Spring Survivors

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“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

~Barbara de Angelis

 

 

 

Seeing snow in April is really no big deal for me, my garden or the critters who live here.  We know winter does not go quietly.  He enjoys popping in for a short visit every now and then until about mid May.  So we plan for it, and accept it.

But waking Monday morning, to see more snow falling in frigid temps in the 20s (night-time temps in the teens), just sent me into a tailspin.  We are not supposed to get more snow on top of 6 inches that had already fallen the day before.  It is supposed to melt within a day, and temps do not stay in the teens and 20s…..not for days on end.  After all it is April.

 

I thought I would start by showing you the many flowers blooming happily in late March and April, along with a few visiting pollinators…..

 

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Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ (and another I. reticulata shown in the picture at the top of the post)

 

 

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Crocus vernus…a very hardy flower, also know as Dutch Crocus

 

 

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Crocus minimus or Snow Crocus

 

 

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Puschkinia scilloides or Striped Squill….they smell like grape juice…yummy!

 

 

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Scilla siberica or Siberian Squill with my favorite blue

 

 

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Chionodoxa luciliae or Glory of the Snow

 

 

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Hellebores

 

 

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And daffodils….the large Yellow Trumpet were out first.

 

 

Then this is what we saw just 3 days into April….

 

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and this a day later….tall daffs buried.

 

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And 4 days after it started, a melt began that took another day.  

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So how did my flowers do with winter’s unexpected prolonged visit?

 

 

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They seemed to come through it virtually unscathed.  And I’d say my flowers deserve an award for dealing so well with such harsh conditions.

 

 

 

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They are survivors.  They wilted, and bowed their heads, but they held on.  I love my early bulbs!  Four days buried under snow certainly helped to insulate them, which is what I hoped would happen.

 

 

And it wasn’t just the flowers that were of concern….I noticed our visiting birds were not used to this harsh weather either.

 

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Especially the American Robins…..they struggled but survived in some unique ways that you can read about here on my other blog.

We haven’t heard the spring peepers in a week, and the pollinators are hopefully under cover somewhere.  As bursts of snow kept going through the weekend, it did not last on the ground or cover the flowers, but it was cold.

I know Winter felt his time with us was too short.  So he made quite a comeback.  I am hoping Spring gives him a shove out the door….after all my veggies need to be planted, and the birds need to start building their nests….and the frogs are ready to wake and return to the pond.

 

 

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So come on Spring…..let’s get this party started!

 

How has your spring been treating you and your garden?

 

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spring rural

A perfect way to start off spring is to read RURAL’s spring issue.  I am honored to be contributing again to this amazing online magazine, the creation of Jen@The Light Laughed.  I hope you will drop by and read all the amazing articles….and best of all it is free.

 

 

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In A Vase On Monday 

 

 

When I went out to pick a vase this weekend, I decided to stick with those flowers that looked the least bedraggled after their snow cover.

 

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So I picked several of my wonderful pink hellebores.  You saw some of them last week in a vase.  And I wanted to include Puschkinia scilloides as there were so many of them bouncing back.  I decided to create an arrangement using this dish, which is part of my mother-in-law’s china, aptly named, Cosmos.

 

 

 

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I floated the hellebores in the china dish, and placed a small glass in the middle to hold the Puschkinia.  I really love the effect, and how the flowers match the color of the flowers decorating the bowl.  I did not add anything else to the display as it perfect enough by itself decorating the kitchen table.

 

I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles 2016 and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.

 

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Next up on the blog:  

Monday, I will have either an update on the veg garden, or a profile of another native plant.  It will all depend on the weather this week.  Hoping for a warm up, so I can start planting my early veg seeds in the garden.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday. 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2016.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

105 comments

  1. Andrea says:

    Oh My God, i pity those plants, already showing their splendor and then suddenly will be laden with snow again. Your snow is very hard-headed, they should come farther this way so we can have some cold in this extreme heat!

    • Donna says:

      Wish I could send some cold your way…it seems the snow actually helped them survive the cold so I was glad about that…we are warming up this week and the sun is out!

  2. Susan says:

    You have some lovely early spring blooms.
    I know I’m tired of winter! We had an unusual warm-up in March, but it has snowed most of this month (18 inches) and it’s definitely time for it to go.

  3. Annette says:

    Oh dear, poor little things, you included! But in a way it’s encouraging to see how most of them brave the elements. Wish we could always shake things of like that. Beautiful vase, well done. 🙂

  4. Eileen says:

    Hello Donna, what a lovely post. Your flowers are gorgeous. We had some snow too but, it disappeared quickly. The cold temps are not normal though. Your bowl vase is lovely. I agree, I wish Spring would come and stay. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  5. Susie says:

    Your hellebore/Puschkinia combination is lovely Donna. The back and forth weather at this time of year is frustrating. I think I’ve lost my hydrangeas again. Hope Winter hibernates soon.

  6. Cathy Keller says:

    Amazing shots, especially of the bee. The weather has been a challenge, indeed. Hoping a praying that Spring as we know it will be here soon or I fear it will just be summer, hot and sticky! Have a grand day!

  7. Cathy says:

    What lovely spring blooms you have Donna and isn’t nature amazing in that most will bounce back after your snow leaves you. Even though you reliably get snow every year is it hard to accept when you get an unexpected second (or third or…) batch? Your dish (and what a wonderful design to have!) of hellebore and scilla is delightful – who needs an elaborate display to bring you joy?! Thanks for sharing

    • Donna says:

      Definitely a second batch (late March and now April)…hoping we do not get any more surprises. So pleased you enjoyed the dish arrangement Cathy! Weather is improving and spring is here….forecast shows it stays for 2 weeks…hoping it stays on through May!

  8. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Donna taking your advice from one of your earlier posts … optimism! I think Spring will take over this coming weekend. I forgot to mention the aconites are up in my garden and blooming. The Daffodils, the earlier, are loaded with blooms, too. My first day home and it snowed and yes, it is COLD! Teens here over the weekend – but the raised beds thawed enough to sow peas and peas like cold (: The weeds are coming up ha ha! I am glad all your bulbs survived. I haven’t seen bees but the midges are out – a sure sign of spring. I am going to put up hummingbird feeders this weekend, too, looking forward to those guys returning and they’ll be cold, too. Envious of the hellebore blooms!

    • Donna says:

      Oh I am sorry you had such a nasty reception home…it is glorious and we have been slowly getting veg garden projects done and seeds sown. I have had daffs and some hyacinth damage from the repeated cold last week and weekend.

      Frogs returned to the pond so yep it is spring. I would love to send you some hellebore plants. i have tons of babies that need a home. Let me know Kathy.

  9. Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening says:

    Weather has been similar here, except the last snow you got was rain for us. I only planted Puschkinia last fall and haven’t seen them yet. The snow probably saved my bulbs but I think my neighbor lost the bloom on his Meadowlark forsythias when the temps dropped to single digits. The weather forecast predicts more spring-like temps later this week. I’m holding on by my fingernails!

    • Donna says:

      It took my Puschkinia at least a year to show up, and they are filling in beautifully now after about 7 years. That is sad your neighbor lost their forsythia blooms. I may have lost mine, some hydrangeas and a lilac…as well as a few clumps of daffs and hyacinths after the snow melted and the freezing nights continued for days.

      It has been beautiful since Wed with sun, sun, sun and each day warmer….the frogs are back in the pond and spring is here!

  10. Debby Ray says:

    Oh, I so agree! C’mon, April! Usually it is March that acts up like this on us here in NC…April is usually pretty safe. Just trying to keep us remember who’s boss, huh? I’m so glad that these lovely blooms of yours seem to have survived…snow is a great insulator 🙂 I hope you warm up and stay there…and in my neck of the woods too! Enjoy your week!

    • Donna says:

      I agree March is the recalcitrant child usually….but spring has prevailed and we are in a sunny, warm stretch so fun times in the garden!

  11. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD says:

    Luckily we have not had serious snow but lots of temps in the 20s. Now this week we are supposed to go up to 70. I am not that crazy about such a temperature swing. After waiting all this time I hate to see the bulbs burst open and then faint from heat!

  12. Island Threads says:

    Donna, your words when in a tailspin, ‘we are not supposed …………….. for days on end’ sound just like I feel with the wind and rain we seem to get year round now, your blooms did very well in the snow, I find it is wind and hail that do the most damage, I hope it leaves soon and goes to sleep till the end of the year, it is interesting to me how you have a burst of lots of flowers at one time, my crocus are long gone but the daffodils are only just starting, and my Scilla and Chionodoxa are hardly started to grow, sorry but I can’t help smiling and saying this, if you are going to plant snow crocus and glory in the snow, then snow is on the menu,

    I worry about the birds, pollinators and other wee creatures in sudden bad weather too, that A.Robin looks well puffed up to keep warm,
    here’s to warmer weather, Frances

    • Donna says:

      I don’t mind the snow Frances…it is just unusual for us to get so much for so long in April….I do hope the wind calms for you soon….you deserve some good weather and a long stretch of it too!

  13. Sara - My Woodland Garden says:

    Such beautiful flowers… and so brave! They are all lovely, but the hellebore is really something exceptional.
    Here nothing blooming yet, in fact here it may snow even in May. The year I took my driving lessons, we had some snow in June. 🙂
    Wishing warmer spring days for you and the flowers and the little critters!

  14. Aaron Dalton says:

    Thanks for your post. It’s made me feel I need to add more early-blooming bulbs and spring ephemerals to my garden 🙂

    I’m visiting my father in Pennsylvania at the moment. I arrived to snow a couple of days ago, but it’s all melted now and the sun is shining. I think Spring is here to stay this time!

    • Donna says:

      Hope you are having a wonderful visit with your father in Pennsylvania. The weather has finally shifted and it is grand now….those early bulbs are wonderful for the first pollinators!

  15. Kris P says:

    I’m sorry that winter has extended his unwelcome return visit, Donna, but I’m amazed by the resilience of your flowering bulbs. Your arrangement in a bowl is lovely. I’m not familiar with that Puschkinia but I love it!

  16. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    Nature can have a wicked sense of humor sometimes. It was an easy winter for most everyone this year but it just doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone. I’ve always been amazed how so many of the flowers aren’t effected by the snowfalls that occasionally happen in spring.

  17. MaryBeth says:

    Oh no! not more snow. I sure feel for you and the plants and even the bugs—-but you know Mother Nature has to surprise us occasionally. We do not get much snow here and never in April—I should say almost never because a few years ago we had snow in april and it stayed around for awhile. Quite a surprise. I enjoy your blog.
    MB

  18. eliza waters says:

    We’re dealing with the same weather patterns as you are. I used the cold weather to do heavy digging and dividing in my large bed on Saturday. No sweat, literally – hehe.
    Love your hellebores. Mine budded out in Dec., then winter desiccated them. I’m wondering if I should cut them back in hopes they may shoot up new ones. Any thoughts?

  19. Laura Hegfield says:

    My goodness Donna, you had so many early bloomers. Our first crocuses had just come up and opened a few days before the snow last week. They survived and have been blossoming beautifully throughout this week. Your garden is always so beautiful.

  20. rickii says:

    Clever approach, with the vase within a vase. Here’s hoping Old Man Winter will soon loosen his grip. We, on the other hand, set a new record for heat with 86 degrees f last week. I think we’re all going through adjustment anxiety of one form or another.

  21. Julie says:

    I do hope spring gives winter that push soon Donna – it must be so frustrating to be held up by the snow when so many jobs are waiting. That pink hellebore is divine!! I am glad the stunning flowers are safely inside where you can enjoy them at close quarters.

  22. DeniseinVA says:

    Love your flowers Donna. And thank you for sharing another delightful post with Today’s Flowers. I shall also be checking out the other memes. Have a great week.

  23. Beth says:

    Donna, I’m sorry you got yet another dose of winter, but your flowers will soldier right through and still be there when the snow melts off — and this late in the season, the snow can be gone the next day. I love your idea about how to display the hellebores and scilla together in a bowl — it looks spectacular! Thanks for sharing your scenes of beauty, and enjoy the warmer days ahead! -Beth

  24. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    Great idea for a vase arrangement! How amazing that all the spring flowers came through just fine. They seem to be able to stand up to snow, bitter cold, and everything else this crazy spring is sending their way. Your little robin has staying power, too. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      I wish we didn’t have so many freezing nights this past week…it did hurt some daffs and hyacinths, but the majority should be OK…warm and sunny here and I am doing my happy dance!

  25. bettyl-NZ says:

    Your colors are awesome and the snow adds an interesting element. It seems hard to decide if spring is going to show up like it’s hard to decide if autumn will be arriving here soon!

  26. Pat says:

    I enjoyed looking at each and every beautiful flowers, Donna. The snow not so much…haha. I worried about the blossoming tress and birds here when we had the blizzard, but they also seemed to survive. Now we may be in for another BIG snowstorm this weekend–predictions for many inches. I really hope it rains instead.

    I love Rural Magazine and I always look forward to you articles as well as Judith’s. It is such a treat!

  27. Hannah says:

    I had a feeling the snow would shelter your flowers, it’s great that they are able to come back out of it and even look great in your bowl. I still didn’t find my ideal double hellebore, yours are along the line of what I want. They look lovely with the pastel blues of the Puschkinia striped flowers. I planted some peas and fava beans and hope they will do well this year.

  28. Chloris says:

    How heartbreaking seeing all your early spring treasures covered like this. You do have to be resilient gardening in your climate. You have some little gems though. I never noticed that Pushkinia smelt of grapes, how observant of you. Such a pretty arrangement.

  29. Life Images by Jill says:

    Your spring bulbs are beautiful. I am amazed how they survive the snow like that. Enjoy spring when it arrives and winter has been thrown off. Have a lovely week and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

  30. KL says:

    Snow was also predicted here. But luckily it was freezing cold and just very teeny-weeny amount of dusting or snow-flecks. That’s all. I don’t want any more snow; want winter to go away. Beautiful flowers.

  31. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    that really is the prettiest vase on Monday I’ve seen Donna. Quite shocked to see your snow given that we are warming just into the 60s here in the UK. The plants bear up well under that covering (quite warm underneath) but the pollinators go very hungry. (And don’t the bees love crocus)

    • Donna says:

      Oh Laura my goodness that is such high praise…thank you! Warming here now in the 60s, sunny and dry. The bees are going crazy as each new flower opens!

  32. johnvic8 says:

    I was going to say,”This too shall pass!” with self satisfaction…..and then we had a frost over the weekend, and I am finding damaged flowers and foliage about. Ah, the life of a gardener. Spring will REALLY come; I’m betting on it.

  33. debsgarden says:

    Snow in April? I shiver at the thought. I have sometimes wondered if I would swap our very hot, humid summer for prolonged winter. I don’t know; what about you? I do love our spring and fall.

  34. Judith@Lavender Cottage says:

    Survival of the fittest, even in the plant world Donna… I may have some daffodils blooming this week, I could see the flowers beneath the sheath and they were smart enough to stand quietly and wait for the cold to end.

  35. magicofwords says:

    Donna, I love the crocus heart collage and the daffodils ~ beautiful composition. And what a pretty centerpiece – the china dish filled with flowers – so creative. It’s been unusually cold here, too. No snow but lots of rain. But the grass is getting green. 🙂

  36. Susan Clark says:

    The same thing happened here although no snow just cold temps, wind and rain. The rhodo blooms have gone all soggy but the primroses are doing fine. The air had been filled with the buzzing of bees but I’ve only seen one since the rain returned. I’m trying to accept Nature as it comes and not force my timetable on it-a lesson long in the learning for an impatient gal like me.

  37. Alexa T says:

    Beautiful flowers, beautiful words and thoughts! April has some wonders to reveal… And your arrangement is so delicate, so lovely…
    Indeed, “We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” A lovely quote to keep in mind!
    best regards in April!

  38. Cathy says:

    I am also often surprised at how resilient even taller plants can be in late snow or storms. I love the way you have displayed some spring flowers in your pretty bowl Donna. Hope it’s a bit warmer now. 😉

  39. Pam's English Garden says:

    In my garden, at last, spring is doing what it is supposed to be doing, when it’s supposed to do it. I’m amazed there is so little damage to my blooms from the late frost and snow. Love your hellebores in the china dish! Happy spring! — yes, it is here. P. x

  40. Sallie (FullTime-Life) says:

    I’m late coming to visit and I hope your weather has gotten some better over the week since you posted this. That is way too much snow for April and I am amazed and happy that your brave flowers seem to survive. I remember in Oregon how spring rains sometimes battered the daffodils to death before we’d really had a chance to get to know them. (I guess snow is softer.) Your Mosaics are so creative … as is your real flower arrangement. Just a beautiful post, in spite of the nasty weather.

  41. Donna says:

    Like your central NY area, here in WNY we got the same April snows. It really is not uncommon for our area. It just means the spring garden waits a little longer and likely the plants bloom in different combinations each year, keeping things interesting. I was tempted to take photos of blooms in the snow, but didn’t this year. I like your chilly bloom photos. Very nice.

  42. Donna says:

    Thanks Donna….snow and cold are the norm in early spring….and worse when we have such an early spring in March. The price we pay. Actually we are well known for our mid-May snow which is why I keep the covers on my veg garden through May. Having that much snow is not common here in April though. A new experience for us and the critters.

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