Spring has arrived!

First blooms in the “Blue Garden”

I posted this photo on Fb earlier this week, and many responses from “locals” was “It’s too early!” After all, it is just mid-March, but checking my bloom journal for the prior three years the spring blooms are actually right on schedule. And, it’s NEVER too early for me to see those first early blooms of the year!

And, these weren’t the first blooms because the snowdrops, tiny as they were started off the season on February 23. As eager as we are, Hoosiers in north central Indiana recognize that even though snowdrops are in bloom, Spring has not yet arrived.

The first blooms were just harbingers of Spring!

But the crocuses weren’t far behind, opening their first blooms on March 2 and weren’t the bees thrilled to find them!

“Cream Beauty” is always my first crocuses to bloom.

I’ve planted a variety of crocuses in the gardens to extend their bloom period. The species crocus C. chrysanthus “Cream Beauty” are always the first to bloom. The chrysanthus come in a variety of colors, and I’m thinking of adding some lobelia blue ones called “Blue Pearl” this fall. A mixture from ColorBlends called “Vernal Jewels” blooms next (3/6) They don’t list the species name, but the white ones bloom first, followed by creamy yellow and pale lavender. C. sieberi “Tricolor” comes next, opening on March 16 this year.

C. sieberi “Tricolor”

The “Tommies” or C. tommasinianus are next. The one I grow is “Lilac Beauty.” Some people claim the “Tommies” are not dug up and moved by squirrels as readily as the other crocus, but I haven’t kept close enough records to be able to verify that. The winter aconites are next to bloom in my gardens, although I know in some areas they bloom earlier.

The earliest winter aconites!

Isn’t it interesting that so many of the early spring bloomers are bright yellow? Maybe so the bees can find them easily? Crocus, winter aconites, daffodils, dandelions!

The top photo of this post shows the first hellebore (a single pink that was supposed to be peachy salmon) some iris reticulata in a luscious blue, and far right, more Tricolor crocuses. For some reason, the iris reticulata there blooms in dense shade well before the ones shown below which are in full sun!

Love these little irises.

As a side note, the potager’s interior border lost lots of perennials this winter. See how bare it looks? All of the hollyhocks rotted, hardly any snapdragons overwintered. Most of the feverfew has disappeared, along with a lot of the tall blue salvia and anise hyssop. It was just too wet for too long, and there was no insulating snow cover during the coldest periods.

The dark purple are large-flowered crocus; the blue are iris reticulata

About the same time the iris reticulata are at full bloom, the large-flowered crocus begin to open (3/20). Most of mine are the very deep purple, which are grand multipliers, but I rarely see them listed in catalogs except occasionally as part of a mixture. I hurried out to take this photo last evening, before big storms and four days of rain arrive to beat the petals. I fear their show may be brief this year.

And yesterday, the first daffodils opened, the dainty Tete e Tete! There are lots of daffodil buds forming on other varieties so it won’t be long before the picking begins.

Small, but mighty!

The daffodil bloom signals the start of major vegetable planting: peas, shallots, onion sets, and seeding a wide range of greens. I can’t wait to get started, but apparently I’ll need to wait for this major storm period to pass and a couple of nights in the upper 20’s are coming up so there’s no need to rush. I certainly don’t want my precious shallot bulbs to rot, and the peas will just lay there complaining until it warms a bit. So, it’s back to transplanting in the basement and working on the post project for most of this week. What do you have planned?


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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14 Responses to Spring has arrived!

  1. J says:

    Those crocuses are lovely! It’s so wonderful to have spring finally arriving isn’t it? 🙂


  2. bcparkison says:

    We almost always have a “cool spell” before Easter and Easter is late this year…..so….we just have to deal with it.


  3. Su says:

    Yaaa! Your blooms give me hope, although I’m sorry you seem to have so many perennials in the potager. You may still have some survivors, and I’m sure you have some spare seedlings! It’s still soggy and getting soggier today, so still can’t get into my garden, but soon… Meantime I’m starting to build four raised beds. I suspect your earliest-blooming irises benefit from proximity to the house, and warmth radiating/reflected off the bricks.


    • carolee says:

      I’m sure I can find some seedlings to take their place, but I will miss the hollyhocks and there won’t be the lovely feverfew as filler for bouquets this year….Good luck with your new beds. I have a stack of stained boards to replace a couple beds in the potager as soon as the weather cooperates. Too much rain here…and yesterday snow!


  4. Su says:

    Missing a word – sorry uou seem to have LOST so many perennials…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. fgrtommo says:

    Saw my first butterflies of the year this morning! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jorjagrael says:

    Love seeing your garden! Quite a few of my plants got bit hard during the cold spell a little over a week ago, but seem to be recovering nicely. Hopefully that was the last really bad one!


  7. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Every day when I go outside I see new blooms and leaves. Isn’t this just a magical time of year? We hare having a few days of sunshine with a chilly breeze but at last work can start in the garden.


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