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An Early Spring: GBBD, March 2020

March 15, 2020

I  almost wrote “April” instead of “March” in the title of this post, because the state of the garden seems so much more like mid-April than mid-March.  We have not had any snow in weeks, and March temperatures thus far have been above average. Much of the snow has melted from the garden, and I have been able to get out this week to do some late winter pruning and begin spring cleanup.

red lion 2020

In the house, the last of my potted amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs to bloom this year, ‘Red Lion’ is showing off its flame-colored flowers.

But, as the spring equinox approaches, it is time to transition from indoor flowers to outdoor blooms. Near the south-facing corner of the house, the first flower of Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’ has opened, about two weeks ahead of schedule.

1st pickwick 2020a

…And many more crocus blooms will follow soon.

pickwick budsGarden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is a monthly garden party hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see March blooms from from a variety of climates and latitudes.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2020 8:30 pm

    Nice! Crocus are only just opening here, and I’m in NE Pa. What a strange winter it was.

    • March 18, 2020 5:01 pm

      Bittster, Our winter seemed like a mid-Atlantic winter rather than a northern New England winter. March is usually a snowy month here, but our last significant snowfall was sometime in February. I’m enjoying an early spring, but I’m hoping this is not our new global warming normal.

  2. March 15, 2020 10:50 pm

    Your crocus look so healthy. My crocus tend to diminish year to year because spring is not long enough to build up the corm for next year.

    • March 18, 2020 5:04 pm

      Ray, I think of our springs as very short, but what counts as summer weather in Maine would probably count as spring in northern Virginia. Crocuses are clearly happy here; it’s been several years since I planted mine, and the clumps are still increasing in size each year.

  3. March 16, 2020 3:33 am

    Lovely crocus and Amarylis blooms .Happy blooms day.

  4. Pat Leuchtman permalink
    March 16, 2020 10:05 am

    I only have a few tiny crocuses blooming, gold and purple, but I have green shoots all over the place. I am ready for spring.Your amaryllis is gorgeous. My three bulbs are in some kind of shock. One is just starting to send up a shoot, one is sending up a blossom and one is just leafy. These are the same bulbs I’ve used before. They must be tired of me.

    • March 18, 2020 5:10 pm

      Pat, Most of my crocuses are still under snow, but I planted several clumps along the foundation of the house, a warm micro-climate where the snow melts and the crocuses bloom early.
      My amaryllis bulbs typically bloom for one or a few years in a row, then make offsets and take several years to build up again to blooming size. This year, four out of ten bloomed (and that may have been my highest % ever). One that bloomed this year, ‘Green Goddess’ last bloomed eight years ago.

  5. Kris Peterson permalink
    March 16, 2020 4:23 pm

    It’s lovely to see your garden shifting toward spring, Jean. Crocus are one of my favorites blooming bulbs. They don’t generally do well here but, much to my surprise, a handful I received a few years ago as gifts with a purchase, returned for a third year back in January. If I only knew what variety they are, I’d order some…

    • March 18, 2020 5:14 pm

      Kris, I think of crocuses as bulbs that like a period of cold, so I’m impressed that any can return year after year in your climate. In my climate, on the other hand, crocuses are one of the rewards after a long winter. Soon, the green shoots of my crocus clumps on the side slope will start pushing up through the melting snow.

  6. March 16, 2020 7:22 pm

    If it’s like April there, what is it here? June of 1985 would be nice.

    • March 18, 2020 5:23 pm

      Tony, March is very definitely a winter month here, and we usually get at least one good snowfall in April. Having plants emerge and bloom this early happens very rarely.

      • March 18, 2020 5:29 pm

        Goodness; and I am feeling badly about getting the tomatoes started so late. I don’t think I would do well with snow, especially so late.

        • March 18, 2020 5:31 pm

          The outdoor planting time for tender plants here is Memorial Day weekend!

        • March 18, 2020 5:32 pm

          That is why vegetable plants get started inside.

  7. March 17, 2020 3:27 am

    I love your Crocus pickwick, all of ours were eaten by squirrels – apparently the love crocus bulbs and can smell them out – so we didn’t end up with a single one left (they’re also very thorough). I’m wondering whether to replant, but this time, under a layer of chicken wire.

    • March 18, 2020 5:27 pm

      Sunil, When I planted my crocus bulbs, I followed the advice of the local co-op where I bought them to sprinkle ground cloves on the soil above each planting hole to disrupt the ability of rodents to sniff out the bulbs. It worked! All 75 clumps of crocuses came bloomed the following spring and they have continued to increase every year since. I didn’t repeat the ground cloves treatment after the initial planting; maybe the rodents are most interested in the bulbs when they are freshly planted?

  8. March 17, 2020 4:18 pm

    I always loved seeing crocus when I lived up north. To me, they symbolized promise — winter was ending and the possibilities of spring and summer were just ahead.

    • March 18, 2020 5:28 pm

      Kevin, You’ve captured the feeling perfectly — a promise of spring and the whole gardening season to look forward to.

  9. March 18, 2020 2:40 pm

    That’s a cute little striped Crocus. I have a small handful that are blooming but they are all solid colors, purple or yellow.

    • March 18, 2020 5:30 pm

      Jason, This one always blooms first for me because I have several clumps of them planted in a warm micro-climate along the foundation of the house. The solid-color ones, which are planted further away from the house, are still under snow; but soon, I will start to see their green foliage pushing up through the melting snow. I love watching them appear each spring.

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