Next Spring’s Foundation: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2013

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

This is the second spring in our new garden. It takes time for plants to build up strength and multiply and consequently early spring/late mud season bloom here looks sparse. But each leaf is soaking up sunshine and storing food that will make next year’s bloom, and the slow-to-warm spring that we have been enduring enables these early bloomers to stay above ground longer, with a greater opportunity for bulking up underground. How’s that for finding the silver lining in a cold spring?

These snowdrops pictured below were in tight bud a month ago. I’d say at this point they are a little past their peak but still looking good:

S. Arnott snowdrops

Because of the unseasonably cool weather, these ‘S. Arnott’ snowdrops have had a long season of bloom.

You can see that the flower stems of the spring snowflake I mentioned previously have elongated. There is supposed to be a rarer form of this plant that has yellow spots on the flowers instead of green, but I notice my plant has one of each.
Spring snowflake, Leucojum vernum

Each blossom of this plant has different colored spots, yellow on the left and green on the right.

In the last couple of days, buds on the newly planted crocus patch have emerged, but haven’t had much sunshine to encourage them to open:
emerging crocuses

Just planted these crocuses last fall.

I just dug up the ‘Josef Lemper’ hellebore from the old garden last week. It’s looking pretty good:
Josef Lemper hellebore

This is the third year I’ve grown ‘Josef Lemper’ and he’s starting to fill out respectably.

Inspired by this very-late-fall/very-early-spring blooming hellebore, I’ve made a point to seek out other hellebores that fall in this category. Last year, Burpee invited me to trial some plants and I chose six hellebores that I hoped would give me both fall and spring bloom. As is typical with hellebores, they’ve taken a while to get going. Two of my plants have buds:
Ivory Prince hellebore

‘Ivory Prince’ will probably bloom this week–maybe even today!

First Cuckoo hellebore

‘First Cuckoo’ isn’t quite open yet, and was facing downward, but I have high hopes for it.

Siberian squills and the earliest daffodils are blooming at the old house, but not here, which leads me to believe it is a tad colder here. But perhaps I should give them another year to settle in here before I come to a conclusion.

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.

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

13 Comments… add one

LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD April 23, 2013, 1:14 pm

I’ve had great luck here in Wisconsin with Ivory Prince. It’s become one of my favorite Hellebores with very attractive leaves.

Cindy, MCOK April 19, 2013, 8:44 am

Kathy, you remind me that I need to have more patience with my perennials! So many plants grow and bloom quickly here that I forget not all of them are so inclined!

Niles April 18, 2013, 10:15 am

They look wonderful!

Helen at Toronto Gardens April 17, 2013, 8:54 am

Fresh daubs on your new canvas. Besides your crocus patch, I envy you your chance to start afresh. A lot of work, sure, but new inspiration, every day.

Donna@Gardens Eye View April 16, 2013, 7:00 pm

Nice to see your blooms starting. My crocus are eaten by critters or cut and taken to vole nests I discovered like satin sheets.

Rose April 16, 2013, 7:21 am

Your crocus patch is going to be a lovely sight when they all bloom! My crocuses have finished blooming, and it’s daffodil season here while I wait for the tulips to open up. The weather has certainly been different this spring, but you’re right about the silver lining, Kathy–I hope this cooler spring means the blooms will last longer.

Donalyn April 16, 2013, 6:42 am

I still have snow drops in bloom as well, but the only daffs in bloom are from a discounted pot of Easter flowers I bought at Lowes last year – they are tiny little flowers and very cute. What I know is going to happen is that every one of my daffodils is waiting till I set foot on the plane to AZ and then they will all bloom at once. And be looking tatty by the time I get home…

Joene at Joene's Garden April 16, 2013, 6:03 am

Since newer planted bulbs tend to bloom a bit later than established bulbs, your new plantings may catch up with previous ones with time. How lucky that you can enjoy your ‘old’ garden and make comparisons between the old and the new.

Renee April 15, 2013, 10:08 pm

All your flowers are so pretty – and so different from what can grow here. Thanks for sharing them with us!

Alana April 15, 2013, 5:16 pm

I am starting to “get into” hellebore, especially after seeing so many GBBD posts with Hellebore. I will be interested in knowing how the other 4 varieties do for you. If they do well for you they will certainly do well in zone 5 Triple Cities. Happy GBBD!

spurge April 15, 2013, 2:15 pm

Love that Joseph Lemper hellebore! The colors are so soft and sophisticated. I am going to add some white hellebores to my garden. I always go for bright red or pink ones, forgetting how good the white looks early in spring.

Frances April 15, 2013, 1:11 pm

I love that you have found the key to happiness, meaning finding the silver lining in everything, Kathy! Good luck with your new garden, and may all your springs be chock full of goodies!

DJ , Meander Mountain April 15, 2013, 12:42 pm

Hi Kathy, hope all is well with you. You inspire me to do more bulb plantings … maybe later this year. The ‘First Cuckoo’ hellebore is very pretty. It looks very rose-like at this stage.

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