Return to the Perennials Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Spring Has Sprung!!!

Posted by docmom z5 MI (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 21:29

We finally had a warm sunny day and I had time to take my first tour of the yard without snowcover. I wouldn't have gone out even today, but I saw a flash of yellow by the driveway and had to check it out. Winter Aconite!! I transplanted a few small chunks from my mom's last spring, and I was anxious to see if they survived the horrible dry summer. They did! I also found several patches of crocus greens and a few actual blooms, a few tiny iris-like blooms, parsley getting green, chives, snapdragons that look like they'll make a come back, Forget-Me-Not sprouts, and hundreds of larkspur sprouts. I've always heard that direct sown larkspur do much better than transplanted seedlings, but I never had a spot that didn't get heavily mulched with fall leaves. This year I tossed seeds in several likely spots, and they are all looking great!

Thanks for reading my rambling. I'm leaving on a road trip in the morning with my kids for spring break. What a perfect start to vacation!

Martha


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Yay! I was outside for a couple of hours digging new beds on the south side of my mom's house, I knew the ground there would have been warm and thawed enough to work. Today I'll do a little more digging since we'll be in the mid 50's, but then will have a few days off when the weather goes back to being poopy, then by the end of next week I'll be out there digging some more when the good weather returns.

Karen


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 12:05

Yes, it is a glorious day today! Yesterday, too. My crocus are blooming (right on time), and my tulips are up a couple inches.

I don't have time to get outside and do anything this weekend (other than exercise - gotta do that!), even though pruning my rugosas is on the list of chores to finish by end of March. I have time to get to that next weekend, though, so no big deal. DH cut down the ornamental grasses last week, so that's done. Those are really the only two things we try to get done in early spring other than cleaning up twigs/branches around the yard.

I am going to pot up some seedlings and cuttings today and hopefully start another batch of seeds either tonight or tomorrow, that will keep my spring fever at bay for now.

Supposed to be in the 30s/40s again next week. UGH! But better that than that very warm temps then late killing frost last year!


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Around 4 am this morning I woke up to lightening and thunder! It's been soooooo long since I've heard that. As of yesterday, some of the snow piles were still 3 feet tall, but the rain we had this morning ate a whole bunch of that. The ground is still very frozen in most places, but next to the house I can finally see some of my scilla starting to poke through and some of the primula are sending out tiny, new green leaves.

For as long as I can remember, I could always count on scilla siberica blooming for Easter. Not this year. Bummer.

Kevin


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

I think today was the first really nice day we've had this spring. We've had warm days with rain, sunny days that were freezing, and - all too often - cloudy days that were freezing, often with flurries.

I went outside this morning to get some potting soil, planning on doing some winter sowing in the kitchen, but it was so nice I worked outside instead. Got one bed all cleaned up (oh my goodness, the grass that had overgrown it! And man did I cringe when every clump I pulled up shook off a thousand seeds. Sigh.) Got another bed pretty well set and starting on clearing out my cutting garden, which I think I am going to transform to a perennial bed.

Still not a lot poking up yet - I only see columbines and daylilies. As far as bulbs, my crocuses finally got a beautiful day to really shine like they should, and a bonus was finding about three dozen purple crocus in a bed where I never planted any! Perhaps in the compost or manure I put down there last year...? Nice!

Oh, and my iris reticulata FINALLY bloomed. Very late, and only one! Where are the rest of them?

I almost wish it wasn't a holiday tomorrow. Nothing against my family, but quite frankly, if it's going to be like this tomorrow, I'd much rather stay home and play outside!

Dee


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

It has been warm and sunny (off and on) here for the last week. Temps significantly above normal and today supposed to hit 70!

Forsythia, early magnolias, all the spring bulbs and flowering plums and cherries are in full bloom. Also euphorbias, wallflowers, bergenia and brunnera. Spent the entire day outside yesterday weeding and cleaning up and planting stuff held over from fall. And finally got all my Japanese maples repotted - not a moment too soon! They are all starting to leaf out.

It is most definitely spring here in the PNW.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Great weekend! Lots of sunshine and time to get out and clean up some of the garden, finish most of the pruning and spread mulch. Finally some blooms and growth...

Hellebore...


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

And another....


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

And plenty of crocus....


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

I loved hearing about everyone's "ramblings" --- isn't it great to be outside again? I haven't gotten out in the yard yet. We had rain overnight and more coming down as I'm sitting here at my computer. But at least the sun is out, too.

Great to see those blooms, PM2. Most definitely I'm planting crocus this fall. I love their cheerful appearance in early spring. My Hellebore are opening, too. (I plan to pot some babies up for the CT Plant Swap this year.)

Below are some of the baby Hellebores.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

I have a patch too, Molie. I potted some up and left them in pots outside over the winter and I'm not sure if they made it through or not. I still have some in the ground and plan to move them soon. They reseed so prolifically, don't they?

Now if everything will manage to survive the overnight low 20s the rest of the week, we may be all set after that.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Absolutely true that hellebores will reseed easily--- also true that it's a surprise as to what you'll get. I donated all of last seasons "babies" and so far none have flowered. You just have to be patient with hellebores. I usually pot mine up in early spring as I find them and then place the "babies" underneath the larger plants for a bit.

It's sunny outside today but a bit colder and windy--- not a gardening day.

Bummer here, too.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Spring has NOT sprung and I'm getting irritated. We're back in the cold (18 F the last couple of nights) with highs only in the 30's. We should see 1 day near 50 this week and then back in the cold with a chance of snow showers again.

Everything is still frozen solid. I might get out in the garden sometime in August at this rate. Maybe it's time to start thinking about Christmas.

Oh yes, I really hate squirrels too!

(I am not happy)

Kevin


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

I don't blame you Kevin. I'm in zone 6 and I find that if it would just stay cold until we were done with it I would be much happier. Having warm days that start the plants growing and blooming only to have to endure low 20s over night again, is frustrating. We are expecting 2 more nights of very cold low 20s this week and then warmer over the weekend. Going to have to get out there and cover a few things before tonight.

Our compost bin is still frozen solid too and wanted to spread some before starting the spinach and pea seeds, but maybe I can add it as a side dressing later.

Oh well. :-)


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

My hellebores have NEVER reseeded, it's friggin freezing out, the wind just will not stop, and I'm as grumpy as Kevin! Where the heck is spring?! I think I will be wearing my winter coat to our spring swap this year!

:)
Dee


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Not all hellebores will reseed freely and produce offspring. Many of the newer hybrids - like 'Ivory Prince' for example - are sterile and and can only be reproduced by tissue propagation. The ones that do tend to reseed very freely (given the ideal conditions) are the x hybridus types. That's why these should best be purchased in bloom to confirm a particular flower color as seedlings can vary signficantly in color from the parent plant.

It takes a while for hellebore seeds to germinate and and become evident, usually in clusters close to the mother plant. If you are a religious weeder or mulcher, it is easy to unknowingly remove or destroy them.

Prairiemoon's photos are of the x hybridus type. These have the widest color range of any hellebore types and are arguably the most popular variety.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

There was an interesting article about why it is so cold this spring, if you are interested. Link below.

Thanks for that info garden gal, the hellebores I have that have reseeded are actually older varieties that were NOID when I bought them. Those pictured above, the first rose colored one, is from the Sunshine Collection that is supposed to be an F1 Hybrid. The second one is called 'Mellow Yellow' that I bought as a plug from Terra Nova, along with 2 others. I was under the impression that they were propagated by tissue culture, and I just looked on their site and didn't see the 'Mellow Yellow' variety at all and couldn't find any other information about how these hellebores were propagated. But I see from a previous thread on the Hellebore forum that this 'Winter Jewels' collection from Terra Nova are originally an O'Byrne hybrid, which I assume will reseed?

Here is another one from that collection, blooming for the first time this year, which is labeled as 'Golden Lotus' but it looks more like their 'Amber Gem' variety.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why has it been so cold this spring?


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Its bloody freezing in england too - had to put black PVC down for the first time in a decade (to get a bit of heat into the soil)because the potatoes have been chitting since January and are getting that Little Shop of Horrors look - gotta get them in the ground but battling with 4m wide polythene, in a freezy wind was really not top fun. Tomatoes, which I sowed in an insane bout of hope, a fortnight ago, did the usual tomato thing of germinating in a nanosecond and I now face months of chivvying them in and out, lids on, lids off, on and on. Absolutely nothing showing above ground in the veggies plot (am beginning to worry where the broad beans are) and yet, despite the chill, the sodding vine weevils have started on their chewing reign of terror - starting with the auriculas. Wondering why a couple of pots looked so dodgy, - all made clear when whole clump lifts with the merest tug - eviscerated roots. grief, we have not even got going yet and the pests are on the march.
But hey, some of the roses are doing their leafy thing (buds are months away tho'), the cheap terracotta pots I bought from poundland have been planted with primroses and there is at least one rather special pale yellow hellebore (Mr.Camps made a 70mile round trip to buy it for me last year) is strutting its speckly stuff.
All is potential, trembling on the very edge of falling over into spring - I hope.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Ah......the sex life of hellebores!! It can get complicated, for sure :-)

Just to sum it up quickly, those x hybridus hellebores (used to be called "oriental hybrids') that are sold under a specific cultivar name - like 'Mellow Yellow' or 'Amber Gem' - ARE propagated commercially by tissue culture. That's because clonal reproduction is the easiest and only sure way of getting exact duplicates of the mother plant. If left to mother nature, these guys are extremely promiscuous, produce very fertile seed and will cross with any other similar hellebore around. Because of that promiscuous nature and the very mixed parentage of all of these hybrids, offspring flower color can run the gamut.

It's like Japanese maples - a seedling of a 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple is just a species JM. It may produce the dark red leaves similar to its Bloodgood parent or it could just as easily produce plain green leaves. The only way you can get another Bloodgood from that tree is by grafting, which is the asexual/clonal reproductive woody plant equivalent of tissue culture.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

But if the Hellebores are cloned, does that change the fact that they reproduce from seed? I know you said the 'Ivory Prince' was sterile, but what makes one plant sterile and another not? And do the hybridizers make them sterile on purpose?

Campanula, what a lot of changes you have coming your way! It actually sounds pretty exciting. I can't believe you are already struggling with pests. Springs sure aren't like they used to be when I was growing up. Seems like we have to get used to these unpredictable weather patterns though. If I were able to produce more vegetables than I do, I would probably resort to a hoop house to extend the season. As it is, I don't have enough sun or enough room to try that.

Congratulations for quitting smoking, not an easy thing to do!


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Prairiemoon thanks for the gorgeous pics. It's nice to know spring has arrived somewhere. Frozen ground aplenty here yet, though I managed to cut back a few ornamental grasses that I could reach without walking in the beds. There are a couple daffodils poking through right next to the house and scilla as well. I] They give me hope. Getting cranky here too.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

I share your pain --- the winds, the colder temps and the grumpy mood. I checked out my yard a few minutes ago, hoping to see "more" than the last time I went out there. After all, I'm in southern NE --- things should be better here!

Well, I posted my findings on the NE forum. Too sad to retell. Like everyone else here, things in my yard are either slow to start and/or crisped from the stresses of this fall and winter. I do have three Hellebore clumps up. A few weeks ago I went out in the cold winds and hacked away at the old leaves: you can see the hurry I was in by the half cropped stems all along the bottom and the one that got away on the left. So, other than two clumps of miniature Narcissus, this is all that's up here in southern CT.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

feeling very nice down here should be in the 70's all week and lows around the 50's. I don't want to get ahead of myself but I have alot of ferns and things I want to go ahead and plant out but if a cold snap comes its all a goner. think its really safe yet?


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

I just looked out the window. It's SNOWING! Flippin SNOWING!

I think I hate robins too. They're too cheerful.

Kevin


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Prairiemoon2 I think the quality of your pictures is wonderful. I am curious as to the specifics of your camera.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

hostaholic, zone 4, huh? Is it usual to have a wait for spring every year, or is this year colder than normal?

Mike, I don’t know about planting out ferns this soon. I’m in 6a and I’m playing it safe and not planting anything out for a couple more weeks, just to be on the safe side. I know it’s tough if you already have potted plants that have to go in and out all the time, but if your lows are in the 50’s maybe you can just leave them out unless there is a sudden cold snap. But if you're really in a hurry, you could always just plan to protect them if it gets too cold.

Kevin, Minnesota, huh? Well, really we’ve had snow here in Massachusetts in April lots of times and once in awhile, even one in May. I hope you are only getting a flurry and not actual snow on the ground. Robins are too cheerful….lol. You’re a riot, Kevin!

Hang in there, all! It can’t be much longer now.

rouge21, I really have just a Canon Point and Shoot camera. A Powershot A630. I almost always just leave it on Automatic too. I have two methods of getting a photo I’m happy with, one is I take a lot so I will get at least a couple of good ones, (g) and I steady the camera on something solid when I can. One of those hellebore photos, I took three of them freehand and then I took the same shot from the same direction by stabilizing the camera on something and it was so much better than the three I took freehand. So you might try that with the camera you have and see if it makes a difference. I’ve also taken photos with a tripod and thought it made a real difference too, but I rarely use one any more, it’s just too much trouble. Oh, I forgot, there is a third consideration that helps, and that is the time of day you take the photo. I always try to get out either very early morning or late afternoon and not usually in the middle of the day. And that is my entire repertoire of photo taking tips that I remember and use…lol.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

OMG, spring may have just sprung here! We are crossing our fingers down here, but the 7-day forecast has all 70s and even 80 one day--FINALLY!!!!! This is the latest coming spring I can remember. Temps are gradually creeping up this week. I am going to go ahead and put all the new purchases out and, if it does have a sudden frost, then I'll pop up the few annuals and stick them back in their pots, but I think we might have actually made it past old man winter. Well, at least his back's turned for now, anyway :) Now, if I can just get my foot just right to kick him over the cliff while he isn't looking...


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

We've had other years with snow in April, but it usually warms up again right away. The temp out here on the prairie this morn was blasted 18 degrees and our high was 34 for a very brief period before it started snowing We should be seeing mainly highs in the 50's with lows right around freezing or upper 20's. ARRGH!


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

LOL, I think you are grumpier than I am, Kevin! Or, at least, you have been grumpy longer! I think I am over the worst of my grumpiness, but I'm still not too happy with the weather, although today was pretty nice.

It was sleeting this morning, so that made me grumpy, but it did get nicer, although I had to stay inside and paint. I'm hoping this is the turning point. The first of my daffodils FINALLY bloomed (way late) and the chionodoxa is in bloom as well. That's about it here.

Dee


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Okay, no more weather complaints from me. No white stuff here at least.

Here's hoping everyone has a better "end-of-April"!

Molie


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Spring??? I have forgotten what it means. We are still in the middle of the winter(and I'm in what is supposed to be a warm part of zone 7. Snowless and frosty for the whole 3 months. Devastation beyond imagination. All bearded irises look like goners, the same with chrysanthemums,probably also monardas and God only knows what more. The crocuses are just beginning to break through the soil.

The global warming does not apply here, definitely.

This post was edited by wieslaw59 on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 10:15


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

More snow in the forecast, I'm moving away from cranky towards down right ornery.


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

Yikes. Now I'm hearing 80 degrees today or tomorrow. From one extreme to the other! I don't like the cold, but 80 degrees in early April just ain't right either!

Eh, I'm stuck inside all week anyway. Guess it doesn't really matter as I'll be looking at whatever happens through a narrow little window.

Dee


 o
RE: Spring Has Sprung!!!

I was almost ready to start a thread titled "Where is wieslaw59" and then I stumbled across your recent post in this topic. Were you in hibernation? ;)


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Perennials Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here