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Springing! GBBD, April 2017

April 15, 2017

side slope snow meltIt would be an exaggeration to say that spring has sprung in my Maine garden, but it is definitely springing. Most of the snow has melted; what’s left are patches of snow on the ground, piles of shoveled snow, and snow banks left by the plow. Even the huge pile of snow shoveled from the roof, which I dubbed “Snow Mountain” in February when it was up to the roofline, has dwindled to a small hillock.

In the garden, seven flower beds are now snow-free, while six still have snow remaining. (Of those six, two will probably be free of snow by the end of the day tomorrow.) In the blue and yellow border, the blue hyacinths have begun to open and the daffodils have buds.

hyacinths blooming daffodil buds 2017

pickwick flowersThe stars of my garden in this early spring period are the crocuses. Last fall, I planted several clumps of the showy Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’ near the foundation at the south corner of my house, along the walkways to both the front and back doors. They rewarded me with early blooms. The first crocus opened on March 30 and was promptly eaten by some hungry critter. In the two weeks since, however, more have emerged and bloomed, a cheering sight whenever I enter or leave the house.

serenity crocus In the Serenity Garden, a smaller variety of crocus, Crocus vernus ‘Flower Record’ has just begun to bloom. These provide a preview of still more crocus blooms to come. Last fall, I planted 300 crocus bulbs, in 60 clumps of 5 bulbs, on the Side Slope. As the snow melts from this hillside, crocus foliage emerges from beneath the snow. As of today, half the 60 clumps are visible, although none have begun to bloom.

In the weeks to come, as the crocuses finish their display, trees will flower, lilacs will bud, spring wildflowers will appear, and spring will truly have sprung.

side slope crocuses emerging

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, providing an opportunity for bloggers to share what’s happening in their gardens. Go to her blog to share your own blooms or to see what is happening in gardens from many different climates.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2017 7:26 am

    Lovely crocuses! They are a distant memory here in Wales as we are about two months ahead of you on the “Spring” front.
    I can’t believe your pile of snow!
    All the best for warmer days to come 🙂

    • April 23, 2017 7:12 pm

      Pat, We’ve been having a period of cold, wet weather that has put bulbs into a state of suspended animation. The result is that these crocuses by the foundation have not quite finished blooming yet. Meanwhile, the 300 crocuses I planted on the hillside by the beauty are putting on a lovely show. The snow is melting. Only snow banks along the side of the driveway and that pile by the front porch remain, and the latter is disappearing rapidly.

  2. April 16, 2017 5:58 pm

    I feel that if I was in your garden I’d be itching to encourage that snow to move. But I guess shovelling it ‘away’ now would damage the emerging plants?

    • April 23, 2017 7:16 pm

      Diana, Up until now, I haven’t been in a big hurry because I’ve been cleaning up flower beds one by one as they became snow-free. Today, though, I finally got caught up with the snow melt; all that is left to do are the two flower beds that flank the walkway to the patio. Although this pile of snow has shrunk considerably, it is still impinging on both those flower beds. So today, I went out and spread it out with my landscape rake to expose more surface area to the sun and encourage melting. It should be gone within the next few days.

  3. April 16, 2017 6:04 pm

    I’m glad to see that your flower color has moved outside and that spring has arrived at last! I love those beautiful crocus. I planted 100 or more crocus bulbs myself the first year in our current place, under the misbegotten impression that impression that they might work here. A small percentage appeared the first year but, year after year, they gradually faded away until there were none.

    I hope all the snow is gone by May and that you enjoy each and every moment of your unfolding spring season.

    • April 23, 2017 10:42 pm

      Kris, Spring doesn’t so much unfold here as explode — that is, once it finally gets going. Everything was in a state of suspended animation last week with rain/drizzle and temperatures in the 30s. Ugh! Today, the sun came out, the temperatures got up to 60, and all kinds of new growth popped up in the garden.
      Usually, the snow disappears here by the end of April, but I don’t know if we’ll make it this year. All the snow will be gone from the garden, but there are still 1-2′ high snow banks from the plow along the side of the driveway.

  4. April 17, 2017 4:08 am

    Wow, Jean, I’m still stunned by the huge pile of snow, even in its “dwindled”state. As it gradually melts I can imagine it’s restocking the ground water to keep plants going during the dryer summer months, much like winter rains do here.

    • April 23, 2017 10:55 pm

      Sunil, That pile pretty much disappeared in the past week. You are right, though, that snow is important for recharging the water table here. Last year, when we had little snow in the winter, we were in severe drought conditions by mid-summer.

  5. April 17, 2017 4:41 am

    Hi Jean,
    The crocuses are lovely!
    Spring is finally reaching you. I can’t wait to see your garden when it’s in bloom and all the snow is gone.

    • April 23, 2017 10:59 pm

      Rachel, I am so happy that I took the time to plant all those crocuses in the fall. Having flowers blooming in April has done wonders for my sanity!

  6. April 27, 2017 2:43 pm

    Nice! You have more in bloom already than I do up in Northern Maine!

    • April 28, 2017 7:54 pm

      Joanna, I’ve never had flowers in March before! Planting some of those crocus bulbs by the warm south-facing foundation paid off! The last of the snow melted from my garden yesterday, and I’m hoping to have the last bit of snowbank from the plow gone by Sunday. I want to start May snow-free. (I’m sure you can relate 🙂 )

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