Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring - week 2- March 23

On Thursday, when the sun came out, so did the first crocus. Actually two different clumps bloomed, across the yard from each other. Some of them can just pop out without much advance warning. They join the snowdrops and aconite to start to put on a display.

This last week the poll asked when would you know it is spring.
Is it spring
When you see snowdrops- 1 vote
When you see daffodils- 24 votes
When you do not see snow- 3 votes
When you see flip-flops- 5 votes

I can tell we are all waiting for daffodils. The last report was they were sighted in southern Missouri last weekend. On the other hand there are lots of reports of foliage being up 3-4 inches here in Iowa. I have a bud along Fairview Street. I think with the weather warming up this week we will have that first daffodil in my yard next weekend.

I can certainly tell it is spring since I have shoulder ache from raking. I try not to just go out and rake for 2-3 hours. I do a little here and a little there. I understand that maybe you do not even have to rake in the spring at all. Maybe… On the other hand raking gets you out and you can see what is coming up.
At the moment there are lots of bulbs coming up. The tulips are providing the local rabbits with spring treats. Pretty soon the little blue squill, also called scilla, will start here and there, on their way to making a blanket of blue in several weeks.
Each day you find something else.
Yesterday I noticed the peonies coming up in several places. And then there were the little lupine leaves that are so perfect.
Today I found a just emerging clump of anemones, the same ones that made several photos in the completed contest.

Of greatest importance to the immediate garden, we found an inexpensive source for pinwheels. So we got a dozen, and then I went back and got a few more…dozen. Pictures follow.

The seedlings in the basement are doing well. There will be many Iceland poppies and columbine. I will be able to supplement the lupines, which usually do a good job a reseeding.

So here are pictures to go out to the garden newsletter. On this week's poll you can select the picture you like best.

There is the first clump of crocuses. If you look closely you can see where the was some bunny nibbling when they first emerged.

There are pinwheels. In the sun they are pretty good.

And there are aconite. I like this picture because you can get a feeling for the way they explode out of the ground. There is a little squill on the left.

This last picture is one of the early clumps of snowdrops, which just pushed its way up through the leaves. If you look you will see the baby squill all around on the ground, some with the seed still attached. They are out there by the thousands.

So as for the bonus pictures this week on the blog:

There are more aconite. I like this first picture because if you look carefully you can see all the little ones from last year’s seeds. This will be a real colony in a few years if I don’t dig it up planting some perennial in June. The second picture is the biggest clump so far. Finally there is a picture of several clumps all together.

Here is the other crocus clump, one that I didn’t see coming.

Finally here is a divided alium Globemaster. Alium are great. They are onions, so hardly anything likes to eat them. They make these wonderful big purple globes in late May, early enough that they can grow in most shade which hasn’t come all the way out when they are growing. And they multiply in a real rewarding way. I started with 4, planted the fall before Katie graduated from high school in 1999. I remember because they bloomed for her graduation party. There were 8 the next year and by now there are 30+ and I have extras. At this point I am putting them in the front parkway. This fall I will have to divide this set.

I have gotten to the end without mentioning the blizzard that missed us but did get Madison and Chicago. We were fortunate. In some other places Spring will have to wait a few days.

Stay warm and watch for that first daffodil.


IBOY said...

Philip... your aconites obviously go great guns in your garden. Do you think they like fairly heavy, clay soil? Mine persist here but never spread much, and a number of them end up sort of popping out of the soil (I've never figured out if from frost heaving, or squirrels). I have real loose, sandy soil. Maybe I need to go buy a couple of bags of heavy clay??


philip Mears said...

Don- I do not have much clay. I apply composted manure to the beds when I can get to it. I imagine that helps. I think I have just persisted with the aconite. I plant another 50 each year someplace and at some point they take.
They do reach a tipping point sometime, like so many plants. At some point they start to self seed.