Signs of Spring

– Posted in: Garden Tweets

Coltsfoot is blooming along the road, and the dormant trees on the hillside have taken on a reddish tinge.

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 its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.

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

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barbben April 11, 2009, 1:14 pm

Dear Kathy,

Indeed, we are in Sacramento. I poured icy water from the bird bath on them to encourage coldness. There are buds on some that have been in the sun so I have high hopes. Perhaps they will open this week. Will read your spring posts when I am done with Sat errands.

Like looking at all your beautiful narcissus pix,

barbben April 11, 2009, 12:47 pm


Found your site cause I was looking for n. poeticus info. I planted some bulbs on the day of the election last fall and am waiting for them to bloom. Daffs are all done and poeticus are just about to open. How late is very late?Waiting and waiting for stems to come up…Waiting to smell the fragrance… will report back from Sacto if there is any action. Would appreciate any tips on how to keep them happy.

Kathy Purdy April 11, 2009, 12:59 pm

Late is a relative term. Very late just means in comparison to other narcissus. In my case, the earliest of the daffodils are just starting to bloom. I don’t expect poeticus to bloom for another 3 to 4 weeks. Any narcissus will emerge and bloom later the first year, though. In Sacramento (which is what I think you meant by Sacto), I would think the biggest problem would be making sure they are cold enough in the winter. You might have better luck with the types of narcissus they grow in Austin, which are the kind they sell to us northerners as good for forcing.

wiseacre April 11, 2009, 10:10 am

Poor poor pitiful me – I don’t have any Hepatica. I’ve never attempted to transplant any but now that you mention it – I should go out looking since it’s about the right time. (thank goodness for blogs – and the kick they give to my memory bank)

wiseacre’s last blog post..Fire Moss

wiseacre April 10, 2009, 11:16 pm

I’ll have to go check. I think it might be a bit early here but they do grow in places that warm up sooner than my cold wet hole in the woods.

Around here, Bloodroot is just emerging, Marsh Marigold is leafing out, mosses are ‘fruiting’ and I did notice the reddening of the trees.

wiseacre’s last blog post..Fowl Water Mates

Kathy Purdy April 11, 2009, 9:55 am

Wiseacre, The marsh marigold in my garden has leafed out, but the double bloodroot has not emerged yet. Do you have hepatica? My European Hepatica nobilis is blooming. (I thought it was native when I bought it, but I’ve planted it in the garden by the house.)

Carol, May Dreams Gardens April 10, 2009, 10:21 pm

I don’t think I know what coltsfoot is!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens’s last blog post..The Society Considers Issues Of Identity

Kathy Purdy April 11, 2009, 9:51 am

Carol, coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is native to Europe but has naturalized in North America. It looks sort of like a dandelion but blooms even earlier. You can see a photo of one here.

Donalyn April 10, 2009, 9:17 pm

Irritate weed shrubs that they may be, it is nice to see the green haze on the honeysuckle everywhere.

Kathy Purdy April 11, 2009, 9:57 am

I drove down Interstate 81 the same day you wrote your comment, Donalyn, but I didn’t see the green haze myself. Must be you’re a little further ahead in your neck of the woods.