Spring, Rebooted: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2016

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, What's up/blooming

The early spring that showed up last month went on hiatus as the Arctic Express roared through with six inches of snow and bitter cold–it dropped to -3F on the worst night. It’s almost as if the climate had to reboot to get back on track. But that is all behind us now and each day this week has been warmer than the last–though the lows have been in the 20s. Looking over the last several April GBBD posts, I’d say we’re back on track–no longer early, but really not late, either.

Due to the difference in microclimates, I still have a few snowdrops blooming.

late snowdrops

This snowdrop grows in a colder microclimate, and was further delayed by the Arctic Express.

It’s the same snowdrop that blooms earliest in one of my warmest microclimates. The hellebores that were blooming last month continue to please, and a few more have joined the party.
Hellebore seedling from Ashwood doubles

New this month, growing in the Parking Pad bed.

dark plummy hellebores

This is actually plum-colored when not backlit. On the western side of the house.

Still going strong from last month:
Phoebe hellebore


Kingston Cardinal hellebore

Kingston Cardinal, looking less red because of the lighting

Ivory Prince hellebore

Ivory Prince

First Cuckoo hellebore

First Cuckoo

I have two kinds of glory-of-the-snow, the common kind and Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Blue Mound’.
Chionodoxa forbesii Blue Mound vs common

The common glory-of-the-snow on the left, and Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Blue Mound’ on the right. Can you see a difference?

I bought ‘Blue Mound’ from Odyssey Bulbs two years ago. It is deeper in color, with less white in the center, but I’m still not sure it is that much different. And they are not quite so blue to my eye.
viola or Johnny-jump-up

I actually had some Johnny-jump-ups winter over this year.

I can tell they wintered over because they are blooming now, and not in a month from now when the ones from seed will bloom.
winter damaged daffodils

These daffodils were a bit more upright before the Arctic Express.

But hey! They’re blooming and they’re not face down in the dirt. They count!

What I’m waiting for

Every day I patrol the grounds, looking for the next blooming thing. Here’s what I’ve seen that’s not blooming yet but will be done by mid-May.



I actually had one little clump of bloodroot bloom before the bitter cold, and it was reduced to mush. Perhaps this clump will bloom today.
Trillium cuneatum

This Trillium cuneatum seedling is a foretaste of the blooming ones to come.

Virginia bluebells

Virginia bluebells

Trout lily

Trout lily

Trillium erectum emerging

Trillium erectum, the most common red flowering trillium


I think this is a sedum.

I think this is a sedum. It is plentiful in the woods that border the house. I have never seen it bloom. How could it be so plentiful if it doesn’t bloom?
Magnolia stellata bud

Magnolia stellata bud

Last year I had one flower. This year there are three buds. I can hardly wait until this sucker from my neighbor’s tree starts to look like something!
Native liverwort Hepatica sp.

Native liverwort

Don’t you love how furry this is? It is the native hepatica, either H. acutiloba or H. americana.

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 the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

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

Comments on this entry are closed.

Barbarapc April 28, 2016, 6:43 am

Things look just about the same in my garden – definitely going to have to get more Hellebores – do yours reseed? I’ve heard of some gardeners who say that once they get a good tribe – you end up with tonnes. A problem I’d definitely like to have. B

Kathy Purdy April 28, 2016, 6:56 am

Barbara, this spring I see a lot of seedlings that I think are hellebore seedlings. But I would be very surprised if they came true from seed. I suspect most of the doubles won’t come true.

Nathan April 27, 2016, 9:07 pm

spring is a great time of the year that we tend to forget until it jumps out at us and fills our yards with color and joy. Thank you for the reminder

Corner Garden Sue April 25, 2016, 10:43 pm

Hi Kathy, yes we are ahead of you. The Virginia bluebells here are finished blooming already. It was fun seeing your early blooms and plants coming up. I love the bloodroot.

Beth @ PlantPostings April 18, 2016, 8:13 pm

We have many of the same plants, and it sounds like the schedules are similar, too. -3F or -3C? Either way, that’s cold! The coldest for us after the initial blooms was 21F/-6C.

Kathy Purdy April 27, 2016, 8:45 pm

It was -3F.

LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD April 18, 2016, 9:39 am

That Hellebore Cuckoo is a stunner. My first Trilliums and Erythroniums have all popped up because we are at the end of four days approaching 80 degrees. Such crazy weather!

Rose April 17, 2016, 7:25 am

Wow, what gorgeous hellebores! I love the double ones, though the freckled one is a beauty, too. I planted my first double-flowered hellebore last year, but so far it hasn’t bloomed. Our spring was much the same as yours, though not to the extreme. Glad to see that spring has finally found your garden, Kathy.

Barbara Bell April 16, 2016, 12:43 pm

I’m so glad to know the name of the little blue flowers. I didn’t plant them, but they are scattered all over my front yard as “volunteers”. I have seen them at the sidewalk edges in my neighborhood along with violas, but didn’t know what they are. My droopidils are finally recovered too. Love that name!

kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern April 16, 2016, 11:17 am

You have me going outside to yet again check for Bloodroot and Trout Lily! Also Hepatica, a bare root which I planted late last year … but I think it was okay. Love that Bloodroot! THIS year I have Virginia Bluebells on order … getting there. I also had to look more closely at the Glory of the Snow I have planted. Oh wow, Holy Hellebore! Such beauty! Thank you for getting me out into the garden.

Layanee April 16, 2016, 6:39 am

A re-boot here as well. I do love a slow spring but a reversal to winter is not appreciated. Still, the season stumbles ahead and I know the roots are growing even if the top growth is holding tight. Love your bloodroot and the hellebores last so very long don’t they?

Les April 15, 2016, 7:17 pm

We have had a similar set back here, only not as severe and without frosts or freezes. The temps have been 10-15 below normal, but at least they have kept blooms on plants longer than they would have been otherwise. Happy GBBD!

Jane Rutkowski April 15, 2016, 6:34 pm

Your flowers are just beautiful! I had to laugh when you mentioned that your daffodils had been lying face down in the dirt! Mine are finally starting to stand up!

Kathy Purdy April 15, 2016, 7:08 pm

Some of them never did rise back up, and I cut those for the house.

Pat Webster www.siteandinsight.com April 15, 2016, 3:25 pm

Kathy, seeing these photos is almost as good as seeing the real thing. The fuzzy hepatica is amazing!

Kathy Purdy April 15, 2016, 7:07 pm

Pat, I wish I could hurry spring up at your house!

Alana April 15, 2016, 12:20 pm

There was nothing as heartbreaking as walking around the West Side of Binghamton after the Express came through and seeing the dead cherry blossoms and the droopodils. But your yard has recovered and is so beautiful. Happy GBBD!

Kathy Purdy April 15, 2016, 7:07 pm

My garden suffered less precisely because it wasn’t as far along. “Droopodils” is the perfect word for it!