Spring finally looming on the horizon--first flowers

Ispahan Zone6a ChicagoMarch 26, 2013

While walking out the door this morning, I was greeted by the unexpected sight of a small clump of Galanthus elwesii in full bloom. I swear there was not even a trace of it yesterday! I also noticed several Eranthis hyemalis starting to unfurl like bean sprouts from the seemingly inhospitable ground.

This winter has been unusually gloomy and tenacious, but these first glimpses of brightness in my garden have renewed my hope for the upcoming gardening season.

What are (or have been) your first flowers this season?

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SunnyBorders(5A)

Today.
About three weeks later than last year.

Like the proportions of the doubles.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 2:43PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I was just out in the yard, this morning for the first time in literally months. Very unusual for me. I'm usually out in the yard many times a week all year round. It really feels so different to be out of touch with what is going on out there. I was surprised to see crocus blooming under the maple and even some in the lawn. I am a little disappointed, because the bloom is not really so spectacular. The flowers are small and not abundant in areas that are normally just the opposite. I'm hoping that it's just early and things will catch up and be like they usually are.

I also saw flowers on one of my early Hellebores and buds on the Honeysuckle that are about to form leaves. Leaf buds on clematis too. It was hard to figure when to get the pruning done this year and I have some catching up to do, along with spring clean up.

First order of business is to get some mulch ordered this week! Spring is actually here and I have a few little patches of snow left in the shady areas and no new storms in the forecast. Yay!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 2:48PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

It's been fairly warm and sunny here for the past couple weeks, not counting the few odd days of freak snowfall and low temps.

The Galanthus have already bloomed here. Hope you don't mind some pics?? Here are some taken from the other day...

Lots and lots of crocus. Particularly liked the shot of this luminous all-white clump:

Adore Chionocoxa:

And this fabulous lil' clump of Iris histroides 'Katherine Hodgkin'. I am thrilled to pieces that it is multiplying and being so floriferous:

While not a bloom, a thought this hardy Cyclamen foliage was lovely. One of the many I started it last year from seed from a generous GW trader:

CMK

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 2:59PM
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SunnyBorders(5A)

Lovely, christinmk!

I use Chionodoxa 'Giant Pink/Pink Giant' (as above). Blooming after the hybrid crocuses is very useful.

Must admit have a strong aversion to the blue species Chionodoxa which seed all over the place. For me, rank with goutweed and crown vetch. Still it would be boring if all gardeners gardens were the same!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 3:18PM
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paulsiu(5a)

I have some snowdrop and winter aconites flower buds appearing, but everything else is just green shoots.

Paul

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 3:22PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

As always very nice pictures CMK.

I had made a New Year's Resolution to stay out of the garden ie refrain from walking in and about the emerging bulbs and perennials. As Ken has told us correctly on numerous occasions we shouldn't compact the soil.

But it is so hard to admire from afar. Be strong, be strong I chant to myself.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 6:20PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

SunnyBorders wrote: About three weeks later than last year..

The picture you show above is probably very similar to most any year except last year given the 'ridiculous' almost scary no winter we had in 2011-2012.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 7:19PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I LOVE the photos. Keep them coming!

When I got home this afternoon, I discovered two new flowers (yay!). First, I found three random corms of bright yellow Crocus korolkowii in my back garden with big fat buds that should open wide in the sunshine tomorrow. That is, if the nasty rabbits don't find them first. I was dismayed to see a couple of days ago that they have munched down the emerging crocuses in front of my house to ground level. Grrrr.

Second, I discovered my one corm of Cyclamen coum that I received as a bonus plant last fall opened its first flower and has many more buds forming. Talk about an unexpectedly delightful bonus plant! However, the plant looks to be in quite pathetic shape after the approximately 3000 freeze-thaw cycles we have had this winter. Hopefully it will recover. On a better note, the Cyclamen purpurascens I planted last year appear to have sailed through the winter beautifully without so much as a lost leaf.

I also discovered a few more winter aconites and snowdrops popping up.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:11PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

My winter aconite are just going by, but I can't tell if that's normal or not since last summer I moved them all to this warm spot near the house, where everything seems to be earlier. Gotta love earlier! Love all the other pictures, I guess there's some hope for spring

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:34PM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Oh, I have tons of blooms! Of course, that is because I just put in new aubrieta and candy tuft plants about 3 weeks ago, but hey we weren't being specific, were we! :-)

Other than those, it is just sad here. We haven't but a handful of sunny days in weeks/months even. Such bizarre weather for us. Pears are blooming, though. Clematis is leafing out like crazy. Evening primrose is greening up (yep, i actually grow it on purpose). Crocosmia is peeking out. We are on the precipice of something... Maybe?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:42PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks much SunnyB and Doug ;-)

Well, I couldn't help it. I ran into Wal-Mart today and found these cute little species Iris for $1.49! Think they may be I. reticulata. They have a slight fragrance too, which is nice.
CMK

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 8:10PM
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molie(z6 CT)

I love the photos! Nothing is blooming in my yard. Some Hellebores are budded but not opened. Ah, well. Keep posting your pictures, please! The more I see them, the more I regret not planting crocus last fall in my front yard.

CMK, you will replant those beautiful iris outside, right?

Kato_b, it looks as if your narcissus are ready to open--- Lucky you!

Sunnyborder, at least yours are up and challenging Old Man Winter ---hope that's your last snow for the season.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:35AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Molie, yep! Though I might let them finish up blooming before I go and plant them out.
CMK

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 1:02PM
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auron22(6b OH)

Went for a walk in the park today and saw a clump of hellebores in full bloom. Exciting! :) Wish i brought my camera, because i also caught a herd of deer, roughly 10 run under the long bridge along the creek.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:56PM
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auron22(6b OH)

Went for a walk in the park today and saw a clump of hellebores in full bloom. Exciting! :) Wish i brought my camera, because i also caught a herd of deer, roughly 10 run under the long bridge along the creek.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:57PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Sunnyborder, at least yours are up and challenging Old Man Winter ---hope that's your last snow for the season.

For me it is forecast to be 32 F on Tuesday with a touch of snow :(.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 6:01PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Crocus are blooming!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:07PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Crocus have always been my favorite signal that spring is coming. But, rabbits chew them down to the ground before I even see them poking through. And I never do remember to mark them to place some sort of protection over them in the fall. Does anyone have a reliable method for protecting crocuses from rabbits?

Martha

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:18PM
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ashley05(5b-6a)

I'm new here, but I have a suggestion for keeping rabbits away from your crocus. I used a clump of human hair sprinkled around the base of the plant in my vegetable garden last year. As long as there is plenty there, it worked for me. Looked a little strange though :-)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Martha, I truly feel your pain about the crocuses. The rabbits have been particularly voracious this year and have been merciless with my patch of 'Snowbunting' and several species of autumn-blooming crocus (which are--or should be--just foliage this time of year, although now they are all bare pathetic stubs). What's worse, there are multiple patches of crocus in my neighbors' gardens that have been completely untouched by the stupid rodents. It makes me so mad! Grrrrr.

So, I finally got fed up last week and tried two things:

1. I bought some Plantskydd soluble powder. Though it is supposed to be applied with a sprayer, I have just been mixing it in an old watering can and applying it that way.
2. I bought 5 lbs of bulk hot red pepper flakes and have been sprinkling them in all of my flower beds.

So far, this regimen seems to be working. My 'Snowbunting' crocus have started to grow a little bit and are even producing some smaller secondary flowers. I just hope the corms are not weakened by the endless rabbit attacks over the past month. It remains to be seen whether my fall crocus will recover.

In addition, using the two things above has also caused a reduction in the number of pesky squirrels digging in my flower beds.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:19PM
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