The calendar said that spring was officially here on March 23rd, but it was another full week before spring truly arrived in this little corner of New England.
When I photographed the garden on March 30th, the snowdrops were blooming but the hellebores had barely poked their heads through the detritus of last year. But once they started to wake up, almost overnight, they were standing tall, their cheery faces open to the sun.
Clumps of purple, yellow and white giant crocus had slowly diminished and by last spring, except for a rare single bloom here and there, they had all but vanished from our garden. And replanting had proven futile. After the passing of our cat, Frieda, the voles had claimed the garden as their own.
This past fall, having finally gotten some measure of control over the critters that had been damaging the garden during the winter, we replanted many of the bulbs. When we finally decided it was safe to replant, it had been too late to acquire the giant crocus I favor. Since the smaller variety was in plentiful supply, we opted to try them to see if in fact we had the upper hand and we were not disappointed. Planting nearly a thousand bulbs acquired at an end of season sale, our minimal investment blessed us with loads of springtime color this year, something we had been missing more and more over the past three years. And it gives us the confidence to plant more of the varieties we love this fall.
Here in New England, April flowers brought May showers. Despite unseasonably cool temperatures and a lack of early spring showers, the several late season snowfalls were apparently adequate to meet the needs of all of the early bloomers and since the beginning of April, there has been a steady rainbow of color.
|April 9, 2013: Within days, the hellebores were blooming en mass.|
|April 9, 2013: The last of our original purple crocus.|
|April 9, 2013: We breathed a sigh of relief when the first crocuses pushed through the soil.|
|April 9, 2013: The miniature iris are often one of the first things to bloom, but even these little gems took their time showing their vivid blossoms.|
|April 9, 2013: Miniature Hyacinths sprouted en masse.|
|Mid-April, 2013: The forsythia is in full bloom, as are the cherries and creeping phlox. The hellebores have continued to grow and bloom, and daffodils and grape hyacinths can be seen poking out from behind other perennials as well.|
|Mid-April, 2013: The saucer magnolia was stunning, and beat the star magnolia by a full week.|
|Mid-April, 2013: A gorgeous saucer magnolia blossom, sprinkled with raindrops.|
|Mid-April, 2013: Usually not in full bloom until a week or two after the saucer magnolia, the buttery blossoms of the yellow magnolia Elizabeth opened even before the saucer had reached its peak.|
|Late April, 2013: An assortment of pink tulips grown together makes a bouquet too beautiful to cut and bring indoors.|
|May 8, 2013: The grape hyacinths have been blooming for weeks, the perfect early spring ground cover. We have them planted around most of our spring flowering trees.|
The color parade continues. Tomorrow, for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, I'll post photographs of the garden as it looks this week.