Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Has Sprung, The Grass Is Riz

With the recent almost surreal heat  (80 F. last weekend at the end of a week of 60s and 70s), followed by some much needed rain and continued pleasant warmth, the first spring bulbs have come up and bloomed in one fell swoop: "boom and bloom," as my friend Mary over at My Northern Garden wrote. We've got daffodils, snowdrops, periwinkle and a lone crocus blooming at the same time at historically early dates, and forsythia is in bloom all over town. And the grass has turned beautifully green. All of these are extremely unusual for the third week or so of March. I took all of these photos on Friday.

Daffodils (Narcissus)

I thought I'd check my own records to see when these flowers have bloomed in previous years. So, here's a bit of spring flower phenology:

Last year on April 16 I noted that the daffodils had been blooming for several days when they got heavy, wet spring snow on them. In 2009 daffodil buds opened on April 17 and I noted that blue scilla were starting to show up in neighborhood lawns. I started noticing scilla today, March 23, looking as if they might have been blooming for at least a day or two already. In Jim Gilbert's book Minnesota Nature Notes (Nodin Press, 2008), which organizes nature observations by weeks of each month throughout the year, the section on daffodils and tulips is placed in the fourth week of April.

Snowdrops (Galanthus)

In 2008 I noted the first snowdrops (and a rainbow) on April 5. Snowdrops, as their name suggests, are often the first flower of spring, blooming as the snow retreats.

Periwinkle (Vinca)

In 2009 I described flowering periwinkles as "new growth" on April 22.

Crocus coming up through last year's maple leaves

I don't seem to have any previous posts mentioning crocuses -- probably because I don't remember noticing we even had one until perhaps last year. (When I took the photo above, I didn't notice the ant on the flower. Can you see it?) Jim Gilbert says crocuses usually start blooming by very early April, and he describes an early crocus blooming in a favorable microclimate despite snow on the ground on March 19, 2007 (Gilbert, p. 87).


Billie Jo said...

I <3 Spring!

troutbirder said...

It's been crazy as everything is way ahead. The farmers are out doing that anhydrous thing around here already. Raking leaves off the beds I hope that wasn't a big mistake....