April 2014: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

At this moment we are at sort of a pause in the garden. The early small bulbs are starting to wrap up, but the larger bulbs have not yet made their appearance.

2014-04-12 12.00.44
Common snowdrop with Virginia bluebell leaves emerging in the background.

The snowdrops are almost done.

Dragonfly/wrench with snowdrops.
Dragonfly/wrench with snowdrops. We bought this guy at an art fair from the artist, a welder from Indiana, who was just packing up. We had neither cash nor checkbook He told us to  mail him a check, which we did.

Their gleaming tepals are dropping and the grassy leaves are filling out.

Tommy Crocus.
Tommy Crocus.

The crocus are just past their peak, fading faster than we expected because of a couple of improbably warm days. The sun was shining, people wore shorts, and the crocus began to whither just a bit.

Crocus clumps scattered along the sidewalk border.
Crocus clumps scattered along the sidewalk border.

But now, as I write this post, it is snowing. We could have a couple of inches on the ground tomorrow morning. Yup. Welcome to Chicago.

Siberian squill.
Siberian squill.

The squill (Scilla siberica) are just starting to bloom but have not hit their stride. Squill is an incredibly easy bulb, spreads itself around enthusiastically but doesn’t make trouble. And I love that blue. Also, unlike crocus, the rodents leave them alone. What looks like grass in the background above is actually Siberian squill seedlings. As I said, they spread themselves around with abandon.

Narcissus 'Baby Moon'.
Narcissus ‘Little Gem’.

An early Narcissus I planted last fall, ‘Baby Moon’ has its very first flowers. ‘Baby Moon’ is only about 6″ tall. UPDATE: Actually, this is ‘Little Gem’. Annette of Personal Eden pointed out the error. Thanks Annette.  ‘Baby Moon’ blo0ms in May. I planted some of those last fall also.

Just a few more days...
Just a few more days…

 

You can see the flower buds on most of the other daffodils and a few look like they could pop with just a couple of warm days. Same thing could be said for the forsythia and spicebush (Lindera benzoin).

Young hellebore with flower bud.
Young hellebore with flower bud.

Oh, and I planted hellebores (Helleborus niger) for the first time last fall. Most haven’t done much yet, but a few of them have started to send up new leaves and there are a couple with flower buds. I’m excited.

So I have lots more bulbs and other spring flowers to look forward to. Just as soon as the snow melts. Again.

For more blooms visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

59 Comments on “April 2014: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day”

  1. Jason, I am so sorry about your everlasting winter. Thank goodness you and Judy have these lovely bulbs to enjoy while it plays out its last act (and I’m crossing my fingers that this WILL be its last act!) I’m enchanted by your pretty blue squills. I have very few spring bulbs, but I’ve been moved this year to incorporate a few more for next year. Scilla siberica is now on the list!

  2. Wishing you some sunny spring warmth for those hellebores! I hope they flower nicely for you – mine took many years to get established but have excelled this year. I agree on squills – last autumn I replanted an area where they grow and it didn’t bother them at all, they just popped up all over as usual! 😀

  3. I always forget how far you are behind weather wise at this time of year. I think you must have a quicker transition from spring to summer than we do. It seems like ages since I was looking at snowdrops

  4. Snowing again? Nightmare…I’ll make a mental note that I shall never move to Chicago! 😉 It’s the first time I actually realize what a difference it is weatherwise. As for the narcissus, I have to disappoint you. Baby moon is a jonquilla and looks very different to this one. Hope it gets over the snow!

  5. I, in the past have noticed that in my garden the Hellebores do much better when planted in the spring and summer verses the fall and winter. Maybe just to cold for them to really get established when I planted in the fall/winter? Hopefully this might help in the future. I also have a love for the Scilla siberica, the bright blue is fantastic. I hope the weather starts warming up for you!

  6. Your snowdrops have done so well. Aren’t they all new this year? Quite a good show. Nice dragonfly and refreshing to be trusted. Hope this is your last snow. We have freeze warnings for the next couple days, though it was 80F over the weekend.

  7. Interesting. It seems like our gardens are in sync this year. Usually, Chicago seems way ahead of Madison this time of year. I’m so happy for you! Hellebores! I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. Mine seem to like a liberal layer of leaf mulch during the winter, and then I’m very careful about the timing of lifting the mulch. I try to wait until nighttime temperatures hang near freezing for a while. This year, I think I was a little premature, although they’re doing just fine–even after 20F last night (although I did cover them). I probably wouldn’t need to pamper them that much, but … what can I say, they’re Hellebores. Enough about that, but anyway I’m happy for you! Looks like a better forecast for the weekend and next week.

  8. Aha! So squill self-sows? I saw seedlings in the bed with them, and wondered how Allium seedlings had gotten so far away from where they were planted. Good to know, I’ll leave them alone. Sorry you’re getting an April snow. It’s not unheard of, but it is a disappointment.

  9. Hello Jason, the crocuses look lovely, such a deep purple colour that really stands out against the backdrop of washed-out winter drabness. We don’t appear to have any crocuses or snowdrops in the new garden, but that should hopefully change now I’m on the case.

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