Spring Has Sprung! Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 2016

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

As a child, I went to sleep on Christmas Eve with a sense of anticipation and excitement. What was I going to find under that tree in the morning? As a gardener, the first mild days of mud season bring that same excitement and anticipation, except now it goes on for weeks: What am I going to find blooming today?

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum is still blooming.

Cyclamen coum takes the prize for earliest bloom. This tiny plant with its tiny but very bright flowers has managed to have one flower blooming in succession since mid-February. I think I will get some more of these diminutive charmers.
Galanthus Sam Arnott

‘Sam Arnott’

The snowdrops pictured in Fickle February have raised their “outers” high and released their sweet perfume. Several other snowdrops have joined ‘Sam Arnott.’ Do you remember the snowdrops I planted in the Secret Garden in 2012? Each of those singly-planted bulbs is now a little clump:
snowdrops in the new secret garden

These snowdrops were planted in Spring 2012.

I have some green-tipped snowdrops, closely related to the common snowdrops in the Secret Garden, blooming this year as well.
Galanthus nivalis Viridi-apice

Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridi-apice’ is new to me this year.

I have two double snowdrops:
Hippolyta and Flore Pleno compared

‘Hippolyta’ and ‘Flore Pleno’–can you tell the difference?

‘Hippolyta’ is new to me this year. I have had ‘Flore Pleno’ for many years, and I understand it is one of the parents of ‘Hippolyta.’ Two other new ones this year are ‘Magnet’ and Galanthus woronowii, but they didn’t photograph well. That makes seven different kinds. A small selection compared to how many kinds are out there.
spring snowflake

Leucojum vernum

The flowers above are not snowdrops, but snowflakes. Spring snowflakes, to be precise. You may be familiar with summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum), which are more readily available. The spring snowflakes have larger flowers, about the size of an American nickel, but aren’t quite as numerous.
winter aconites

Winter aconites

Winter aconites are one of the first flowering bulbs I grew (in high school) and I just love their cheerful yellow flowers. They start blooming about the same time as the earliest snowdrops.
Bulbocodium vernum

Bulbocodium vernum

If these flowers remind you of colchicums, you’re not the only one. They have hopped in and out of the Colchicum genus over the decades. Right now they’re in a genus all their own. Once I build up some stock, I will find a ground cover that flatters them and plant them in it.
Crocus korolkowii

Crocus korolkowii

I planted three varieties of this relatively rare crocus because it was so early blooming. I didn’t see as many as last year and I wonder if the voles finally found them. Some buds got ruined by emerging in early February and getting socked by our one -24°F (-31°C) night, turning to mush before they ever opened. But that doesn’t account for all of them.
first crocus

‘Firefly’–The first of many crocuses

I planted a mix of species and Dutch crocuses in the lawn and a few of the smaller kinds are blooming now, but ‘Firefly’ was first. However, I think a yellow kind got nipped in the bud, just like the Crocus korolkowii did. I hope to plant another 400 corms this fall, bringing it up to 75 square feet planted. It’s a good thing I trimmed that old hellebore foliage in February, because the hellebores have started blooming.
Double Fantasy hellebore

‘Double Fantasy’

Kingston cardinal hellebore

‘Kingston Cardinal’

'Phoebe' hellebore

‘Phoebe’ hellebore

Unnamed red hellebore from a friend

Unnamed red seedling from a friend

I’d like to put in a good word for one of the earliest blooming shrubs.
February daphne

February daphne

Many witch hazels bloom in very early spring, but this daphne is much hardier.
February daphne

A closer look at the fragrant blossoms

Looking forward to the day when my shrub is big enough to cut some branches to force.

Compared to last year’s lingering winter, spring has come early this year, but for cold climate gardeners, it never comes early enough. How many kinds of really early blooming plants do you have in your garden? Why not make a note to add 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.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

Comments on this entry are closed.

Alyssa March 29, 2016, 2:30 am

Hey Kathy, I was searching the same article on the web to find some different ways to take care for my garden and lawn with spring approaching . Thanks for sharing such an informative article 🙂

Andrea March 29, 2016, 12:48 am

wow, how enjoyable to look at what is coming up all around you. 🙂 Nothing has come up in my garden yet, nor have any of my flowers bloomed, but I have hope!

Rahul Bondalapati March 28, 2016, 4:23 am


I own a Lawn maintenance company up in Vaughan (Toronto), Canada and today is finally the day Spring has arrived for us! I couldn’t be happier seeing a few snowdrops myself in my yard. Time to pull out the pruners and trimmers!

Donna@Gardens Eye View March 26, 2016, 10:08 am

Your garden is certainly ahead of mine, but I was surprised to see a few blooms mid-March…definitely early but oh boy the see saw weather here is keeping my garden from moving too fast.

Deborah Banks March 23, 2016, 9:35 pm

Your Daphne mezereum has really grown! You should be getting seedlings this year, if you haven’t already. My biggest daphne clumps are actually 4 or 5 seedlings that I planted near each other.

Pat Webster www.siteandinsight.com March 22, 2016, 6:15 pm

Inspirational photos, Kathy. They have lifted my spirits more than you can imagine.

Kathy Purdy March 22, 2016, 6:27 pm

Coming from you, that is saying quite a lot. Thank you, Pat.

Alana March 20, 2016, 4:45 pm

When I was younger, the crocus and snowdrops bored me – I wanted something bigger. Now, all I have is a handful of purple crocus. I am seriously thinking about planting some more this fall.

Dee Nash March 20, 2016, 7:48 am

Loved seeing your snowdrops. I can’t grow them here because we’re too hot in summer. Thank you for sharing yours. Happy Bloom Day!~~Dee

Joanne Toft March 19, 2016, 9:44 pm

Here in Minnesota I only have the Winter aconite beginning to bloom. It snowed last night although most melted during the day. Northern Minnesota has way more snow then we do in the southern area.

Kathy Purdy March 20, 2016, 8:25 am

Hang on, Joanne, spring is coming!

Alex Popkin March 25, 2016, 7:54 pm

I know the feeling. I live in Fargo, North Dakota and there is absolutely nothing blooming up here at the moment. And it snowed today, too.

Kathy Purdy March 25, 2016, 8:18 pm

Hang on, Alex! Spring will come, even to Fargo. Is there a botanical garden with a greenhouse you can visit in the meantime?

LESLIE SHIELDS March 19, 2016, 10:07 am

concerning name changes, I understand S Arnott is currently in favor

Kathy Purdy March 19, 2016, 10:53 am

Thanks, Leslie. I have seen it both ways and couldn’t remember which name was considered correct.

Les March 19, 2016, 9:28 am

I love the perspective you got with the hellebore photos, but I hope you didn’t get too wet or muddy taking them.

Kathy Purdy March 19, 2016, 10:09 am

The little LCD screen on my camera “articulates” (rotates) and I took advantage of that feature to get the hellebore shots. But, hey–it’s mud season here, and if I don’t get muddy taking pictures I will get muddy doing something else.

Judy March 19, 2016, 7:21 am

Your gardens are an inspiration, Kathy! The hellebores look so vigorous. I need to start fertilizing mine with slow release fertilizer. What regimen do you use? I love your blogs. Thanks, Judy

Kathy Purdy March 19, 2016, 10:26 am

Judy, I am a laissez-faire gardener. When I created the bed the hellebores are in, I replaced the sod I removed with composted horse manure as I described here. In the fall, I mulch with chopped leaves. But other than that, I do nothing. Hellebores take about three years to look their best. I planted these in April 2013 and I really think that’s why they look vigorous.

Leslie March 18, 2016, 8:37 pm

I love how the snowdrops have filled in! Spring seems to be really coming!