Curiosity on Bloom Day

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What gardener doesn’t live for the morning when that first seedling pops through the moist soil?  And what gardener hasn’t been disappointed by a seed that never sprouted?  ~Deborah L. Martin

 

Make no mistake  the crocus above is not from this year.  In fact it bloomed last year on February 22nd.  With the last 6 weeks of winter being so warm, many blooms came early  in 2012 followed by frigid April where many flowers met their doom.  So what will spring bring us this year?  What is blooming now?  I was curious in late February of this year what the answers to these questions might be.  After all we had 15 feet of snow and very cold temps in the winter of 2013 here at my house.  And who knows if we are done.

I am a very curious person by nature.  Being curious in and of itself is no big deal, but if you are inquisitive as well, then you are in for some adventures.  It may be why I take on too much because my insatiable curiosity cannot be quelled. But to be curious means one must be courageous and ask lots of questions.  How else will you come to know something, continue on your inquiries and share what you learn?  And I love to learn from others which is a large part of why I blog.

Soon it will be Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (GBBD) hosted by Carol@May Dreams Gardens. And we will all be asking, what’s blooming where you are?  I have to say I was excited at the thought that something might actually be blooming.  But I thought I would first make a comparison to last year.

 

 These blooms opened in late February of 2012….

  • snow crocus
  • snowdrop
  • snow crocus

 

 

By early March of 2012 these blooms appeared….

  • hellebore
  • snowdrop
  • winter aconite

 

 

Then by mid March of 2012, in time for GBBD, we had these blooms….

  • early daffs
  • tulips emerging
  • more early snow crocus
  • iris reticulata
  • later giant crocus
  • tommies

 

 

So what is blooming now???

Surprise!!  Spring has sprung and winter’s grip is loosening as the snow recedes more each day, heck each hour.  These blooms are exactly what I saw a few weeks earlier last year, but who cares…..crocus and snowdrops are up in a day…wooohoooo!!!  These blooms were sneaking up earlier in the day just barely showing.  By later afternoon they were in bloom with more buds popping up.  Can you see it…me dancing in the melting snow doing the spring fever dance….this is bliss!!!  The garden will be kicking into high gear soon….no stopping spring now.

  • snowdrop
  • honeysuckle bud
  • daffs
  • snow crocus early in day
  • same crocus later in day

 

As winter comes to a close, it is time to reflect on my Garden Lessons Learned as I link in with Beth@PlantPostings and her wonderful meme.

 

First I find I must constantly challenge myself if I am ever to learn and improve.  Winter is a great time for reflection, learning and planning.

Secondly and most importantly, I found that I prefer a normal winter if my garden is to perform at its peak.  Here in my zone 5b we find cold frigid temps with lots of snow.  At least 10 feet a winter.  This year, we had 15 feet of snow and 3 inches of rain during a thaw.  Plenty of water to help my garden grow.  But snow is important for the garden too…without enough snow (like last year) my garden suffered.

  • Snow is insulation for soil and plants to prevent heaving of the soil, and prevent plants from starting to grow too early. (another reason I lost so many plants last year).
  • The best thing about snow that I read recently (sorry I forgot where) was that snow is a great source of nitrogen.  It is often referred to as a “poor man’s fertilizer”.  Snow lays down a layer of nitrogen, and is eventually absorbed by soil and plants.  Lots of snow means lots of natural fertilizer giving the garden plants a great boost.  Works that way with rain too which is why my veg garden grows much better when it has rain water.

So let’s hear it for winter and all its benefits.  I’ll let you know how the garden does compared to last year…but I have to believe it will be in much better shape and off to a good start after all the snow it has melting on it right now.

 

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“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” -Walt Disney

 

 

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Come Join Us:

Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time.  I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether spring or fall or something else.  Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words.

And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of winter here in the North and spring in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.


Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (the 20th of March).  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create).  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!

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Next up on the blog:  Monday will be a special Garden Book review and a giveaway.  I hope you will join me.   Spring is getting closer and closer, and Seasonal Celebrations will be revealed on March 20th.  

I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2013.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

 

 

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76 comments

  1. Heidi Jasper says:

    Yes, 2012 was a year of early plants and blooms. By March 17th, my journal says we’d had 80* days already and our Mayapples were up in the woods!!!! by mid-MARCH!!! This winter we’ve had winter. I can’t even find any Harbinger-of-spring up yet in the woods! Everything in the woods and gardens is still quietly waiting this year. All my “early” spring bulbs are still just 1-2″ shoots and I have only 1 crocus bloom. I’ll take the later plants and blooms if it means healthier plants and no drought this year.

  2. Lavender Cottage says:

    Hi Donna
    Nice to be able to compare buds and blooms from the past year. There’s still too much snow for me to find anything yet, but it’s raining this morning so I might be lucky.
    I’ve written about snow a couple of times but have never come across it being a source of nitrogen. I’ll have to investigate this.
    Judith

    • Donna says:

      Curious to hear about your investigation into snow…more coming down here through the week…hope your start to spring might be a bit better than ours.

  3. Donna says:

    I have to get outside since our snow is melting, at least before Thursday when the snow returns. There must be green under the snow! Like you noted, 2012 was unusual with the exceedingly warm temperatures and early bloom season. I too herald the benefits of snow and am actually glad we got snow this year. The water table will be grateful.

    • Donna says:

      My garden must need more snow as it continues daily here with an inch to 2 or 3…supposed to snow right up through Friday this week so the garden should do nicely!

  4. Christy says:

    Hi Donna. Isn’t it exciting to see all of the things that are blooming? Yes, winter has it’s good points and I know some of my plants need that cold weather in order to grow properly, e.g. Poppies, Larkspur and Love in a Mist, etc. However, I still can’t wait for spring!!

  5. HolleyGarden says:

    I’ve been looking back at my photos, too, and we are a month behind last year (last year was early, this year is probably more ‘normal’). I’m so glad you’re getting some blooms – I really could imagine you outdoors doing a happy dance! 🙂 Great lesson learned about snow, too. We that don’t get it really do worry about the fluctuating temperatures. Snow would insulate many plants against some of the freeze damage they get here. Had no idea it was a natural fertilizer, though! But, makes sense as rain is always so nourishing for gardens.

    • Donna says:

      Well I think I will stop comparing and just take the garden as it comes this year…spring will be snowful which is not unusual but not something I have seen in a while.

  6. Heather says:

    Wonderful photos from last spring Donna. Things are certainly going to be a lot later. We still have a lot of snow on the ground and I hope it helps with some soil moisture recharge. I’m not quite ready for spring so I don’t mind the wait.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks. I am a bit laid up so the continued snow (yes it reappeared) through the week will give me time to heal for the big spring push in the garden.

  7. Liz says:

    Hi Donna,

    I hope the snow stays away so you can enjoy more blooms; it sounds like everyone’s spring is later this year! So frustrating going from a really early spring one year to the next which is a few weeks later… I was saying at work last week how this time last year we were melting in very hot weather for March… I hadn’t worn a coat for weeks or used an umbrella… Then hosepipe bans and April arrived and wham! the rain arrived and the weather hasn’t really ever picked up since with only a very short respite in December and January when it was relatively mild (until snow arrived in Jan)

    • Donna says:

      Oh Liz the snow is back so it looks like it is delayed again, but I am hopeful we will both see wonderful spring weather and happy blooming gardens soon.

  8. Jean says:

    No sign of spring flowers yet in my Maine garden, but the snow pack is melting visibly. Like you, I am relieved to have a normal winter after last year’s warm March strangeness. When I go back to Gettysburg next week, I’ll probably find that spring has sprung there while I was away.

  9. PlantPostings says:

    Hurray! Thanks for joining in and for collaborating, Donna! No blooms here yet, since we had too much snow cover. I might just sneak in a “Foliage Follow-Up” post, but we’ll see. But spring is definitely on the way! Cheers!

  10. KL says:

    Snow produces nitrogen is a fantastic information. Wow! thanks for it. I looked up and found it everywhere. Well, for us, winter is still here. It’s going to snow this weekend and next week.

  11. Stacy says:

    I’m so glad you have some flowers in bloom!!! How lovely! Those signs of Hope help keep you (or at least me) cheerful through the fits and starts and “two steps forward, one step back” nature of this season. I think gardeners are inherently curious people (curious as in inquisitive, not as in odd!) (though maybe that, too…) — always wondering what will happen if we try this or that new plant or let something go to seed. Enjoy this season of discoveries!

    • Donna says:

      Sometimes I need to rest with my curiosity and observe but not act right away. The blooms are buried again with snow and cold for the week….it does give me hope as our spring is so strange usually I need that hope.

  12. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    so right about snow being insulation – what kills our plants in the ‘warmer zoned’ UK is the intermittency of cold and wet.

    Heartening post – so Spring is not so far behind itself after all. Lovely title for a book by the way Donna!
    p.s I was thinking about curiosity too this week – the saying that it ‘killed the cat’ is a strange thing to tell children who are thirsty for knowledge – though I think it probably refers to nosiness!

    • Donna says:

      I think it does mean nosiness and be careful what you are curious about…but I embrace it no matter. I will have to remember the title for a possible book Laura…we had a few warm days and now we are back to cold and snow for the week…may last until the end of the month.

    • Donna says:

      My garden is in its spring flood from clay soil and the foot of snow left that suddenly melted in 2 days…now we are back to cold, rain and a bit of snow in the next several days. Hopefully next week the garden will begin to dry out so I can work in it.

      15 feet of snow means we had weekly lake effect snow that looks like a mini blizzard…if my flowers bloom wonderfully this year it was worth it.

  13. Andrea says:

    Oh i never wane with my curiosity even as i grow older! It is a trait i love i had, but sometimes a source of frustrations too. Scientists will never advance in what they do if they are not very curious! But I learned a lot from this post Donna. I didn’t know there are small and big crocus as I’ve seen them just once yet personally. And if only we can trade in the temperatures, we will all be happier with better conditions. We are now entering the temperatures which might otherwise be very bad for you in winter climes.

    • Donna says:

      It has snowed and will continue through the week and the start of our spring…but I will think good thoughts and am “curious” if all this extra snow will help the garden renew after last year.

  14. Eileen says:

    Love the pretty snowdrops and crocus. I wish I had both growing in my yard. I do see some of my daffodils starting to pop out. You must have a beautiful yard with lovely flowers. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

  15. Leora says:

    This week I’ve been enjoying my neighbors’ crocuses. Mine are still buried. My columbines are starting to show greens.

    Yes, I like when snow covers the ground, and one reason is that it coats my garden well.

    • Donna says:

      Oh that is not nice Esther. The snow reappeared here as well and gone are the plants and flowers…and the snow will last through the upcoming week with more on the way…

  16. RamblingWoods says:

    As I type this it is snowing… LOL.. but I am looking forward to spring and I like the way you organized this post. I should document what I have growing at different stages.. Michelle

    • Donna says:

      That snow is moving my way and we expect more lake effect which means many if not several inches….sigh! But it will all melt and add more moisture to the garden. Glad you liked the organization. I hope to do a better job of documenting my garden this year.

  17. Linda says:

    Nothing seems to be growing at all in my garden, unless I’m not looking hard enough.
    Thank you for sharing such lovely images of what was growing for you last year, it certainly gives us hope.

    Linda

  18. debsgarden says:

    I did not know that snow is a source of fertilizer! But I have noticed after one of our rare snowfalls that our plants seem to do very well, especially the spring ephemerals.

  19. Island Threads says:

    wow 15ft. of snow is a lot of snow Donna, you are right about the protection it gives the garden, the lack of snow here means that the ground and plants are open to the winter weather all winter and the cold winds probably do the most damage.
    I am glad your snow has receded and your first flowers are blooming, it’s a shame about the plants you lost last year, maybe some will push forth this year, sometimes the top growth can die but the root slowly regrows,
    onwards and upwards as they say, Frances

    • Donna says:

      I think many will return Frances if it ever stops being cold and snowing…we had a few days of warm weather and now winter has returned with the snow for the end of winter and beginning of spring.

  20. Grace Peterson says:

    Hi Donna, I can see you dancing. And I’m dancing with you. I’m SO thrilled with the beginnings of spring. Hooray, hooray! Your croakies and daffs are also saying enough with this bitter cold. Let’s bring on the sunshine.

    I didn’t know that about snow having nitrogen. We so rarely have snow here anyway…

    Great post.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Grace. As soon as I posted this winter returned with cold, wind and snow…supposed to last the week so spring will have snow this year…rather have it at the beginning than in April or May.

  21. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Without curiosity I suspect we’d still be sitting in caves huddling together for warmth! Lovely to see spring flowers making an appearance in your garden, well worth a dance or two, and I love the fact that you are able to see the value of winter, I think it is a shame when we wish whole seasons away, we can’t have Spring without Winter, after all.

    • Donna says:

      I agree Janet…we don’t have time in our lives to wish any of it away…too precious so make the most of all of it…while the flowers are curled up tight now, they will return as soon as we can get rid of the cold and snow. But I guess the garden must need a bit more 🙂

  22. Beth says:

    So great to see bloomers in your garden! All I have seen so far is 2-3″ of growth on the daffodils. I do see other green, too, but no blooms. I saw birds taking straw or grass into my birdhouses; that’s a sign that spring is just around the corner.
    Hugs to you, Beth

    • Donna says:

      How nice to hear birds are building nests. My daffs have buds swelling but now they are dusted with snow and frigid temps…oh well we had blooms for a day or 2…they will be back!

  23. Becca says:

    Beautiful blooms beginning to pop up there. We are warm here along the gulf coast of Alabama this weekend – in the mid 70’s. I’ll be out in the gardens this weekend. Have a nice weekend.

  24. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening says:

    We are behind here on Long Island when compared to last year as well. It got milder in the 50’s and some bulbs started popping up then we just got hit again today with frigid temperatures. Spring sure is taking its time but anticipation is fun too! Love al your pretty blooms!

  25. Angie says:

    Donna even here in Scotland last year was an exceptional spring. Things this year are around a couple of weeks behind too.
    I was thinking about the snow/nutrients blog the other day when we got a 4 inch fall of snow. Good for the soil in told myself but like you I can’t remember who posted it.
    I’m just beginning to work my way around some memes and intend to take part once I’ve found my way around.

    • Donna says:

      Yes spring is slow around the Northern Hemisphere it appears. I would be honored if you decide to participate in the meme….this season ends on the 20th with a wrap up post. Next up is summer and the meme will start June 1st ending on June 20th.

  26. Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens says:

    We are having a very cold spring so the hellebores in my bloom day post for March 2013 are the same ones blooming in my post for January 2012. The snowdrops are lasting forever which is wonderful. I am fascinated by what you say about snow and nitrogen. I noticed that winters with lots of snow were followed by healthier perennials especially plants that are bulbs. I even pointed this out in my Joys and Sorrows of Snow post but I had no idea what the reason might be. I thought it was just the insulation and the water.

    • Donna says:

      Well how about that as we are both thinking about the effects of snow. I think it is going to be a cold start to my spring as winter is not leaving.

  27. Rose says:

    Congratulations on the new bloomers! It’s a good sign that spring will inevitably be here. All the snow missed us this year, which meant I had no trouble getting to work each day. But I wonder, too, what that will mean for my garden–after last summer’s drought, some winter moisture would have been much appreciated. I had no idea that snow contained nitrogen–I learned something new today!

    • Donna says:

      When I learned about snow and rain it made so much sense as I had witnessed better gardens when we had more snow and better veg gardens when it rained on them.

      Glad you enjoyed the post Rose.

  28. Reed says:

    A little different on the coast versus upstate where you are. I went to school at Hamilton College, just south of Utica and I remember those winters.

    Your time will come!

    • Donna says:

      Ah Reed yes you would know then…Hamilton is a beautiful college and a quaint area! I am about an hour and a half west on the S shore of Oneida lake about 10 minutes N or Syracuse…in that snow belt area. Winter hangs on once every so many years and especially when Easter is early.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for the visit…once we can get some warmth and no snow we will be in high gear…so I will be waiting for maybe around the end of the month. More snow and cold this week.

    • Donna says:

      I agree snow has a scent and wouldn’t that be funny if it was the nitrogen…the blooms are resilient souls braving cold, winds, snow and then sun and melt and it starts all over…

  29. The Sage Butterfly says:

    I love a normal winter, too. My internal clock seems to have been programmed for that space of time that is winter’s rest. I am so glad this has been a normal winter for you and for me. Love all of your color in the garden at this time.

    • Donna says:

      Winter is still holding on here but soon the garden will be alive. I am needing more rest these days and hope to be ready with my garden for spring Michelle.

  30. Alistair says:

    fifteen feet is a helluva lot of snow Donna, as long as it didn’t fall in the one night. Spring looked like it was starting to arrive here and then it turned wintry again, in fact we have snow forecast for today. Not very much in bloom, the Crocus as yet are still not showing any colour.

    • Donna says:

      The most we received in one storm was 2 feet. The snow total amount will reach 16 feet or greater before spring is over as we are set for snow tonight, tomorrow and the rest of the week…quite a start to spring here too. Seems winter is getting his due as last year he was kicked out early.

  31. Loredana Donovan says:

    Hi Donna, I just caught up on your posts. How nice you’re starting to see snowdrops and crocuses, and daffodils are beginning to emerge. It’s still cold here, too, and it’s supposed to snow again tomorrow. I’m hoping this is the last of it and warm weather will be here soon. I used to belong to the local garden club and that’s how I got into gardening. Beautiful photos as always 🙂

    • Donna says:

      These blooms were quickly covered by a foot of snow and are just about to remerge this week and the chance for warm weather may be this weekend.

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