Spring Is Buried Under A Blizzard: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 2017

– Posted in: Weather, What's up/blooming

When a cold climate gardener gets a string of spring-like days in February, he or she gets a feeling of foreboding. We’re going to pay for this, somehow. So I was not surprised when the snowstorm of the century decided to arrive mid-March. Consequently, any flowers that were blooming in late February or early March are now buried. But you know what? Flowers actually blooming outdoors this time of year are so special that I am going to show you what you missed. If you don’t know any of these plants, you really should make their acquaintance, because the very first bloom of the year is a powerful mood enhancer and cabin fever alleviation.

Colchicum munzurense

The very first bloom this year was Colchicum munzurense.

Yes, a spring-blooming colchicum. Yes, it bloomed before any of my snowdrops. I concede that it was in my warmest microclimate–but so were some snowdrops, and they weren’t as quick. I planted it last fall with my fingers crossed, because Odyssey Bulbs described it as hardy to USDA Zone 6. The average annual extreme minimum temperature for Zone 6 is -10°F to 0°F (-23.3°C to -17.8°C), so despite my thinking I have a Zone 5 garden, this winter has been a Zone 6 winter. Meaning, my gamble paid off this year.
eranthis aka winter aconite

The winter aconites (Eranthis sp.) were blooming next.

S.Arnott snowdrops

‘S. Arnott’ snowdrops are the earliest blooming.

Of course, I plant them where the snow melts first. They emerge from the ground sooner than the winter aconites, but those yellow flowers are quicker to bloom by a hair.
especially nice Christmas rose

This is what a Christmas rose looks like, freshly bloomed with no damage from previous cold.

dandelion in February

Okay, I don’t expect you to plant this one. But seeing a bright sunny yellow dandelion on February 24th lightened my heart.

birgit witch hazel

This is a hybrid witch hazel called ‘Birgit’. It may have bloomed earlier than some of these other flowers, but I forgot to check.

Leucojum vernum

The spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum) bloomed March 8th.

Colchicum Velebit Star

‘Velebit Star’, another spring-blooming colchicum, bloomed next.

All of that is buried under snow now

Stella snowstorm

Spring is buried under all this snow.

I am writing this Tuesday evening and the last measurement we took before dark showed 33 inches (~84cm) and the snow is still falling. Snow up to my waist! Currently blooming in the house:
Christmas cactus third flush of bloom

My “lucky” Christmas cactus on its third flush of bloom this winter.

reblooming orchid

An orchid–I think I’ve had it three years now.


A clivia that came from my mom a couple of years ago.

stunted hyacinth

A hyacinth that isn’t too sure it wants to see the light of day.

yellow daisy houseplant chrysanthemum

And a pot of chyrsanthemums as cheerful as daffodils.

Snow in March melts faster than snow in January, I tell myself. This is actually not as bad as those sub-zero temps with a mere dusting of snow, I tell myself.
snowy walk to mailbox

Will it ever stop, I wonder? It has to. It must.

P.S.–The snowstorm known as Stella is not actually a blizzard here. The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as “a storm which contains large amounts of snow OR blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 mile for an extended period of time (at least 3 hours).” And it’s not that windy here. Yet.

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. Check it out at 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.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

~Albert Camus in Albert Camus quotations

Comments on this entry are closed.

melanie halliwell March 20, 2017, 7:42 am

I think waiting for the spring to come is poetical..Moreover waiting for the belated spring to come after a blizzard is even more poetical..this year we’re going to enjoy the sun because we miss it so much. I desperately need my aconites, irises fix.

Donna@Gardens Eye View March 16, 2017, 5:15 am

Wow you had lots more blooming than we did. I had a few crocus, an aconite, a few snowdrops, a Christmas rose and a witch hazel…oh and I saw a couple iris reticulata…but most were frozen with bitter cold that hit here…coldest weather all winter….and now 3 ft of snow buries it all. Actually we had snow just until early this morning so probably more than 3 ft by now. It will be interesting to see how fast it melts as the weather looks cold right through the month in CNY.

Kathy Purdy March 16, 2017, 7:41 am

Donna, most of the pictures I took were from before that bitter cold. If you read my previous post you’ll know that my hellebores took a big hit. The snowdrops started drooping, and Colchicum munzurense was actually done blooming, it was so early.

Heather G. March 16, 2017, 12:11 am

I really hope spring thaws your ground soon! I know I’ll be looking forward to springtime blooms soon! They can never come soon enough, can’t they?

Carol March 15, 2017, 4:27 pm

Looks like a blizzard, acts like a blizzard… I’m going to call it a blizzard! Hope when the snow melts some of those blooms pop back up. Thanks for sharing with us for bloom day!

Betsy March 15, 2017, 3:59 pm

Kathy, I do so enjoy your blog! Waiting for spring!

Angie Rose March 15, 2017, 3:40 pm

Hi Kathy! I sadly experienced the storm here, and my garden is currently covered in snow as well. I’m enjoying your gorgeous indoor blooms! The clivia is lovely 🙂

Kathy Purdy March 15, 2017, 3:48 pm

Angie, I inherited my clivia from my mom. My understanding is they are expensive but very long-lived. I heartily recommend you add one to your houseplant collection.

Jane Rutkowski March 15, 2017, 11:00 am

We got 2 feet of snow and it really hasn’t stopped. We’ve had snow showers all morning. We were definitely spoiled by temps in the high 60’s in late February. I hope this storm was Winter’s last “Hurrah”.

Cindy Tournier March 15, 2017, 10:13 am

Mercy, Kathy, that is mind-boggling to this Texas gardener! No wonder you look forward to spring so much!

Linda B. March 15, 2017, 9:46 am

Not as much snow here but everything is buried again. I love Odyssey Bulbs.

Lea March 15, 2017, 9:45 am

They say that snow insulates, so your plants will be okay under there. I do hope ‘they’ are right. I enjoy the first Dandelions of Spring, too!
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

Leslie March 15, 2017, 9:25 am

I hope it has stopped now! And I hope it is winter’s last hurrah for the year.

Kathy March 15, 2017, 9:07 am

Bummer! I remember the first couple of “springs” we returned to NY too too soon. Glad I’m finally holding back and staying South a little longer. I always feel I’m missing out on Spring up there but not now! Although you do have me wondering if my aconites bloomed (; I may have to set up some kind of cam.