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spring 2017

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

The spring season is officially underway in my yard.
I love planting these 'super early bloomers'.
They start blooming just when you're tiring of winter.
Here are some findings on today's yard survey:
1. A species crocus - don't recall name right now.
Beautiful brown markings on the back of the blooms.
2. An oddball witch hazel called Quasimodo - a dwarf.
The shrub is just 2ft tall now. Blooms are equally tiny.
Got to get up close to even notice them.
A shrub right up my alley.
3. Hellebores getting started.
4. Adonis amurensis. 5 eyes this year, just 2 fully open.
5. A double galanthus.
Those darn pendant blooms - the whole plant is 4 inches tall.
I hope you can appreciate the stand-on-your-head photography involved!

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Oops, left one out.
This is 'winter sweet' (Chimonanthus praecox).
Another of those drooping blooms.
Just borderline hardy here, but blooming pretty nice this year.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

We're still having amazingly warm temperatures.
So the spring progression is considerably ahead of schedule around here.
#1 is Crocus chrysanthus Advance
#2 is Gymnospermium darwasicum
#3 is Gymnospermium albertii
#4 is Corydalis popovii

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Hmm - site won't let me post the next set.
I'll try breaking them up.
#1 is Pulsatilla grandis - amazingly furry buds emerging from equally furry foliage.
#2 is Jeffersonia dubia - a really beautiful woodland perennial.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

This is Adonis amurensis Sandanzaki.
One of a variety of Adonis cultivars, notable for super-early spring flowering.

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Bulbs are barely appearing here , Tree trimming and grafting fruit trees now ,
no flowers yet ,
Weerobin really really nice at your place

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

I always thoroughly enjoy your spring contributions Wee. Your spring bloomers are so much earlier than mine and your selections are entirely exotic...great photos too!

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Beautiful photos and selections! We are the same zone but you are definitely ahead. Here, only snowdrops, winter jasmine, winter rose and witch hazel are blooming. Even Helleborus foetidus isn't fully open.
Adonis amurensis Sandanzaki - is that the one you got from Japan? It looks great!
I didn't realize the corydalis is so early and the Gymnospermiums are new to me. I'll have to look that up.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I have a bunch of corydalis species which bloom much earlier than the standard C. solida cultivars - my C solida plants have foliage just barely showing. My absolute favorite time of the year is just starting, with the first stirring of my early spring/late winter bloomers. For the next few months, each weekend is like a treasure hunt looking for emerging beauties. Unfortunately, real-life constraints make me confine my gardening activities to weekends only. But I look forward each weekend to see what new is coming up. The excitement is over by mid-May or so. I'm already looking forward to what I'll find this coming weekend (though our spell of nice weather might be ending - high on Sat is supposed to be just 40 degrees.)

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

My pulsatilla grandis has fully opened (#1) - more flower stems every year.
I love the furry structure just under the flowers (#2) (?sepals, ?calyx - I don't know my botanical terms).
More early blooming corydalis species:
#3 C. shanginii ssp ainii, always unusual with it's yellow/red color
#4 C. seisumsiana, dark red marked flowers unfurling simultaneous with the feathery foliage.
#5 C. caucasica Borodino, red flowers with a white nose.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

This is a white-flowering scilla (S. mischtschenkoana), clump expanding nicely over just a few years.
Finally one of the stranger early-blooming perennials is Scopolia carniolica.
It's a big coarse plant which shoots out of the ground with multiple shoots with these curious brownish blooms with yellow interiors blooming simultaneous w/ leaf-out. Within a few days, the blooms will be dangling down around the perimeter of the plant. More interesting than beautiful, I guess.
Spring in the central Midwest is always a bumpy ride - it was 70 yesterday, 27 degrees right now (1pm in afternoon) - it's a good thing I took pictures yesterday!

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

It is still warm here but it is suppose to drop 20 degrees tonight. Actually it is pouring, thundering and lightening outside. So many things opened up today. I've seen my first bumble bee, butterfly, honey bee and even a wasp. I don't think it is going to get as cold as it did for you, just the 30's.
So, Scopolia is beautiful I think and another new plant to me. Where did you first see it? Your pictures of all the corydalis are all beautiful! Because of your pictures, I trimmed back all my pasque flowers. I see some very tiny buds but nothing lush. I hope they turn into something.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

They're all so beautiful, thanks for sharing. I hope the weather hasn't ended our spring parade.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Should this be our new What's blooming thread?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, I think it should be. It would be nice if we somehow had the "what's Blooming" on the top of the e-mail.
Maybe start a new one with "What's Blooming?" at the top?
What do you guys think?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I have a couple of pictures to post of my Hellebores. I can share.
I don't know why my first picture went sideways. It wasn't that way in the phone.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Birder, I love the subtle colors on that whish/pink/green hellebore.
Really nice.
Loretta, my typical pasque flower plants (P. vulgaris) aren't up yet, either.
My star magnolia has been slowly opening the past couple days,
unfortunately. I wanted it to hold off 'til after our deep frost, but alas,
it went ahead and opened, so flowers will of course turn to brown goo.
We had our cold spell a couple days ago, now warming up.
But I'm missing a 60+ degree day in St Louis to be in Montreal where it was 2 degrees this morning. I'd rather be checking out my plants at home! Ah, well...
I'll have to wait 'til next weekend to see what's happening.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Birder, I really like that white/pink/green hellebore too. Very pretty!
These pictures are from February. Today is bitter cold and everything is sagging. It's so cold tonight, I don't know how things will proceed.

1. Crocus Blue Pearl
2. Some other crocus
3, 4 Surprise Iris reticulata 'George'. This one hasn't bloomed in years. It bloomed in another spot too. Strange.
5. More of that other crocus.

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

1, 2 Crocus 'Advance'
3, 4, Snowdrops
5 Hellebore 'Prelude'

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

More iris reticulata

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Very pretty, Loretta.
I gave up on I. reticulata because I couldn't get it to return.
What setting do you grow them in?
They're so pretty I think I should try again.

Edited to fix ever-helpful 'shell-check' which always changes reticulata to reticulate...

This message was edited Mar 5, 2017 6:40 AM

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Well, you're right, they don't all return but they are so cheap and even more so when they go on clearance. My best and favorite is Katharine Hodgkin. She is planted along a rock edge both in shade and not. My soil is sandy loam, I guess, maybe silty loam but not much clay at all. It drains well.
Old plantings of George produced a couple of blooms this year after not blooming once after the first year. Both those areas were composted and mulched last fall. Pixie, Pauline and Spring Time have some return with Pauline doing the best. Harmony, sometimes good, sometimes not. Last time I bought it, only 4 bulbs out of 100 bloom and return but I got a lot of duds that year from that same shipment.


I had a couple of Georges return from two different plantings. They had been sending up little sprigs of foliage but not flowering for several years. Not all of them showed up. Last fall, I composted those two locations.
Katharine Hodgekin is my best, most reliable one. She is planted along a rock lined edge of a border, some between European ginger, some not both shade and part shade areas. I had planted her in a few other places but I'm not sure if those are still returning. I'll have to wait and see. She multiplies.
Harmony has multiplied in a couple of areas, stopped returning in most but still shows up. The last time I bought these though, only 4 bloomed out of 100.
Others that have returned for several years partially are Pixie, Pauline and Spring Time (which hasn't appeared this year yet).
Sometimes, they do get dug up by mistake.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I have lots and lots of daffodils blooming and this is:

1. Crocus, don't remember the name
2. Tulip kaufmanniana 'Stressa'
3. Pulsatilla vulgaris

This message was edited Mar 5, 2017 4:34 PM

This message was edited Mar 5, 2017 4:35 PM

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(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Very nice Hellebore's, Crocus, Galanthus and Iris!!! What a great show you guys are having. There's nothing blooming up here yet, that makes me appreciate your offerings all the more.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Watching and enjoying here ,,

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Nice, birder! That tulip has such a pretty center.
1 My pasque flowers are getting fuzzy but not open yet. Plus it is so cold out now. Spring break is over. Everything is wilting and shriveling up. I bought a few on clearance last fall and so far there is at least some sign of life on each.

2 Petasites are popping up
3. A hellebore. It isn't as fancy as some others that are blooming but it is larger.
4. Finally found a scented one at Trader Joe. I wish I could grow the hardy ones outside but they always get dug up.
5. Winter Jasmine


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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Most of my pasque flowers look to be at the same stage as yours, Loretta.
I can just make out fuzzy buds.
Which is why I'm surprised yours is fully open, Birder!
And that cyclamen is beautiful. I can't keep potted ones happy.
But the ones in my yard seem to thrive easily around here.
I have a large swathe of purplish hellebores which are all volunteers.
Not quite as brilliant as yours, but makes a nice big splash of color.
I got back in town yesterday late afternoon in time to take a little survey.
Haven't downloaded any pictures yet - hope some of them come out!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

My tulip k. 'Stressa' are just barely opening up. They will get prettier later on. I'm excited that there is some sort of tulip blooming at this time of year. Last year, my Fausteriana Emperor tulips were the first to bloom. This year, it's Tulipa kaufmanniana. Who knows? I so enjoy the very early flowers. I think I will plant more of the early tulips this fall.
My Pulsatila v. is just barely blooming also. I planted it last fall. I'm pleased it made it through the winter. I'm hoping it will make it through the hot humid summer. I have it in a lot of sun with plants giving it shade from the morning sun and it will receive shade from about 4 pm in the middle of the summer. It's in pretty good soil for about 12 inches, then poorer soil below that. If you have comments about its location, I am open for discussion and to moving it.

Here's some indoor forced tulips:
Tulip Triumph 'Apricot Foxx' & Tulip Single Early 'Purple Prince'

[I sincerely apologize for the sideways pictures. I'm still learning how to post pictures. It's a big hassle as of right now, but I'm hoping to improve. My pictures that aren't set as "landscape type" pictures all turn out sideways when I post them to Dave's Garden. The pictures that aren't "landscape type" post just fine. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong or if it's Dave's Garden that is flipping the pictures or something in my computer. I'm posting these pictures from my phone. If someone could tell me what to do about this, I would greatly appreciate it.]



This message was edited Mar 6, 2017 2:36 PM

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Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Loretta, Your purple hellebore looks a lot like my purple one. I like it.

Your Cyclamen is beautiful. I always admire them in the stores but think I couldn't possibly get it to bloom at my house.
I have some of the hardy ones outside. They were doing nicely, getting bigger etc even though they never bloomed. But alas, I dug some of them up last year planting some tulips in the same area. I still have some left. They have never bloomed, but I enjoy the foliage. So, when does one order those from an online catalog?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

OK, so here are some updates from this past weekend.
The first 3 are bulbs:
#1 Chionodoxa forbesii Blue Giant. These plants are nowhere near where I planted the original bulbs 10 yrs ago. They are the only plants I've seen in my yard. I presume reseeded, but certainly not invasive (I wish ... )
#2 Leucojum aestivum.
#3 Scilla bifolia taurica.
#4 is another image of one of my all-time favorite woodland plants, Jeffersonia dubia.
#5 is a nicely spreading swathe of Cardamine heptaphylla.
I can see it from the street when I turn into my driveway. A nice splash of lavender in the woods. I've planted lots of cardamines, many of which hold their own, but none have done as well as C. heptaphylla.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Here are a bunch of hellebores.
My 'generic' hellebores (#1 & #2) aren't as beautiful as Loretta's.
But they have spread nicely and bloom profusely throughout the wooded areas of my yard.
#3 is a double pink. Upfacing blooms.
#4 is a double green. It's actually prettier than you'd think, again with upfacing blooms.

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Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Beautiful pictures. I too have Leucojum aestivum blooming. Isn't it cute with the little green dots?

Oxdrift, Canada

Absolutely beautiful ladies. I'm adding this to my "watched" threads. I have nothing to contribute but will be "creeping" behind the scenes.
Keith

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Keith, we do this all summer so eventually you'll have something!
Birder, The Leucojum is cute. I don't know why I've never tried it yet.
Wee, your plants are doing really well in spite of the cold snap. Quite a few of my plants were spoiled. The cardimine makes a great show and nice to have it in a shady spot. We have bittercress blooming in the grass but haven't really explored the world of cardimine. Your double hellebores have great color and great form. You are lucky to find them. I have a couple of doubles but I'm not impressed by most of them so far and they haven't produced any seed.
Birder, for your pictures, even though your picture may present itself right side up when viewing it through your software, the file itself is not saved that way. It is corrected by your viewing app. You have to save the file in the upright position and then post. That should take care of it.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks Loretta for the information about the pictures. I will try this (with my daughter's help! )

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Stunning photos and amazing collection. Thanks for the tour.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Here are some unusual corydalis's. Just getting started:
#1 C. maricandica. Blooms of unusual color. 1st year in my yard.
#2 C. integra.
#3 C. angustifolia Talish Dawn.
#4 C. malkensis. Pure white. A very reliable performer.
#5 C. solida Merlin. Flowers just opening - white flowers with a purple highlight.
We were 70 degrees yesterday.
But cold front today - high tomorrow mid-30's w/ low tomorrow night 18.
Many of our shrubs are leafed out already - could be brutal.
Gardening - certainly not for the faint-hearted.

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Oxdrift, Canada

[quote="WeerobinWe were 70 degrees yesterday.
But cold front today - high tomorrow mid-30's w/ low tomorrow night 18.
Many of our shrubs are leafed out already - could be brutal.
Gardening - certainly not for the faint-hearted.
[/quote]

This is especially true for gardening in Oxdrift. -26C here this AM and feels like -36C with the wind chill. At -40 C and F are equal so I think you can relate. (Yes those are minus signs not dashes). I was planning on starting my greenhouse tomorrow but revising that to Wednesday when a much warmer trend is forecast to start. From then on should be able to get by with only one trip to add wood to the fire per night. Right now would be brutal!

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I won't try to compete w/ Oxdrift! Ouch!
Here are my recently blooming Pulsatilla grandis flowers this morning.
Not at all enjoying the weather.

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

WR, your Corydalis collection is so interesting. How are they doing with this cold? I always thought they wouldn't like the humidity and heat in NJ. How fussy are they for you?

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