First blooms of the year: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day March 2011

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

eranthis bergenia hellebore

Clumps of winter aconite, the red foliage of bergenia, and two Helleborus niger.

Above is the view from my bathroom window, only reversed, as I took this picture outside and the window is out of sight at the back of the image. Even though it is the north side of the house, water from below thaws the soil and gives these plants an early start. It took me several years to notice this and then capitalize on it by planting early bloomers here. Now, though most of the crocus and snowdrops are still buried under snow, I can enjoy a few choice blooms from the comfort of the house.
eranthis or winter aconite

Here's a closer look at one clump of winter aconite. Not sure which species of Eranthis it is. I am pretty sure that ferny foliage peeking up through them is Adlumia

The hellebores pictured below are the same ones that were blooming last November, the same blossoms even, I think. And you can see there are buds waiting in the wings.
november blooming hellebore

Helleborus niger, Thanksgiving bloom, from Seneca Hill Perennials

first Johnny jump-up

The very first Johnny-jump-up was hunkered over from cold, so I had to turn the blossom upward for the camera

Most of the snowdrops not still buried under snow were on the verge of blooming. This is the only bud that had “dropped” for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, but it hadn’t actually opened.
one snowdrop about to open

This is the furtherest along snowdrop

However, the snowdrops in the Secret Garden were trying valiantly to bloom, despite the snow:
snowdrops barely above the snow

These snowdrops are up to their necks in snow, which is receding more every day. By the time they actually bloom, I bet the snow will be gone.

And a picture of my latest acquisition, Crocus korolkowii ‘Lucky Number.’
crocus korolkowii lucky number

Almost, but not quite blooming, the Lucky Number crocus.

The story of how it got its name is in Janis Ruksans book, Crocuses, reviewed here. But I bought it from Odyssey Bulbs because they claimed it was their earliest blooming crocus. It looks like it will live up to its promise.

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.

kerri April 5, 2011, 6:49 am

Kathy, what a nice patch of Aconite. I had one bloom but there are babies popping up around it. My Hellebore niger, like yours came out from under the snow bearing blooms and buds. Amazing plants! And my elusive 4 year old Hellebore finally has buds! I’m very happy to now know that it’s pink!! 🙂
Those snowdrops peeking out of the snow make a great photo. They’re the sweetest little blooms.
I found my first crocus blooms open on April 2nd. What a joy! Those yellows of yours are certainly early.
Raining here again today and not much prospect of sunshine in the forecast for the rest of the week. I do hope we get enough to open the crocus blooms at least once or twice.
Happy spring!!

Alistair March 21, 2011, 9:40 am

You really do have a lot going on at the moment, more than I would even have expected. A good view of the garden from whichever room in the house is always very welcome.

Elli Davis March 20, 2011, 7:23 pm

For this much snow, all the blooming is amazing, really. I love snowdrops, when they start blooming, I know that my least favorite, cold period of the year is over. Oh, and I honestly envy the view from your bathroom, it has to be fantastic when there are flowers everywhere.

Leslie March 19, 2011, 12:50 pm

You have a lot blooming given all the snow! But I imagine that is because you are the Cold Climate expert!

wiseacre March 18, 2011, 5:01 pm

I keep saying ‘soon, soon’
The snow is just melting here so I still have a short wait till the winter aconite blooms.

LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD March 17, 2011, 6:00 pm

Interesting isn’t it how it takes us a while to figure out what is right before our eyes. I planted snowdrops on the north side of the house; moved them a few years ago to the south side under a big window! You may only have a small bare patch but it is certainly blooming lavishly.

Dirty Girl Gardening March 17, 2011, 4:29 pm

Gotta love the first few blooms of the season….

Gail March 17, 2011, 10:07 am

Kathy, The snow is retreating ~just in time for Bloom Day. I know that signals mud season, but I am glad you have flowers to make you smile. Your comments about the water table is a great example of why it’s important for us to get to know our ‘ecosystem’ and plant accordingly. Happy Spring melt! gail

salix March 17, 2011, 8:59 am

There is NOTHING like the very first blooms in spring.
Thanks for sharing, my first few snowdrops are just showing.

Donna March 17, 2011, 12:21 am

nothing a bit farther N of you Kathy…it was a bit dreary so not sure if the crocuses came out today or not but I was not home until dark…may be a hellebore or 2 blooming but can’t get to most due to snow blocking the fences…love the snow drops popping through the snow…now that is determination

Tessa (aka dirtdigger) March 16, 2011, 11:47 pm

I really need to plant some snowdrop- one of my favorites and I forget every fall! The one bed I made last year in our new home has crocus almost ready to make themselves know…I can’t wait!

Carol March 16, 2011, 10:31 pm

I can’t believe you still have that much snow, but yet have so much bloom. Here the snow long ago melted and I’d be shocked if we get any more at this point.

Kathy Purdy March 17, 2011, 7:38 am

I have bloom mostly in one specific area that is known to melt early because of the high subterranean water table. The snowdrops up to their necks in snow also have a high water table. That is why they started growing before the snow melted around them.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter March 16, 2011, 9:24 pm

Good showing for March. You’ve got me beat. I’m pretty sure your Eranthis is hyemalis. I have E. cilicica.

Helen at Toronto Gardens March 16, 2011, 9:10 pm

You have lots more happening in your garden than I do in mine, Kathy. Happy blooms day!