Before the Storm

So we got back from Tennessee on Friday afternoon, and the garden welcomed us back with a fabulous show. However, the weather gods were preparing a more malicious welcome, namely the 3-5″ of snow predicted for the following day.


The first thing we noticed were the Daffodils and Species Tulips blooming in the front garden.


The bulbs I had planted over the last few years in the Parkway Bed were looking pretty good.


The white-tipped golden-yellow petals of Tulipa dasystemon make me think of lemon sorbet swirled with vanilla ice cream. It’s also a good naturalizer.


T. dasystemon combines nicely with the smaller T. turkestanica, which is white with a small yellow center.


I love the rich red of T. praestans ‘Fusilier’.


T. praestans ‘Unicum’ has variegated leaves.



More Daffodils.


The Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) were in bloom, perfuming the sidewalk with its sweet-spicy scent.


All the excitement wasn’t about the flowers, though. I was pleased to see the Ostrich Ferns (Metteuccia struthiopteris) breaking dormancy in the Front Foundation Bed.


In the back garden, the first Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) were blooming along the porch.


The Great Merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora) were in bloom with their slightly twisted yellow petals on dangling flowers.


The Lenten Roses (Helleborus orientalis) are filling in nicely.


And look! Our little patch of Bloodroot (Sanguineria canadensis) is blooming. This is a bit of luck, as the bloom season for these flowers is just a few days.


The very first Great White Trillium is in bloom, with more to follow.


Oh, and the delicate white flowers of ‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry (Amelanchiear x grandiflora) are open.

As predicted, we were hit by a snowstorm on Saturday, just a couple of inches, but it did little damage. The blooming Daffodils and some of the Tulips were weighed down by the heavy snow. But the Great Merrybells, Virginia Bluebells, and Lenten Roses bounced right back. And even the Serviceberry flowers looked absolutely fine after the snow melted. By noon all the snow was melted, the sun was shining, and I even got in a few hours of gardening.

So the weather gods did not ruin our garden welcome after all.

43 Comments on “Before the Storm”

  1. Your garden has a wonderful spring look. Love those blue bells. I have Va blue bells but they have never reproduced. One plant it blooms faithfully every year but no others appear. I find that Strange.

  2. We only got an inch. But the temp got down to about 28-30 depending on who you read. I covered a lot of things, more worried about the weight of the snow. Even that small amount really flattened things and it turned to ice on top of the plastic buckets I put over a number of things. Always hard trying to decide to cover things or let nature take her course.

  3. What a drag that snow can happen on top of such bloom. At least your bloom tolerated it.
    Are there many cultivars of serviceberry? When we grew it back in the mid 1990s, we grew only ‘Smoky’ (I think). We quickly realized that there was no market for them here. I have seen one other cultivar, but I do not remember what it was, or what was distinctive about it. Are there none that are grown from seed, as they would be found in the wild? I noticed with the black elderberry that there are both cultivars and seed grown plants. Our native blue elderberry are only grown from seed (as far as I know).

    • I don’t think there are a lot of Serviceberry varieties. The one that dominates the market in ‘Autumn Brilliance’, which is a hybrid of two species. I think there are more varieties of Amelanchier alnifolia, which has been grown as a commercial crop in Canada.

      • Well, no; there are not many cultivars. I don’t know much at all about them, but I do remember seeing only two. One was ‘Smokey’, but now that I think of it, I do not remember if it was a hybrid, or what species it is.

  4. Your spring garden is lovely! I especially liked the Virginia Bluebells and the Bloodroot. Those late snow storms are so discouraging even if they don’t last long. I remember a few years ago on May 16th, we got 8 inches of snow! But then 2 days later it was so warm I planted corn. 😀 Crazy weather!

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