Uh Hello Spring?

Spring will start Thursday.  Technically it should take off with the spring equinox, but around here Thursday will be the first day.   I’m sure of that.

Today’s high just barely reached the freezing point and yesterday didn’t quite make it, but the forecast shows warming and I’m 100% positive spring will come Thursday and stay…..  unless it doesn’t.  The first winter aconite opened so that’s a hopeful sign, but to see the snowdrops all flat and frozen this morning didn’t warm my heart any.

winter aconite (eranthis)

First blooms of winter aconite (eranthis)

I’d been hoping to get a better picture of the snow crocus in the meadow, but the two warm days were only enough to bring out a few and these quickly became the spring tonic for our local rabbits.  There will be secondary buds coming up, so fingers crossed, but how can I resent the little bunnies for their springtime snacking after the winter they’ve had?  Look at that dead grass…. no vision of spring there.

snow crocus

snow crocus (almost) blooming out in the meadow

The new snowdrops are also just waiting…… This planting of galanthus viridapice (a green tipped snowdrop) has one bulb that is just a little earlier and looks just a little bit off, I suspect it’s mislabeled, perhaps it’s “sharlockii”.

galanthus viridapice

galanthus viridapice? just waiting for warmer weather to open

Also on my mislabeled snowdrop list is this galanthus “Sam Arnott”.  It’s not supposed to be double or green tipped…. also there’s not supposed to be a tulip sprouting there just in front,  maybe I was a little hasty in throwing all the moldy bulbs into the compost… and then using the compost too soon.  Oh the stuff that never gets mentioned in the gardening books 🙂

galanthus sam arnott

galanthus “Sam Arnott” and not galanthus “Sam Arnott”

But until Thursday rolls around, there’s not much else to look at.  I did turn an optimistic corner and started the winter garden changeover.  All the snowdrops and cyclamen were replaced with seedlings of lettuce and broccoli and hopefully by the time they’re a decent size it will be time to go outside.  For now the highlight is a potful of muscari “Valerie Finnis”.  I surprised myself by getting this one chilled and through the winter and then into bloom.  It’s a nice look, too much foliage for my taste, but remember beggars can’t be choosers.

muscari valerie finnis

Muscari “Valerie Finnis” forced indoors under lights

Here’s another reason spring will come Thursday.  My “in the green” snowdrops from Carolyn’s Shade Garden have arrived all safe and sound and need to go outside in the garden (“in the green” because they’re bareroot, actively growing, not dormant bulbs).  They can handle plenty of frost, but the next two nights of 16F (-9C) lows might be too much of an insult for these city drops (Carolyn is located outside of Philadelphia).  I’ll leave them to sit like this on a windowsill for the next two nights with just enough water to keep them wet, but not enough to have them sitting in water.  I’m excited to have them and the plus side to this treatment is I get to admire them close up for a couple days.  The blooming one is “Straffan”.

snowdrops in the green

Snowdrops in the green from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

So wish me luck.  I don’t often complain about winter but I think I’m done with this one.  The clock’s ticking and I’d like at least three weeks before people start complaining about the heat!

28 comments on “Uh Hello Spring?

  1. You are further along than I am as far as snowdrops and crocus go. We are supposed to get milder temps but I still see the S word in next week’s forecast.

    • bittster says:

      We woke up to another two inches of fresh snow this morning, real nice fluffy stuff because of the low temps but still unwanted. I can’t wait until tomorrow, we didn’t even crack the freezing mark today and the wind was miserable. Thursday…. Just a couple more hours and I’m sure everything will change. I’ll be posting pictures of flowers and blue sky and talk about the birds singing….

  2. Nice to see some blooms. Snow today here and more on the way. Wonder when we turn the corner. At least the birds were singing in the sunshine.

    • bittster says:

      Come on Donna, we turn the corner tomorrow! Didn’t you read my post? 😉 I should probably dig out the shorts tonight, just in case I want to put them in when I get home after work.

      • Yuck, yuck. Do you know some people in Buffalo wear shorts year-round? I have seen them in the snow in their shorts. Plus we have a polar bear club up here and those people are swimming in the icy river. Makes me feel like a winter wimp! I think we will miss Spring this year. Some years it jumps right into Summer.

      • bittster says:

        I hate those short springs. To see the daffodils open, bloom, and wilt all within four or five days makes me resent summer.
        You are far from being a winter wimp! I get cold just looking at the pictures of some of your winter adventures! I know you dress appropriately, but just the idea chills my bones. I’m the wimp, having forgotten how nice the winter treks and ski adventures can be…. Maybe as the kids get older 🙂

  3. Christina says:

    Sorry the weather isn’t cooperating with your desires Frank, but it WILL be spring soon; if its any consolation this week has been cold, wet and cloudy. The flower stems of your Muscari (and thanks for showing Valarie Finnis as two other bloggers mentioned them and I didn’t know them) will probably grow taller as they open slowly from bottom to top. Muscari flower for ages because they don’t open all the flowers at once.

    • bittster says:

      I’m looking forward to the rest of the bloom stalks opening, and I noticed there are a few secondary blooms coming up behind the first ones, that should also extend the show! The color is so soft, I hope they’ll look as good outside as the true blue ones you have.

  4. Cathy says:

    Thursday is a good day for spring to arrive, so hope she doesn’t miss the bus! Look forward to seeing more snowdrops. Mine have gone over, but I have enjoyed marvelling at all the different types everyone else seems to have except me!

    • bittster says:

      I have the feeling I might be pushing the overkill button on the snowdrops…. I just feel like I want to get as much out of them as possible before they’re gone again for another year!
      Just a couple more hours till Thursday, I can’t wait!
      Too bad tonight’s low is supposed to be around 15F 😦

  5. Pauline says:

    I do hope spring arrives for you tomorrow! You have had such a long winter, your plants must be bursting, ready to give a wonderful display of flowers.

    • bittster says:

      I’m sure by Thursday afternoon I’ll be napping outside in the warm spring sunshine. There’s work to do but it’s also important to soak up the fresh air and sun! Plus even though I’m well aware spring will be here tomorrow, it might take the plants until Friday to figure it out. I’ll just wait a day for them to catch up 🙂

  6. Annette says:

    It’s so nice to share another late winter with you, Frank. Valerie Finnis is such a beauty and has gone onto my list. I like the pale, timid blue. Your crocuses and aconites make the heart sing…before you’ll know it all this grass will be lush and green and you’ll be cursing because you have to mow again twice a week. 😉 I wish you a happy spring!

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Annette, I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow as I soak up that spring sunshine and enjoy it’s arrival. The weatherman is a bit confused and claims tomorrow morning will be well below freezing, but I’m sure it’s just one of those little bumps in the road and the day will warm up quickly. I should make sure I know where the sunblock is and come to think of it I need to dig out the sandals….. So much to do for the first day!

  7. Chloris says:

    Well I think you should complain, I would if I had to put up with a long winter like yours. It’s appalling, something should be done. Your poor little snowdrops valiantly struggling to push their little heads up and it’s nearly April. But at least you have your pot of lovely Valerie Finnis to enjoy. Such a lovely colour. I have a similar one called Jenny Robinson. I love it.

    • bittster says:

      I’m glad to hear you like the pale color of the the muscari. I like it in pictures and love it in the pot but wonder if it will show up well outdoors. It sounds like it will!
      Regarding the weather, I suppose I could do something drastic, but I’m sure spring will be here tomorrow. I guess I’ll just turn a blind eye to its tardiness and let bygones be bygones. Nothing like a spirit of forgiveness and renewal at this time if year.

  8. pbmgarden says:

    It’s a cheery sight to see your eranthus and snow crocus and more. Spring is next up.

  9. It is slowly finally starting to look more like spring here as well. My snowdrops came in from Carolyn’s as well. I potted them up and have them on a cool windowsill waiting for the weather to be a little more stable. I am still upset with not getting G. Wasp. I love the long pedicles but just couldn’t spend the $75 for it. I ended up getting ‘Brenda Troyle’, Tiny and G. elwesii var. monostictus Hiemalis Group CSG-01. The Brenda Troyle was very large and healthy looking. My order from Linden Hills came in as well, just waiting for the weather. I cannot wait to see what they will look like in the coming years once they get established.

    • bittster says:

      Hi Flora, I also can’t wait for them to get bigger. A few big clumps will look great around here, I just have to fight the urge to keep splitting them. My Brenda Troyle looks great too, as well as the others I received (atkinsii and Straffan)…. but I think I’ve bought enough of the “special” white ones. The ones I have are not that distinct and I’m ok with this for a while. Time to focus on greens and spikies and doubles and pocs and and and 🙂
      Hopefully as they multiply trading will be an option!
      Wasp is one I was eyeing, but it was sold out before you could blink. Wasp is one that I consider distinct, and the hiemalis too for its season but I’m a little cautious about planting my one little fall bloomer out into the brutal cold.
      Judging by my one planting of elwesii the windy lows of 13F earlier in the week did not do them well.

      • Yes, I agree with you on focusing on the greens/spikes etc but I keep getting sidetracked and find other white ones that I like. I would love to trade snowdrops in the future with you! Trading is something that I have recently started doing with some other misc plants I have. I am too worried about the cold temps for the hiemalis so we will see I will update you on how it is and if it blooms and how it does. What zone are you? I think we might be almost the same, 6b -ish to 7 depending is what I am here. I also had wanted a buddy for my Potter’s Prelude that I got this spring too. I think Carolyn had a Wasp left over. There is a facebook page called Snowdrops in American Gardens, it has a post up with what Carolyn said she still had left over… maybe something you would like to see if you have not already.

      • bittster says:

        I saw that Carolyn had a few left but I’m trying to be good for the rest of the year and just wait for the ones I ordered from Hitch. My plan is to get together a few interesting types and then let them bulk up enough to trade…. but then on the other hand I really like the look of big clumps, so we’ll have to wait and see if I can part with any (I’m sure I will). My zone is a warm 5. Recently we haven’t gone much below zero but this winter maybe -9F was our lowest?
        Are you still thinking of a visit to NY? I think the weather may be iffy, but I’m hopeful.

      • Ohh I tried to be good but it did not work lol… I ended up requesting a Leucojum and a Standing Tall. I cave easy. Bulking up and trading is a good idea, my bank account would sure like it if I didn’t lol. Yes, I am still planning on going, grandparents are lined up for sleepovers. I recalc. and it is less time than I thought, just 6 hrs lol. Looks like a high of 47 is what it says now. Maybe I will see you there 🙂 how far away is it for you?

      • bittster says:

        It’s about 2 1/2 hours for me. Send me an email at katob427 at aol dot com if you want to meet up, I’ve got a snowdrop friend coming plus two civilians so it should be a fun time!
        Good thing you didn’t mention leucojum before 🙂

  10. The Editors of Garden Variety says:

    Thanks for sharing your photos. We still have snow on the ground here and are expecting more in the next few days.

  11. Just congratulate yourself for the having the wisdom to plant winter aconite for just such a horrid spring. This weekend is supposed to be decent, I hope to get out and do some more garden clean up.

    • bittster says:

      Me too. I’m dying to get out there but don’t want to appear too obsessed since I’ll probably want to wear snowpants and use the mower to mulch everything. My MIL already made a few comments about last weekend’s mowing of all the trash and debris off the back lawn… doesn’t everyone mow their dead lawns in March?

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