Desperate times call for desperate measures. And who is more desperate than the cold climate gardener who’s been inundated with social media images of spring flowers blooming in warmer climates?
Thank goodness my “desperate measures” are already in place. I’ve been planting early blooming bulbs where the snow melts first for several years. And every time the snow starts to melt, I check all those places for signs of emerging sprouts.
Yes, I check during every thaw, even the January and February ones, and sometimes I do see the green points of leaves-to-come. This week we had a real thaw, with temps rising into the 60s (~16C) on the last two days, and I was rewarded with blooms in many places. But it started with just one bloom several days earlier.I felt a little sheepish when I posted this on Facebook and got comments like “You give me hope” and “You beat me, Kath.” It was the only place the snow had melted at the beginning of the thaw. It was one teeny flower surrounded on all sides by snow. And yes, it gave me hope, too, which is exactly why I planted a mix of Aladdin’s Carpet and Woodland Blend (both from Colorblends) over the septic tank last fall. It’s not a traditional flower bed, but the snow melts there first, and the grass grows sparsely there so mowing can be delayed until the foliage of these early bloomers goes dormant. But of course, the thaw didn’t last. The temperature dropped back into the 30s (~1.5C) and we’ve had more snow–though it has melted off the road. Another thaw is predicted for this upcoming weekend. Soon the thaws will run into each other and the snow will become a distant memory. But not yet.
Meanwhile, inside the house . . .It’s the same one that I posed with here. I have never tried forcing flowering quince before. The forsythia I cut earlier this year bloomed within a week. The quince has been in the house for a good two weeks and looks like it will take another week (at least) to bloom.
Experimenting with forcing branches indoors helps keep things interesting in between mud season treasure hunts for the earliest bloom. If you need more early-blooming plants in your yard, make sure you take pictures of where the snow melts first, and order some “desperate measures” this fall.
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.