Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Crocus and Other Things

First Crocus
March 15, 2008

It's as if they were waiting for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day to make their debut. Several days ago, I noticed the purple crocus (that I didn't plant) was showing color. This little clump (that I didn't plant) is the first to bloom every year. I don't know where they came from, because I didn't plant them. I simply enjoy them.

These are blooming earlier than in previous years. In 2007, the first blooms of the season were the double snowdrops and they burst forth on
March 14th. The crocus were much later. Last year, they weren't even "showing any color in their buds yet" on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for March.

They may bloom first because they are on the south side of our family room, which is my famous microclimate. I'm certain it's a solid zone 6 there, maybe even bordering on 7, and I'm hoping this means the Coreopsis 'Limerock Dream' that I planted last fall will prove it to be true.

Other outside blooms this Bloom Day are the double snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'), which have been in bloom for a couple of weeks or so.

The witch hazel hasn't really dazzled me like I expected it would. The blooms are very small and have to be looked at up close and personal to be appreciated. Maybe it's because it's the first year for it since being planted last year. Maybe it's because it's a native and not a hybrid.

Both the pussy willow and the Japanese Fantail Willow are blooming with their soft pussy-toes. The Japanese Fantail toes are much smaller than the pussy willow's.

Japanese Fantail Willow
Salix sachalinensis 'Sekka'

American Pussy Willow
Salix discolor

I brought some of the pussy willow branches inside a few weeks ago and forced them. Now I'm letting them remain in water to hopefully root so I can have more plants. I did that with forsythia last year and now we have another shrub.

The warm temperatures coupled with the fall leaf cover have produced a few surprises. As I've been working in the gardens to clear out the leaves that blew in over the winter, I'd estimate that 90% of what's out there is showing signs of life, either with buds along the stems of branches or new green growth at the base of the plants. The remaining 10% will likely not be far behind if the warm weather persists.

Probably the biggest surprise was the 'Pink Panda' strawberry plant:

Kind of ragged, but a bloom nonetheless!


Apologies to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, host of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, for the lateness of my post (again). Let's see...what can my excuse be this time?


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Happy GBBD. Aren't the first blooms most appreciated. They get the ole gardening blood pumping.

Kristin said...

I remember again today why I love to follow your blog- instead of the "cool pussy willows" that I posted about- you have a name for them- good to know. Thanks- again!


Cathy S. said...

Purdy! You take such nice photos
of your flowers!

Nutty Gnome said...

I have just fallen in love with your Japanese Fantail Willow!I've never seen one before and it is gorgeous - I SERIOUSLY covert one, it would look perfect in my Japanese Garden ....drool, drool!
I'm off to scour the internet to see where I can find one!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful blooms. I kind of enjoyed that your post was later. That way, I had time to come over and enjoy it at my leisure. I have purple crocus just like that, and now I want that Japanese willow. Its bloom looks like a mixture of wild and white rice.~~Dee

Robin's Nesting Place said...

The purple clump of crocus is so pretty! I was delighted to find blooms of iris, crocus and daffodils yesterday! I love spring!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Very nice blooms, although I think I like the Fantail Willow the best, even though that's not a flower. It's such a cool effect. Yippie for microclimates!

Pat said...

Nice selection of spring blooms.
Like them all...might favor the witch hazel though. Did you say famous microclimate ? Never really think of that term but guess we all have areas around the house that have different microclimates.
Maybe the squirrels stole the bulbs from neighbors and brought them to you as a gift :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Love the willows. Used to have some by the creek but the farmer that leases the fields killed them all.

The purple crocus is lovely.

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ Absolutely! And cleaning up in the garden does that, too. Yesterday I saw nearly everything showing signs of growth!

Kristin ~ Aww, thanks Kristin! I'll have to go have a look at yours!

Cathy ~ Thanks, Cathy!

Nutty Gnome ~ It is indeed very cool. The cats sleep under it, because I've got it underplanted with limelight artemisia and that provides a nice cozy and cool place for them in summer.

Dee ~ That's brilliant, Dee! Wild and white rice! It does look like that!
Thanks, but I'm sure I drive Carol nuts with my lateness!

Robin ~ Oh wow! No daffodils open here, but soon, I can see. And no iris is even close, but with these warm days, they really grow FAST!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter ~ It's an attention getter, that's for sure!

Patsi ~ I said my microclimate was famous because I mention it quite a bit and I'm always pushing the zone envelope there. Also things just bloom and grow much quicker there than in the rest of the gardens. I'm not sure the coreopsis made it though. :-(
Well, I doubt a squirrel stole it from the neighbors because we're the only ones that have crocus! No one around us is into gardening. At all. :-( And the squirrels NEVER get that close to the house. Too many cats! LOL!
However they got there, I love to see them!

Marnie ~ Oh no! But they're always cleaning out creek areas by fields here, too. They clog up the drain chain.

Unknown said...

I have been following your blog and a few other gardening blogs over the past few months. I thought it was time I wrote to say how much I've enjoyed reading your posts!

I've started a blog myself, hope you can drop by sometime.

Laura said...

I wish those darn rabbits hadn't killed my crocuses! *sigh* Loved looking at your pictures.

Brenda Pruitt said...

Ah, love your sweet blooms. Always cheerful to click on your blog and see your lovelies.

JulenaJo said...

What a lovely post! You've got a fantastic collection of plants there, and you've showcased them beautifully. Thanks for sharing!

growingagardenindavis said...

I had a pussywillow years ago...your photos make me wish it had survived! You have some lovely first blooms!

Shady Gardener said...

You are way ahead of us over here! Great Spring photos... I'm getting excited! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I too hope all your plants come back this year. I want a weeping willow and sure wouldn't mind a few pussy willows too. I just have to wait and be patient. New gardens are not easy are they? I should have reminded myself of that before I moved.

Loved all your blooms today.

Anonymous said...

You know you're popular when your bandwidth is exceeded on all your photobucket pics!! :)

Rose said...

Isn't it wonderful to see the garden start to show some signs of life? I'm glad to see that your crocuses are just beginning to bloom. I thought all the bulbs I had planted last fall had mysteriously disappeared, but then on Monday--after Bloom Day!--I suddenly noticed several small blooms just appearing. Apparently they just wanted some warmer weather.

Love the rainbow photo over Max's garden; how sweet.

Kylee Baumle said...

Sherri ~ Thank you! Yes, I'll be by shortly! :-)

Laura ~ Awww...those darn rabbits is right. They chew on young shrubs here. :-(

Brenda ~ How nice of you to say that! I'll be by to see you soon!

JulenaJo ~ Thank you! Mother Nature did all the work!

Leslie ~ They are an easy shrub to grow and really inexpensive, so I hope you'll get another one!

Shady Gardener ~ It's early for us! At least by a couple of weeks, I'd say. Isn't this time of year just the best? (Excitement wise, I mean.)

Anna ~ No, new gardens aren't easy, because we want them to not look new! I still feel like mine is fairly new, but this summer will be its fourth already!

Jennah ~ Uh YEAH! What a shocker when I saw that this morning! I'd gotten an e-mail from them last night saying I had less than 5 GB of bandwidth left for the month and my month doesn't end until April 13th! Soooo...I had to upgrade to Pro. No choice, really! But that's okay, now I don't have to worry about that again.

Rose ~ Yes, it's great! I'm loving it! And they're moving along so quickly now, too. Before we know it, it will be summer. LOL

Kerri said...

Those crocus faces are so bright and cheerful, and oh, what a beautiful shade of purple!
I love your willows. I must go down to the river and cut some pussy willow.
Brave little strawberry. I must have a look to see if mine is anywhere to be seen.
Did I miss pics of the witch hazel? Will look at back posts to find out :)
Happy Bloom Day, Kylee!

joey said...

How lovely. Spring has definitely found you, Kylee.

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