More Spring Cleanup and Foliage Day

More good progress on garden cleanup this weekend. Mostly on Saturday, which was cool and sunny. Sunday was cold (about 32 degrees F, or 0 C), so I didn’t put in as many hours outside.

My biggest single cleanup accomplishment was digging out the containers planted with tulips. They had been buried in the cutting/herb/vegetable bed, which now looks like this.

Holes in the ground where the container tulips used to be.
Holes in the ground where the container tulips used to be.

I really wanted to get these containers out of the ground because I figured they would drain better and warm up faster. You do not want your tulip bulbs sitting in too much moisture, and after the melting snow the ground is on the wet side.

Container tulips, still in hiding.
Container tulips, still in hiding.

I lined up the containers along the walk and steps to the house.

Container tulips emerge.
Container tulips emerge.

There were signs of life in four of the twelve containers. I’m guessing these are ‘Early Harvest’, a variety of Kaufmanniana tulip, which comes up very early indeed.

On the 22nd of each month, Christina of My Hesperides Garden hosts Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day. Click on the link to see more spring foliage. As for our garden, I’m thrilled to have the little bits of nascent foliage that we have, even if they don’t look like much.


There are Narcissi emerging here and there. Looking at this picture I realize that this is a post only a gardener could love, or like. Who else would care about tiny green bits sticking up out of the mud? And yet to me it is the poetry of spring. But in any case, onwards.

Narcissus 'Tete a Tete', I think.
Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’, I think.

I think this is N. ‘Tete a Tete’. If you look closely you can see that a couple have the beginnings of flower buds.

The little red bits would be the peony. Takes your breath away, I know.
The little red bits would be the peony. Takes your breath away, I know.

Here are some ‘Purple Sensation’ Allium, along with the very beginnings of one of the ‘White Swan’ peony that I planted last fall.

Prairie Smoke
Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke (Geum trifolium) is just starting to come to life. I planted quite a few new ones last fall.


There are a few blooms, but not many as yet. The Snowdrops have come into their own.


A few of the crocuses are also in flower. I don’t plant crocus any more, because rabbits and squirrels treat them like gourmet treats. Even so, I am always glad to see them.

More crocus.
More crocus.

Many early spring flowers open and close their flowers depending on how warm or sunny it is. These purple crocus have closed shop until the weather to improves.

Back garden, March 22, 2015.
Back garden, March 22, 2015.

Here’s an overview of the back garden.

Front garden with gardener, March 22, 2015.
Front garden with gardener, March 22, 2015.

And the front. Basic cleanup is done, now I have to go back and make things just a bit more (but not too) tidy.

Lilac buds.
Lilac buds.

And the lilac buds, like my expectations of spring, continue to swell.

42 Comments on “More Spring Cleanup and Foliage Day

  1. I love the snowdrops. The green must be very welcome after winter’s chill. But I really like the cleanup – both yards look fantastic!

  2. My prairie Smoke is budded! It is, however, situated on the south side of my house.

    • Mine are in a fairly sunny spot, they may be delayed because they were along a sidewalk and so were under big piles of shoveled snow.

    • It is! This is the third spring for this lilac in our garden. Planted it right outside the window, so I’m hoping for some lovely fragrance wafting into the house.

  3. As you say probably only gardeners would appreciate the little shoots of hopefulness in your garden; but we do share your joy after your snow covered winter, one of the reasons we blog I suspect. I love the clumps of snowdrops – perfect. I was struck how your front garden is full of hope but the ones of your neighbours with just lawn looked as depressing as the snow.

    • I’m just glad they don’t complain to the city about my own garden. Actually, most of the neighbors are very appreciative of my garden, but rarely does that mean they want to follow my lead.

  4. After your long hard Wiinter it is amazing how quickly you catch up. Lovely to see your shoots and the crocus and snowdrops out. And the gardener hard at work.

    • It does feel like spring catches up in a hurry, but then I got up this morning and it was snowing heavily, with over three inches on the ground!

  5. We gardeners always scout for green shots coming through the mud. It´s the best thing in the spring and it just makes you happy. I have some tete a tete on the warm westside of the house, and they are beginning to bloom. Sooooo lovely

  6. Great job on the cleanup. Looks like you’re ready! Beautiful spread of snowdrops, just delightful. I zeroed in immediately on the promise of the daffodils, not the mud–guess I understand poetry after all.

  7. I’m enjoying your signs of spring and my fingers start to twitch just thinking about getting outside to work. But, it’s going to be a while for me so get some dirt under your nails, mess up the knees of your pants, and track in some dirt just for me. 🙂

  8. I noticed another difference in our gardens, not just the zonal difference. In your first photo, I see that your earth is black…wonderful black. Mine is either yellow or red…clay of all sorts.

  9. I love it! Nothing makes me feel more hopeful than lots of bulb foliage emerging from brown earth. My crocus are mostly finished; I saw my first Chionodoxa bloom of the year this weekend, and my daffodils are starting to open. They remind me I want to add more early-blooming daffs this fall, though when that time rolls around I’ll probably be mesmerized by all sorts of other exotica.

  10. You are speaking to the right audience. Must remember to bury some pots of tulips this year. You entryway is going to be magnificent.

  11. It amazes me at just how quickly your garden springs to life Jason and of course only a gardener could love the sight of the tiniest green shoots poking their noses through the soil.
    Those tulips are going to make quite an impression.

  12. I totally understand the passion for green shoots! After all your snow I’d be dancing around them!!! How lovely to see your blooms, the snowdrops and crocus are lovely, and all those buds show great promise. Looking forward to seeing your tulips!xxx

  13. I like nothing better than seeing a green shoot coming out of the mud!
    You’re way ahead of us this year. I haven’t seen even a hint of a crocus since last spring.
    I can’t wait to see the potted tulips. They looked really nice last year.

  14. Prairie Smoke (Geum trifolium) lovely!!! You have such a lovely mix of natives and exotics( other pictures:-)
    I noticed my crocus were nibbled on in the garden-I never knew rabbits bothered them-OH NO!

  15. SO lovely to see all of these bursts in your garden Jason! My crocuses have been covered up by the snow which was disappointing! Ready to be done with the white stuff for sure! Great job on all of your containers! Can’t wait to see those bloom! Happy week to you! Nicole

  16. Oh, lilacs. sigh. Seeing the little green bits pop up from the ground is one of the best parts about gardening. I was absolutely thrilled when I caught my first glimpse of wild onion shoots popping up. I saw them and my mind was flooded with a vision of what that same place looks like when fully green. They are like time machines.

  17. Look at all that spring glory…and I hope to see my tulip container that I buried thanks to you…we shall see if the tulips grow this year. I buried mine in a huge trug and then covered it with leaves.

  18. Hello Jason, we’re heading at rocket speed into Spring, snowdrops and crocus are pretty much over, daffodils are out and the magnolias are starting to open. I like the picture of you with the rake, I think you need to extend your beds to across the street where there’s some rather unimaginative grass that looks as though it would do better being converted to more borders.

  19. Look at that tinge of green on the grass, it really is spring-ish out there already (assuming all the latest snow has melted off!)
    We were 12F this morning but the next few days don’t show much in the way of freezing. My fingers are crossed for a little bit of green here too!

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