Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Bloom Day: Anticipation

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day has arrived once again. I'm a little late in posting, but I'm sure you'll understand: the weather here has been beautiful this weekend, and I've been outside working in the garden as much as possible.

There is nothing actually blooming, but in central Illinois in mid-March that's not surprising. I could have had some snowdrops blooming now----if I'd planted any. And I should have some crocuses blooming---but the 60+ crocuses I planted last fall have failed to appear. What has happened to all those crocus bulbs remains a mystery to me, hardly entertaining enough for a novel, but I sure would like to know where they are. Did I plant them too deep? Did a critter come along and dig them up for winter rations? I guess I'll never know.

But even though there are no early blooms here, there are promises of flowers soon to come. The daffodils have been poking through the soil for several weeks now, and there's even a bud on this one if you look closely enough. Nearby, those tiny shoots of green are the Stella D'Oro lilies which border one side of the front garden.

I was surprised to find a few hyacinths already showing, with their flowers encased in a green cocoon. I hope they stay nice and warm inside for awhile; a few more winter blasts of cold air and even snow are still a possibility through April.

Yesterday I cut back all the perennials in the front garden and raked away a heavy layer of leaves that insulated the garden through the winter. I was surprised to see several perennials already showing signs of new life, including the sedum "Autumn Joy."

As I walked around the different garden areas, the first tulip leaves are beginning to show everywhere. I can't wait to see them in bloom this year, since I planted several new varieties last fall. But bulbs are not the only thing beginning to show--these Siberian iris are looking quite healthy. The question is, will this be the year they finally bloom??
Ed. correction: Tina just pointed out that this foliage looks just like that of the Naked Ladies. Now that I think about it, this is where they grew last year. Ok, so once again I may have misidentified a plant--but now I wonder where the iris went to?

And in the shade garden I was pleased to see the primroses coming to life. I wasn't sure they would return for a second year, but apparently they were hardy enough to survive our winter.

As exciting as it is to see the green leaves of plants popping through the soil, I'm just as excited by what is above. Notice the three little red dots on this branch--yes, the redbud has buds!

In the backyard the pussywillow tree is forming its fluffy catkins.

And a sure sign of spring are these small buds beginning to appear on the lilac bush.

It's good to be able show something outside for this Bloom Day. In fact, I'm not going to bore you with my indoor non-blooms once again. The amaryllis I showed in January and February is so tall its leaves are bending over, but it is not blooming. Neither are the daffodils and tulips shown on the previous Bloom Day posts--my first attempt at forcing bulbs. However, I do want to thank everyone for the advice they gave me about forcing indoor bulbs. A few of you mentioned that amaryllis sometimes don't bloom the first year--I think mine spent all its energy on producing leaves:) I'm going to plant this outside when it's warm and then dig it up again to bring in, in the fall. As for the other bulbs, I was told I probably started them too late. A couple of you suggested I put any extra bulbs in the fall in a pot of soil and chill it, then bring it into the warmth by December. More garden lessons learned through trial and error and advice from some wise garden bloggers.

I'll leave you today with a few bright indoor blooms, though--my monthly bouquet from my charity donation.

A Happy Bloom Day to everyone--and best of all, this Friday is the first day of Spring!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you on the 15th of each month by our tireless leader, Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Be sure to visit her to see more blooms from all over the world.


  1. You do have lots of promising things popping up Rose. I bet you can't wait. I can't either. I see so much "green" popping up here and there. Happy GBBD.

  2. I really like the idea of your monthly bouquet. It is awfully sweet. Looking at all your pictures you are not so far behind us. Maybe a week or two. Not so bad at all. The iris foliage remind me of pink ladies bulb foliage. I was happy to see mine returned. I bet those primroses will be blooming by next month, a nice shot of color for us all.

  3. How nice that you got to be out in your garden this weekend. We had rain all weekend long. As a matter of fact it is raining right now after a little sunshine(and I do mean little) today.

    How nice to see all those plants getting ready to welcome spring. I know you are excited!

  4. Rose, You can charm me any day with a photo of trees against a blues sky...I love them any time of the year. Your sky and tree shots are wonderful. Where did the crocus go?...Maybe Mr Squirrel knows! The pesky boys bit off a hyacinth bloom this morning...I am pretty sure they do it to be mean;-) Have a good week~~gail

  5. Lisa, I know it's still early here, but I am so anxious to see all the new bulbs I planted last fall--I may be surprised where they pop up:)

    Tina, I think you may have solved a mystery:) I know I planted some Siberian iris, a passalong plant,several years ago. But you have a keen eye--the plants I showed are exactly where the Naked Ladies popped up last year! So, one mystery solved, but now I wonder what happened to those iris:)

    Susie, The rain must have all stayed south of us. I know there will be many rainy spring days ahead, so I'm taking advantage of the sunshine while I can.

    Gail, Don't you just love those shots? I was so excited to see some buds on the trees! Mr. Squirrel may have ventured near the house while the cat was away, but then again it's possible my cats dug them up.

  6. Signs of spring for sure. I am glad I am not the only gardener that can plant a plant and then lose it!

  7. Happy spring to you!

    I am surprised that our bulbs here are further ahead than yours. Spring bulbs are my favourite flowers, perhaps because they are the first colour in the garden after the long winter. They are full of hope and promise.

    I look forward to seeing yours in full bloom, the anticipation is often as good as the 'getting there' though isn't it?!

    S x

  8. That blue sky behind your Red bud is awesome! Seeing what is coming up in your garden gives me an idea of what is going on in my mother's. She lives in the N.W. corner of Illinois. I bet she is already planning what she is going to plant for annuals this season although every year she threatens to not have a garden. It truly looks like Spring popping in your garden.

  9. Your plants are way ahead of mine. I don't expect to see bulbs until April. Enjoy.

  10. It could be that the nasty squirrels stole your Crocuses, or it could be that they're still working their way toward sending up some leaves. I found another Crocus sprout this morning where I thought they had all been lost. The Crocuses I have blooming are the early tiny ones, not the big Dutch ones, which bloom later. If that's what you have, they might still surprise you. All those sprouts and plump buds hold a lot of promise of April beauty.

  11. Hi snowdrops failed to appear last year but this year I have them in don't give up on the crocus.....

    I love the buds appearing on the trees, some are just so pretty......and they just give you a nice warm glow, and make you think of what is to come.....

    My tulips are appearing but something seems to be making a meal of them........I had a lovely red tulip yesterday, when I got up this morning the flower had gone......nevermind there is always next year....

    We had temperature around 15C 61F at the was a little higher and brought the first butterfly into the garden (a comma)...she warmed herself on the brickwork and left......

  12. Darla, If I kept a decent garden journal I wouldn't have these memory lapses:) I have a feeling Hubby, aka Mr. Lawnmower Man, mowed down the iris years ago.

    Suburbia, Until I started blogging, I didn't realize the UK was in zone 9 while we're in zone 5. You're lucky spring arrives much earlier than ours!

    MG, Your mom's garden might be a little behind ours, but it's probably close. She's probably watching for bulbs to emerge, too.

    Marnie, Mine probably won't bloom until April, either, although if we keep having these warm temps, they might appear earlier. But I know this sunny weather won't last:)

    MMD, Thank you for that optimistic note! I don't remember what kind of crocuses I bought--just a package at the local garden center. I'll keep an eye out in case they still appear.

    Cheryl, It's still possible the crocuses might appear; I guess I won't give up hope yet. We have had similar warm temperatures and sunny skies--perfect for working in the garden. Much too early for butterflies here, but I swear I saw a bee on Saturday!

  13. What a lot of lovely pics! Spring is so exciting! Even if you don't remember what or where you planted something, the surprise is fun.
    Too bad about the crocus. Squirrels usually dig mine up, and sometimes they plant them elsewhere in the garden. Othertimes I guess they eat them.

    You overwintered primrose??? Wow - I don't think I could do that here! I hope you get some really nice blooms.
    Thanks for the "anticipation" garden tour. I do like spring!

  14. Aren't you enjoying this glorious weather of the last few days!? It is such fun to be outside and working in the gardens some. That and watching for spring growth. I can't imagine what happened to your crocus. But I am pleasantly surprised by the primroses. They wers o pretty last year when you planted them. It will be fun seeing them bloom this year. I checked my day lilies today after seeing yours sprouting and I ahve a couple showing too!

    Maybe next week when things calm down here we can do some garden looking before you leave on your trip.

  15. What a lot of promise you have in your garden, Rose!

    I've posted something on my blog for you!

  16. You have much of the same foliage (but no blooms) that I have! :) I especially love the hyacinths. And, even though they're not blooms, I always get very excited about those cute little sedum rossettes--they look like baby cabbages and are as much a harbinger of spring as any bulb! :)

  17. Ah, the promise of spring! My primroses are awakening also and I see a sea of green noses popping up. Today will be in the high 60s, a gift! Happy St. Patrick's Day, dear Rose!

  18. Spring is rearing her head in the north! Soon the warm temps will be there and you will be happily playing in the garden once again...

    Your bouquet, is beautiful this month!

  19. Wendy, I love looking around the garden each day this time of year just seeing what is popping up. And I enjoy seeing my surprises:) I may have to eat my words on the crocus--a few just came up yesterday! I wasn't sure if the primroses were hardy, but so far they're looking good.

    Beckie, The weather has indeed been beautiful, and I have been taking advantage of it when I can. I can't wait to see all my new tulips and daffodils in bloom.

    Liz, I saw it, and I loved it! Thanks--now I know what I have to look forward to for the next year and a half:)

    Monica, I like the little hyacinth buds, too; they look like little eggs nestled in their leaves. The weather is supposed to turn colder this week; I hope nothing is hurt by it.

    Joey, Thank you, and a happy St. Patrick's Day to you, too! There's no better green today than what I'm beginning to see in the garden.

    Skeeter, It has certainly felt like spring this weekend--today was in the 70's! I'm not putting away my winter sweaters just yet; I don't want to jinx things:)

  20. Wow you have a lot growing (maybe not in "bloom" yet). In Chicago, we are still colder and I only have snowdrops - alas!

  21. Hi, Rosemarie. The unusually warm temperatures the last few days have really brought a lot out in the garden. I just hope some of them didn't make their appearance too soon--you know the cold will return.

  22. Some heart warming green signs of spring there Rose.
    Do you have squirrels in the garden? They are partial to munching bulbs of all sorts. On this side of the pond it is daffodils all the way :)

  23. I'm happy for you that signs of spring are popping up around you! I didn't know primroses would overwinter. Maybe they don't do well with me because the summers are too hot? I don't know, but I've only been able to have them indoors, and keep them under a grow light!

    I wish I had a lilac bush and a pussywillow. I remember them from when I was a child. It's exciting to see their buds!

  24. Hello Rose! It's nice to meet you too, and thanks for stopping by :) I liked Carol's suggestion too because it's impossible to visit so many GBBD posts, and it does give us a chance to make new acquaintances.
    I wouldn't be surprised if your crocuses showed up soon. Mine have yet to make an appearance, but I have no doubt they'll be here before too much longer.
    I'm lucky to have Geraniums overwinter well in our cool upstairs bedrooms, especially in the south facing window.


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