Saturday, April 12, 2014

Early Splash of Color

Spring has finally arrived, and my eyes revel in the sudden bursts of color that appear overnight.

Puschkinia libanotica alba and Iris reticulata with bergenia foliage

Winter aconites (eranthis hyemalis) are the first to bloom. They will pop out of the earth as soon as even a small patch of snow is melted, while it seems that the ground must still be frozen. You have to know where to look for them to find them, but it's exhiliarating at that time of the year to see anything growing outside. In 2014 they bloomed on March 18, and by early April are already fading.

Eranthis hyemalis (Winter aconite)

Snowdrops follow soon in their footseps. These simple, elegant bulbs are much appreciated by humans and pollinators in this time of flower scarcity.

Galanthus elwesii (giant snowdrop) in March

Next in the race are the species crocus, such as crocus tommasinianus (tommies). These little fellows are spread with surprising vigor - this is the second year of this planting and they have at least tripled in number. The warm rosey-purple really catches the soft spring light.

Crocus tommasinianus

Tiny delicate rock garden iris, like this iris reticulata, are not far behind the crocus. I love the blue color and elegant shape of the blooms. They also have a fantastic sweet fragrance! It doesn't carry and you will have to get right down on the ground and stick your face in them to smell it - an rewarding activity at this time of year.

Iris reticulata 'Clairette'

Large dutch crocus bloom a bit later than the small species types. They come in intense colors like deep purple and bright yellow.

Crocus vernus (Dutch crocus) 'Flower Record'

Puschkinia (Striped squill) are also beginning to bloom at this time. I have two types: the classic pale china blue Puschkinia libanotica, and the pure white form Puschkinia libanotica alba. The ruffly, feminine flowers make a fine contribution to the early spring garden, and they grow and increase easily.

Puschkinia libanotica with the teensy dwarf evergreen Tsuga diversifolia 'Loowit'

Puschkinia libanotica alba with bergenia

Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow) has also started in. I have the pink-flowered form planted among some lamium underneath my quince tree.

Chionodoxa forbesii  'Pink Giant'

Finally, I have a daffodil blooming already! It's an ultra early variety called "Rijnveld's Early Sensation", and it is certainly sensationally early. It is short of stature, but the blooms are large and cheery. I have lots of other daffodils coming up, but this is by far the quickest to bloom.

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation'

Here is a view of my peony bed, which later will be filled to bursting with glorious tree peonies, lilies, and  iris. Now it looks almost bare with nothing but a few scattered bulbs. Still, this first flash of color may be my favorite time of year, for the color is so precious now, and the earth is full of promise. Can you see the red new growth on the peonies?

Peony bed in early April


  1. It's so exciting to see the first blooms in spring, you had to wait a long time for it, but when the beginning is there and growth is in the air, the garden soon will be a green oasis.
    Happy gardening!

  2. Your garden Rebecca looks like mine, lovely pushkinia, crocus, Chionodoxa
    Spring is wonderful time, enjoy it!

  3. I enjoyed your early blooms, especially your Iris reticulata 'Clairette' and Crocus. Spring is a wonderful time of the year-Happy Bloom Day!

  4. Hi Rebecca, I love all the little spring bloomers in your garden! My favorites being Puschkinia Libanotica and Puschkinia Libanotica Alba. I have to do some research and see if I can grow these here in Southern California. Most likely they need more winter chill than my climate has to offer them, but I would like to know for sure. If there is the slightest chance that they could thrive, they are a "must have" for me :-)! Enjoy the spring in your garden!

  5. Good to see your garden coming to life. You have had a tough time over there this year. I'm liking the glory of the snow combo along with the Lamium. I might just steal this - I've a wee pot of those bulbs waiting to go into the ground.
    Happy Bloom Day :)

  6. Eranthis hyemalis is not a plant I am familiar with! How delightful to find something new :) Your gardens are beginning to pop with color and I'm sure they are bringing you joy. Happy GBBD!

  7. Hello, I too love those early splashes of color. So much promise of good things to come! Happy Bloom Day!

  8. I love this time of year, too--every small bloom is so appreciated! You have lots of lovely spring bloomers; my favorite is the striped squill. I'm going to have to remind myself to plant some of these this fall. Happy Bloom Day!

  9. It is nice to see the spring in your garden. There are still lots of daffodils, but we forgot about the crocuses already. It is the time for tulips in UK:)

  10. I smiled at your first photo, I have the exact same mix of Puschkinia libanotica alba, Iris reticulata and bergenia in my garden, they are lovely. Great to see spring has finally arrive for you, it’s been a long wait hasn’t it? I saw the news yesterday with the latest snowfall in the Midwest, I hope you won’t get any more winter weather, time for enjoying spring! Happy GBBD!

  11. Hi Rebecca, I enjoyed all of your beauties. I think you have more than I do. I had to go back to see your comment to see if my memory of it was correct. It definitely looks like spring your way!

  12. So many treasures in your spring garden. The crocus is my favourite flowering bulb, yours are gorgeous.
    Best Wishes.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...