Springmentum

Slowly but surely, spring is starting to feel like Spring. We had rain pretty much all weekend, but I was able to sneak out during a break in the precipitation to take some photos in the garden.

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There are still patches of purple Crocuses in the Sidewalk Border. Can’t remember if these are Tommies (Crocus tommasinianus) or C. vernus but I suspect C. vernus.

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Here and there one or two yellow Crocuses are still blooming, and a handful of the beautiful sky blue C. chrysanthus ‘Blue Pearl’, which is a species Crocus.

Some maintain that Crocuses are a very ephemeral pleasure, but I find that this is not always true. During a cool spring they can last a reasonably long time. Also it seems that small differences in microclimate (particularly the amount of direct sun) can make for substantial variations in bloom time, thus extending the Crocus season.

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Much of the earliest foliage of the Hellebores (H. orientalis) was damaged by the hard frosts of mid-March. New foliage is emerging, though, along with the first flowers. These Hellebores are entering their second spring. I took an early dislike to Hellebores for some reason, but eventually my perspective changed and I planted several in the back garden.

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One of the garden blogs I read regularly (but I can’t remember which one!) offered a tip on how to photograph upward facing Hellebore blooms: use a small twig to prop up the stem and flower. It works very nicely. Whoever you are, I apologize for not offering credit where it is due!

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The Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), also, still have a few blooms, though most have faded away.

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Dagnabbit! I am starting to feel like Elmer Fudd in my growing frustration over the predations of the evil rabbits. (Don’t say they are cute! They are the spawn of Satan!) Here you can see they have been chewing on the striped foliage and right through the flower buds of my Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Early Harvest’.

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I would get myself a shotgun but a) it would be a violation of city ordinances; and b) those shotguns never seemed to work well for poor old Elmer.

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Many of the Daffodils now have clearly visible buds, and just two or three have started to turn yellow.

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Here’s a patch of ‘Tete a Tete’ Daffodils, along with some new Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) foliage.

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Oh, and you can see the first signs of the Siberian Squill (Scilla sibirica) flowers.

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Other spring flower foliage now visible includes Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum).

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And Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica).

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And you can see the hairy new leaves of the nameless orange Poppy (Papaver), given to me by my friend Linc. In lieu of the official name, I just call it Linc’s Poppy.

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Finally, the Forsythia are now thisclose to bursting into bloom. Spring is undeniable when the Forsythia are in flower.

Is spring gaining momentum in your garden?

59 Comments on “Springmentum

  1. Beautiful photos and I’m sure you must be thrilled with the arrival of spring. Enjoy!

  2. It is great to see all your spring bulbs coming up! Despite some really frigid weather in mid-March, we have summersaulted almost into summer with temps into the 80s. Plants got frosted and are trying to catch up. Someone gave me some tulip bulbs last week, and i planted them, although it is certainly not the best time to do so here in the Deep South.. Tulips, which usually are treated as annuals here because they perish in the hot summer, finished blooming weeks ago. But in only a few days my newly planted tulips are pushing up throughout the ground. I hope they bloom!

  3. It’s so exciting when your plants emerge in the spring. Your bulbs look great. I used to grow Siberian squill, and it was one of my favorites. As to the rabbit problem, arrgghh! But you don’t want to shoot them or you could end up as Elmer did in the Rabbit of Seville: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2o5y7d (Stay away from any rabbits pedaling Figaro Fertilizer!)

  4. I don’t understand one saying that one used to have Siberian Squill in their yard–in my experience once it’s there, it’s there forever.

  5. Always lovely to see spring bulbs coming up, I’ll look forward to seeing more photos of Siberian squill as I don’t think I know that plant, or maybe it goes under another name here in Australia.

  6. I think that could have been me posting about propping up my hellebores with twigs to photograph them. Since I changed my camera I now don’t have enough hands to hold the flower at the same time.
    I’m so glad the icy grip of winter is finally leaving you and that your lovely flowers are finally getting a chance to shine.

  7. Glad spring is breaking through. Hope the rains adjust to your schedule so you can enjoy lots of gardening pleasure. Such beautiful crocuses. I’ve come to appreciate hellebores more and more each year.

  8. If it wasn’t so wet out there I would take a photo of the damage squirrels have done to a Norway spruce tree. I hate squirrels even more than I hate rabbits who are chewing up the emerging daylilies.

    • Nope, rabbits are definitely tops on my list of most hated critters. Squirrels can be annoying but around here at least they are not nearly as damaging.

  9. Oh yes, spring is romping in the garden here. Such fun to go out every day and find something new is blooming or peeking up out of the ground. I feel your pain regarding rabbits. They seem to know when the most delectable plants are beginning to emerge.

  10. Same here in central Maine. Nary a sign of spring. Well, that’s not entirely true. The days are much longer, and the birds have begun singing their spring songs, even if we are still buried with snow. As for those rabbits…how frustrating for you, especially when they chew on your beloved tulips.

  11. Oh we are definitely in springy weather territory – I was out yesterday cleaning up a couple of the beds and it was heaven. I’ve never gotten to the ornamental beds this early in the season – just never had the time – what a pleasure it was!

  12. So much promise of things yet to come, as well as flowers to enjoy now. Why can’t those rabbits just stick to carrots!!

  13. I have Forsythia in flower here, so I guess that means it’s spring. We have always had a very long, slow spring here — two to three months of temps in the 40s and 50s and rain, rain, rain. It has long ago beaten my Crocuses into the ground. Nothing here ever bursts into flower in spring, it creeps. Sorry about the rabbits. I would never call them cute.

    • A long spring sounds nice – typically spring is over fast and we jump into summer. We’ll see if this year fits the pattern.

  14. Spring is here for the 2nd time around, having arrived way too early around Feb 15th. It stayed for several weeks and coaxed everything to bloom and then mid-March it fled. Snow and freezing temps took out my blooming forsythia, magnolia and weeping cherry and burnt many plants mid-sprouting. Now daffodils are doing fine but other things are struggling to move past their burnt stages. I fear for the magnolia tree and one of the forsythia bushes – they look dead. Time will tell.

    Sorry for your rabbit troubles. I have them as well. Squirrels too. A shotgun would make quite the mess though. If only there was a way to grow a small edible garden just for them, I would do it if they would agree to leave everything else alone.

    • Magnolia blooms in central IL are ruined. In northern Illinouis I think they were luckier. A hard frost after an early warm spell can be so destructive and dispiriting.

  15. Definitely slower here. I love that pale blue crocus. I will have to write that one down. I agree: Spawn of Satan. A terrible menace in my garden.

  16. Good to see spring has at last arrived for you. I feel our spring is passing all too quickly. There are already some Iris Germanica flowering which I )possibly incorrectly) always think of as summer flowerers!

  17. So exciting to those early spring blooms! Those crocus are gorgeous. I used to have a whole lot more spring flowers than I do now due to the critters, sadly. The chipmunks ate most of my crocus bulbs during last summer’s drought (sniff!) and the deer ate the hellebores down to nubs this winter, mild as it was. Sometimes I feel like Elmer Fudd myself, with all of those rascally animals!

  18. What I wouldn’t give to see a crocus or a snowdrop. Usually by now something has popped up. I’m just getting to where I can see grass again and two to four inches of snow is supposed to arrive sometime tomorrow. Maybe next week…

  19. OK, the rabbits aren’t cute… they’re adorable! 😉

    Generally, I don’t begrudge any of the critters their meals. The rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels and deer were all here long before we humans were. And if their populations are out of whack – as seems to be the case with the burgeoning deer herds – well that’s probably due to human intervention as well.

    In any case, if we let the predators regain some ground, I think it reduces the scope of the problem.

    Over the last year, I’ve seen more hawks (or maybe just the same hawk multiple times) in the garden and heard an owl (or owls) hooting at night.

    So far, no rabbits in sight this year and the tulips are unharmed. (Knock on wood.)

    When rabbits or deer do demolish certain plants (e.g., New Jersey tea, ninebark), I just replace them with something they avoid.

    (I do recognize that some gardeners live in places with heavier deer pressures, and I suppose I might feel differently if Bambi ate everything in sight.)

  20. It’s a pleasure seeing all that spring growth…pesky rabbits though! That crocus is a lovely shade of blue. So glad you changed your mind re the hellebores, I am besotted with them.xxx

  21. Dagnabbit is right, re: the wascally wabbits! Ugh. That is why I gave up on tulips in the ground (for the most part; I did try to plant a few amongst daffodils this year–we’ll see how that works…and a few in pots). You have an impressive collection of crocuses, and I agree: If the spring is cool, they last pretty long (if the rabbits don’t eat them). So exciting to see the Virginia Bluebells. I haven’t seen mine yet–I’ll have to go out and check tomorrow!

  22. The only spring I’ve enjoyed is found on the various posts like yours. Beautiful flowers but sorry about the munchers. We have chipmunks and squirrels that eat stuff. It started snowing last night and snowed all day. There isn’t even a speck of brown ground showing. We still have some snow banks that are over 5′ tall. It’s going to be a while for us.

  23. It has been relatively cool here in the PNW this spring, so our daffodils and crocus are hanging in longer than usual.

    Sorry about the rabbit problem you are experiencing. I see rabbits on occasion, but our main damage here comes from deer and gophers.

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