42 pm

It’s nice to see garden season truly beginning even in the midst of mud season. Happy bloom day.~~Dee

eliz March 15, 2009, 2:47 pm

Well I hope my snowdrops get to that stage soon. I had to replant. This winter aconite is intriguing: looks like a must-have plant to me.

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2009, 7:30 pm

eliz, I hope yours get to that stage soon, too. If you divide after every season they are supposed to proliferate more quickly.

Linda Lehmusvirta March 15, 2009, 2:24 pm

I think it’s fascinating to find the little microclimates in our gardens. Just 10 feet can make such a difference.

And I really love to see the plants I’ve heard about but will probably never see in my garden!

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2009, 7:29 pm

Linda, it seems like the more extreme the climate, the more microclimates matter, too.

Helen @ Gardening With Confidence March 15, 2009, 2:23 pm

Our area fail to reveal many snowdrops this season. Hope it is only temporary with a return next year. Love the aconite. My fave, but hard to grow there. I had a successful transplant last year from a friend, but it failed to return.

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2009, 7:28 pm

Helen, I have had a lot of trouble with them in the past, too. This is the second year for some of them and the first year for the passalongs.