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Spring Bulbs and April Snow: GBBD, April 2021

April 16, 2021

crocus hillside 2021April in Maine is normally a battle between winter and spring in which spring eventually triumphs. This year, however, winter has mostly been a no-show; we have had an early spring, with above average temperatures, early melting of the snow pack, and no April snow – at least until today.  Today, we are having rain with temperatures cold enough for snow flakes to mix in. So far, the snow has not been able to accumulate on the warm ground, but that may change overnight; it would not be surprising to wake up tomorrow morning to at least a coating, and maybe even a couple of inches, of snow. Even if we do wake up to a wintry world, however, it won’t last. Warm temperatures will quickly return and melt the snow. What will remain is the colorful display of spring bulbs that mark the beginning of the garden season here.

crocus colors

The first crocus flower opened, in a warm spot by the foundation of the house, on the first day of spring. As the snow melted in late March and early April, more and more crocuses appeared on the big slope beside the driveway. Crocus blooms  have since been joined by some blue hyacinths blooming in the back garden and by the first flowers of forsythia.

forsythia first flowers

As the crocus and hyacinth flowers begin to fade, more blooms are waiting in the wings. The 30 clumps of daffodils that I planted on the front slope last fall are sporting fat buds, and flower buds have also appeared on the lilacs.

daffodil buds 2021 lilac buds 2021

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see the wonderful array of April blooms from others gardens.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2021 11:05 pm

    Those crocus clumps look pretty healthy. The striped ones look like ‘Pickwick’ which I used to have abundantly, but slowly disappeared.

    • April 21, 2021 7:37 pm

      Ray, The striped ones are indeed ‘Pickwick.’ I planted the crocus bulbs on this slope five years ago. So far, they have been coming back each year, and the clumps have been growing.

  2. April 17, 2021 12:58 am

    Beautiful spring blooms, Crocus are stunning spring blooms. It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to Gardening, Nature and birds here at http://jaipurgardening.blogspot.com/2021/04/garden-affair-mesembryanthemum.html

  3. April 17, 2021 7:35 am

    Beautiful crocus! Here in Missouri, mine finished weeks ago…at least what the chipmunks have not dug up. I have more squill, as the critters don’t seem as fond of that. Those are almost finished blooming. My mahonia was beautiful but is finished. Currently blooming here are lilacs, Virginia bluebells, a few muscari, and pulmonaria. My candytuft iberis is a beautiful mound of white. Half of my leatherleaf vibernum is blooming. We just cut out the half the deer destroyed. I always find it interesting to compare the same plants’ bloom time in different zones. I do live a bit vicariously through your beautiful gardens regardless of the time of year though!

    • April 21, 2021 7:42 pm

      Debbie, We have been having such a population explosion of chipmunks here the past two years that they are starting to feel like a Biblical plague! When I planted the crocus bulbs five years ago, I followed the advice from the Maine coop where I purchased them to sprinkle ground cloves on top of the soil after filling the holes where the bulbs were planted. The idea is that the strong scent of the cloves will disrupt the ability of rodents to sniff out the bulbs. It seems to have worked. I did lose a few that were in a big pile of soil dug out by a woodchuck, but of 70 groups of bulbs that I planted five years ago, 68 were still blooming (and growing in size) this year.

  4. Molly Wickwire permalink
    April 17, 2021 10:45 am

    Love Spring. So exciting to see what made it through yet another winter in Maine

    • April 21, 2021 7:45 pm

      Molly, It’s hard not to love spring! I have been happily working on spring clean-up in the garden on mild afternoons. And today, I noticed mayflower (Epigaea repens), the first wildflower of spring here, blooming along the side of my dirt road.

  5. April 17, 2021 2:59 pm

    Your Crocus are spectacular, Jean. I wish I could get them to grow and spread here.

    • April 21, 2021 7:48 pm

      Kris, I think of these as cold-loving spring bulbs. They come up through the snow here. But I just looked online, and discover that there are some species native to the Mediterranean, which I imagine are the ones you have tried to grow.

  6. April 17, 2021 5:00 pm

    Beautiful signs of Spring!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. April 17, 2021 5:29 pm

    Oh, it must be nice. I just got a picture of (what I refer to as ‘fake’) lilac that was still blooming last week. The finish so fast. I intend to get the common lilac, since it is my favorite. It just is not so common here.

    • April 21, 2021 7:52 pm

      Tony, I love the common lilac, too. They are not native here, but they are naturalized and very long-lived. It’s a common sight along rural roads in Maine to see lilacs blooming in what was once the dooryard of a farmhouse that no longer exists.

      • April 23, 2021 9:26 pm

        That is how they are described in several regions. They do not naturalize here, but those who remember them from elsewhere plant them because they remember them so fondly.

  8. April 18, 2021 6:28 pm

    Love seeing all those crocus .. especially Pickwick .. how cheerful can you get right ? I’m afraid the chipmunks would feast on any I would plant .. so squill happens a lot in the back garden. Weather .. who knows what will happen next, Ontario .. south eastern can be as bad as Maine .. we are on Lake Ontario so lake affect weather is another factor .. but I think Spring is trying her best for now.
    Nice pictures .. made me smile !

    • April 21, 2021 7:55 pm

      Joy, After all those months of white, the crocuses are such a cheerful sight! As I mentioned in my reply to Debbie above, I’ve had good luck with the strategy of deterring chipmunks by sprinkling ground cloves on top of the soil after planting the bulbs. I keep promising myself to plant squill in my back garden, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  9. April 26, 2021 5:56 am

    I love the clumps of crocuses, I hope they all knit together over time and it turns into a beautiful flowing (and flowering) carpet of purple that floods out from the house at the top and cascades down the front border. That’s the picture I have in my mind, anyway.

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