A rush of spring warmth has ushered in a new season and with this new season comes my annual posts giving coverage of the arrival of spring to the area. Spring has officially sprung with several species of “early risers” in bloom including Crocus, Snowdrops and Winter Aconite. Several other spring favorites are showing up as well poking up some leaves such as Hyacinths, Tulips, Grape Hyacinth and Daffodils. This is an earlier start than last year as today the Snow Crocus bloomed ( seen above ) 12 days earlier than last years March 10th date. This is near average bloom state for these. Outside of spring bulbs, most trees are dormant but I have noticed Silver Maple have started to flower a bit and the flower buds on Forsythias and Willow species are starting to swell. For about the southern half of the state this is true, if you are in north Iowa it really hasn’t been very long since snowcover has left this area so not much is happening yet, although there could still be some spring bulbs poking through.
Early rising plants certainly will always have a spot in my garden because they are just so early! This is especially true with Snowdrops because even though I am just posing today, I’ve already had blooms for over a week! Snowdrops are a new plant for me and I have to say I am honestly surprised at just how early these are. Most times when you see beautiful spring flowers blooming through a snow it’s because it snowed after they flowered, but I’ve seen these truly popping through receding winter snowcover. In fact mine have been blooming on and off throughout winter, some opened at the end of January before there was a delay in blooms until warm weather came back in this month, then the rest flowered more than a week before Snow Crocus even thought of blooming. If you are buying for earliest bloomed beware! They are several species of that bloom at all different times you need Galanthus Elwesii or Galanthus Nivalis, I have both species.
Winter Aconite are like jewels of yellow adding color to a brown landscape! These are interesting little plants because they often just appear overnight unlike most spring bulbs you can see sprouting for weeks before flowers open, these shoot up and flower in about 24 hours after breaking ground. Can be used as a replacement of Crocus if you have squirrels! Like these and all earliest spring flowers they are very short, I had to get next to the ground to get all these photos.
Here are the rest of the spring bulbs as of today. Tulips have 2nd leaves appearing and Daffodils are up about 4″ tall. Every day I look there is something new popping through the mulch which is very exciting, be sure to go out in your yard just to see what you have coming up! The next update will come once more action comes to the garden.