Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2014

– Posted in: Cabin Fever Bed, What's up/blooming

My efforts to develop a cabin fever bed are starting to bear fruit. The winter aconites have come and gone, but I have plenty else starting to bloom.

New this year

Bulbocodium vernum

My very first blooms of Bulbocodium vernum

I purchased Bulbocodium vernum from Odyssey Bulbs last year. It is colored like a colchicum and used to be called a colchicum, but is now a separate species in the colchicum family.
Colchicum hungaricum 'Velebit Star'

Colchicum hungaricum ‘Velebit Star’ – a spring blooming colchicum!

‘Velebit Star’, another plant from Odyssey Bulbs, is my first spring-blooming colchicum, and to my eye looks less like a colchicum than the bulbocodium. I don’t think it was fully opened when I took this picture.


Hellebores take time to settle in. All of these were in the Cabin Fever Bed last spring but they have a lot more buds on them this year.

Helleborus niger 'Double Fantasy'

Helleborus niger ‘Double Fantasy’

Helleborus niger–the Christmas Rose–is supposed to be a little bit fussier than the Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis and its hybrids), but I think it’s worth the extra fussing, especially for the cold climate gardener, because H. niger blooms much earlier in the spring (and sometimes in late fall). ‘Double Fantasy’ (above) is not looking very double. There is a row of petaloids surrounding the reproductive parts, but it’s pretty hard to see them in this picture.
Helleborus niger 'HGC Josef Lemper'

Helleborus niger ‘HGC Josef Lemper’ lives to bloom another year

Speaking of H. niger being more fussy, remember how I almost lost ‘Josef Lemper’? Well, he’s still alive and starting to bloom again(above).
'First Cuckoo' hellebore

‘First Cuckoo’ hellebore

‘First Cuckoo’ is a full double that hasn’t opened all the way yet.
Helleborus x hybridus `WD Phoebe'

Helleborus x hybridus `WD Phoebe’

‘Phoebe’ (above) is clearly a double, and an early bloomer for a hybrid.
red seedling hellebore

This is a seedling I got from Nan Ondra.

Several years ago, Nan Ondra sent me some winter aconite plants after I complained about having trouble getting them going. There “just happened” to be some hellebore seedlings mixed in with them. Nan told me she got the seed from Phedar Nursery and my seedling was a baby of one of the plants she grew. So I call it ‘Nan Ondra’s Red’ and think of her gratefully every year it blooms.



My mom gave me her clivia.

This is the same clivia I repotted a couple of years ago.

The amaryllis that I thought I killed, on its second bloom stalk. Go figure.

Above is the amaryllis I tried to get to go dormant, and then I gave up on that and started watering again. I really don’t know what I’m doing right, but after the first flower stalk with five flowers on it, it sent out a second stalk with four blossoms.


At the old house it was the Crocus Bank. Here, I’m just calling it the Crocus Patch, though eventually I hope it’s more of a ribbon or a stream. You may recall that I started planting crocuses in the lawn here in fall 2012. In the picture below (and the very first image at the top), those crocuses are blooming lustily.

Two years' crocus planting

The crocus in the foreground were planted two years ago. The crocus in the back on the right were planted last fall.

In the far right corner you can see the crocuses I planted last year just beginning to bloom. In my experience, after they settle in they will emerge and bloom at the same time as the previously planted crocuses. Creating these grand effects takes time. I hope to plant another adjoining five-foot-square patch this fall.

That’s enough to hold me until next week, I guess. The first daffodils are on the verge of blooming and pretty soon I will see corydalis, creeping phlox, and lots of other flowers I don’t remember at the moment. Spring is here!

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.

When dealing with frost it is always best to be paranoid. In the spring never think it is too late for one more frost to come. And in the fall never think it too early.

~Rundy in Frost

Comments on this entry are closed.

commonweeder April 22, 2014, 7:24 am

I haven’t made it down to the ‘orchard’ yet this morning, hoping to see Glory of the Snow and some scillas, but I can see buds on the early daffs which are the bulbs close to the house. Bad planning. Next time I’ll make sure I have early early bulbs where they can give early encouragement.

Kerri April 21, 2014, 9:34 am

Happy spring, Kathy! We’ve waited a very long time for it! Isn’t it wonderful to finally have some color in the gardens again and to be able to get our hands dirty? Lovely to see your spring blooms. I noticed yesterday that my Bloodroot is just beginning to open its flowers. Just a few daffs blooming so far but lots of crocuses, scillas, snowdrops and 2 Hellebores. Bright sunshine here this morning…looks like a perfect gardening day in upstate NY. I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy it, as I’m planning to do.

Donna@GardensEyeView April 20, 2014, 3:53 pm

Kathy what a glorious sight to see spring in your garden…and all the crocus…the voles got to so many of mine.

Kathy Purdy April 20, 2014, 8:05 pm

Oh, so sorry to hear about the voles. The crocus that are in the lawn are in very stiff clay. The voles go after easier eats here. If I plant them in garden beds, they are surrounded in grit.

Les April 19, 2014, 6:15 pm

I want a cabin fever bed too! Thanks for the inspiration.

RJ April 18, 2014, 4:50 pm

Kathy, the crocus look great! In 4B the tops are just poking through the lawn, hoping the past winter knocked down the rabbit population some. Waiting for the Fritillaria to start coming up, planted 150 on the side of the yard thats damp and shady.

Rhonda Hayes April 18, 2014, 8:47 am

Love the idea of the cabin fever bed. I might need one myself!

Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern April 18, 2014, 8:09 am

You have some very interesting a beautiful bulbs! Please tell me, are the Bulbocodiums and Colchicums rabbit resistant? I have residing rabbits and do not want to plant new bulbs just for their dining pleasure. I have two Hellebore but they are sad and have not taken off for me. I will try to be patient but maybe I will invest in one and plant it in a different spot to see if it fairs any better. I drool over Hellebore blooms each year. I love, love the Crocus “stream!”

Kathy Purdy April 18, 2014, 11:56 am

Colchicums are poisonous to mammals. Not sure about bulbocodiums but since they are in the same family I would guess so.

Frank April 17, 2014, 7:10 pm

Looks like there’s some spring breaking through up there, nice to finally see it! The hellebores look like a nice bunch, I didn’t realize the h. niger was earlier than the others, maybe if a couple of my seeds sprout I can have my very own some year.
….and a couple of the bulbo-colchi-codiums, I was already eyeing them in the catalogs, wondering if I needed them. Now I know!

Kathy Purdy April 17, 2014, 8:19 pm

Yes, some Helleborus niger will bloom in November and December for me–until they get buried in snow, that is. Then they kind of go into suspended animation.