Spring, Spring, Where Are You? Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2011

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

This slow, cold, cloudy spring is sorely trying my patience. It’s taking forever for anything to bloom. But then, looking over past GBBD posts, it’s really not that far behind other springs. It’s just that last year, spring came earlier than usual. Somehow that became the new normal, just like that. How soon we forget.

The Crocus Bank was robbed of its glory by the erratic weather. The first flush of crocuses were knocked back by several days of snow and lows in the teens, and they were completely gone by the time the later crocuses got going. It is the overlap of many species that usually makes the Crocus Bank so resplendent.

violet blue hepatica flowers

Hepatica nobilis from Seneca Hill Perennials

At least the hepatica is blooming right on schedule. (That’s last year’s photo, because it was too windy to get a good shot this year.) And two hellebores I received as seedlings bloomed for the first time this year:
two hellebores from seedling

I didn't know what colors these hellebores would be, but they nicely complement the heuchera foliage

The ‘Josef Lemper’ hellebore that I got last year as a trial plant from Skagit Gardens has been blooming most of the month.
Josef Lemper hellebore

Helleborus niger Josef Lemper

It had buds last fall, which persevered through the winter. It started blooming shortly after the Helleborus niger ‘Thanksgiving Bloom’ finished up in March. Providing the last blooms of fall and the first blooms of mud season, this hellebore species is becoming a favorite of mine. And take a look at the new foliage on this hellebore:
Helleborus x ballardiae HGC Pink Frost

Helleborus x ballardiae HGC Pink Frost

This was also a trial plant from Skagit Gardens.

After reviewing the previous April bloom day posts, I am forced to conclude that spring is more or less on schedule. The early daffodils are blooming.

early daffodils

These heirloom daffodils were growing here when we moved in

I wrote about these heirloom daffodils previously. Siberian squills, glory of the snow, and the last of the snowdrops are all blooming. The Cornelian cherry is in full bud and the ‘Meadowlark’ forsythia is on the verge of blooming, as are many of the corydalis. The peepers are peeping but I have yet to see any coltsfoot. I think what has really been missing from this spring is sunshine. It has been more than usually cloudy, which dampens one’s spirits and makes you think it’s cold even when it’s in the 50s.

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.

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

~Albert Camus in Albert Camus quotations

Comments on this entry are closed.

Gap Garden Products June 2, 2011, 8:56 am

Nice to see someone is doing well, I am really struggling with this lack of rain in May, how are you combating the lowest rainfall since the 1800’s?

Danniel April 22, 2011, 11:00 am

The periwinkle blue of that hepatica is stunning. I have never seen hepatica in that color. Here, in undisturbed Wisconsin woodlands, we sometimes encounter vast tracts of them in pink…a gorgeous site, but frustratingly difficult to photograph well. I am going to try again!

Les April 19, 2011, 6:25 am

I think the new normal is a moving target, but I am glad to see that spring has come to your garden.

Lynn April 18, 2011, 6:05 pm

HI Kathy
I’m with you on being over the grey, but have had my spirits cheered by lots of coltsfoot around us starting the last week or so. Your hepatica is stunning. I’m glad you have color going and that spring’s more or less on time, even if we can’t get the sun to come out and play, too!

Alistair April 18, 2011, 5:49 pm

Good to see that you are at least getting a touch of Spring, I am not familiar with Hepatica nobilis, great colour, looks a little like Anemone Blanda except for the leaves.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter April 18, 2011, 5:20 pm

Your hellebores & Heucheras make a great combo. I should move some of my burgundy-leaved Heuchera over by the dark hellebores. I was thinking that spring was pretty much on schedule, but now I’m not so sure. I really want to put away my winter coat.

Cyndy April 18, 2011, 6:16 am

Interesting that you feel you’re on schedule there – my pix show we’re a good 3 weeks behind in central CT, even with the soaking rain this weekend. It doesn’t help to be looking at all the blooming happening to our south, even not that far away in PA. Soon enough, there will be too much to deal with, and that will be the complaint 🙂

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens April 17, 2011, 8:24 pm

Kathy, Your hellebore trials are interesting. I have had H. niger ‘Josef Lemper’ for 4 years, and it blooms from December to May here in southeastern PA–it’s still forming new buds right now. H. x ballardiae ‘Pink Frost’ is new to me this year. Was that frost on the leaves in your photo because there is really nothing special about the leaves on mine versus other H. niger crosses. The flowers start white with pink highlights and age to a deep pink—very unusual. I was wondering if it was hardy because it has the nonhardy H. lividus as one of its parents. How long have you had yours? Carolyn

Kathy Purdy April 17, 2011, 8:33 pm

Carolyn, there was no frost on the leaves of ‘Pink Frost.’ It has that veining on a very new leaf. I don’t remember it on the plants when I got them last fall, so I suspect it fades. ‘Pink Frost’ has just pulled through its first winter. It looks kind of beat up, except for that new leaf, but it is alive. Of course ‘Josef Lemper’ doesn’t bloom December through February for me because it is buried under snow. This was the first winter for him, too, so we’ll have to see when, or if, he starts in the fall.

Donna April 17, 2011, 4:57 pm

Kathy I am with you…all we have is rain and gray and it is certainly keeping the flowers from blooming like it should…and who can clean the garden when there are puddles from flooding…oh well I have a feeling we will have a hot dry summer and be wishing for this cool rain.

Kathy Purdy April 17, 2011, 7:10 pm

I know, Donna, I try not to complain too much. Who knows what the summer will bring?

Marian White April 17, 2011, 4:43 pm

Those were lovely flowers. So far in Colorado, the crocus and daffodils have blossomed. I am waiting for the Tulips. They are my favorite spring flower.

Frances April 17, 2011, 2:59 pm

I am so glad to see your flowers blooming, Kathy, like an instant replay from the southern spring gone by. It is too bad about the crocus bank, but it looks like your flowers are still offering plenty of beauty, despite the lack of sunshine. That Hepatica is incredible and the hellebores are stunning.