Crocus Watch Begins

Do you know where Spring first shows up in your garden?

Here at May Dreams Gardens, I'll find the first crocuses, the first sign of Spring, in this little microclimate by the front step, by my 'brain' rock.

This is on the south side of the house so I assume that the radiant heat that comes off the brick at night after the sun has warmed it all day helps to keep this little spot a few degrees warmer than out in the lawn where I have more crocuses planted.

I've seen crocuses bloom as early as January 27th in this spot, as they did last year and in 2002. In 2005, I first saw them on January 30th. In 2003, they didn't show up until February 9th. I don't even want to talk about how late they were in 2006 and for some reason, I didn't write in my garden journal when they showed up in 2004.

I say "they" and "crocuses" as though there is a whole colony of them in this spot. Actually, there are generally only one or two crocuses, purple ones, that show up here.

And to say they are blooming might be a little bit of a stretch. Generally, I see the buds and if the sun hits them just right, they might open a little.

But still, they are a sign of new life and bring a speck of color back to the garden. They remind me that flowers do bloom here, that it isn't always cold. And windy. And cold.

Every northern gardener should find where Spring starts in their garden and watch that spot.

I've been watching this spot for a few days now and so far... nothing. I guess it has been too cold. But it is early yet, we still have a lot of winter ahead of us.


You can now stay up to date on my crocus watch and other events at May Dreams Gardens by checking out my Twitter micro posts on the sidebar, down below the blog archives list. I don't know how long I'll keep it up, if it is a fad or useful, I'm just giving it a try.


  1. I haven't planted any crocuses yet. We had some when were in east Tennessee that popped up each year. I was tempted to dig them up and take them with us but I decided to leave them as a surprise for whoever was there next.

    In thinking about your bunny post, I scared one of our local residents on the way to the mailbox today. I didn't know he was there until I saw the white of his tail flying through the yard. The sure liked our hostas this past year, I'm glad somebody enjoyed them!

  2. Wow- crocuses in January! That would be nice, though we couldn't see much with all the snow we have. It is down to -41 Celsius here tonight in our northern garden. Enjoy your microclimate by the brain rock!

  3. I'll echo Gardenista - with our frigid temperatures and a lot of snow, it's hard to imagine any blooms coming for several more months. April is probably the earliest. I will pay more attention this year to what is the first flower in bloom. It is usually a Liverlily in blue.

    BTW I am following you on Twitter. There aren't many gardeners on Twitter, so far as I can tell. I am using it on a trial basis too.

  4. I'm not sure that spring has left my garden this year, I've been having blooms since december, but what I consider to bem the sign of spring in my garden are the almond trees blossoms. Once I see them, I know spring has arrived.

  5. I am not sure if my comment vanished into the unknown
    Please excuse me if I am repeating my self ...
    For me - I know when Spring has arrived because of the Hellebores.
    I enjoy your blog
    Thank you

  6. Looking for the first sign of spring is a heck of a lot better than expecting some overfed groundhog to get it right. For me, a snowdrop in one location or another is usually first, though at least one year a crocus beat them all.

  7. First we had birdwatch and now crocuswatch, must be a thing! ;-) Well Carol, I hope your crocuses will bloom soon for you. Spring is such a wonderful time in the garden!

  8. Carol, can you believe this crazy weather? Yesterday it was 54 degrees, right now on the computer is says 8 degrees. I hope those crocuses will be popping up soon.

  9. I'd be happy to just see the Sedum at this time of year. I don't expect to see crocus for another month and a half.

  10. I had a severe case of distracted driving last week in Georgia, everywhere I went I could see green shoots in people's landscaping popping up. Meanwhile it's a brisk 16F here in Pennsylvania and Spring seems very far away.

  11. We sometimes get a brief bloom from the little crocus tommasinianus planted right up against some brick edging. The larger crocus vernus are later, more with the daffodils, but the flowers are more long lasting. The daffs are what I consider spring here in TN. They are the prelude to the whole bulb chorus.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  12. I am still watching for crocus to pop up. Usually the leaves are up by now but nothing as yet. I will keep you posted when it happens.

  13. I would say my Snowdrops, but they really are Winter flowers, sometimes blooming as early as December. The Spring indicator plant I'm watching now is my hybrid Witchhazel. It was starting to unfurl petals yesterday when it was around 50F. But with wind chills of -25F, I'm not going out in the garden to check on it now!

  14. It seems like we are all trying to watch the first flowers out of the ground. :)
    I've spotted two yellow crocusses already, for some reason they always show up on the north side this early where the sun doesn't reach them at all.
    Good luck with yours. I'll keep checking back in.

  15. It's fun to think you're watching for crocus. I've not seen anything unusually early around here, but in our other house where we had a very sunny southern exposure, I'd often have bulbs (tulips/daffodils) begin to grow in February. Once they were covered by a little snow, however, they waited a good time longer to bloom. :-) I'll be back.

  16. I don't have any crocuses, but maybe I should, as any sign of spring makes me very happy. It has been a long winter!

  17. Crocus? Sigh....maybe in March or April. Maybe. If we're very good. At least it's just raining here now, and the ice is melted off the trees.

  18. I'm wishing for crocuses in bloom for you, Carol, and soon. That first sign of spring is a happy day indeed. Even here in Austin, where winter is brief and mild, I get a little thrill of surprise at seeing those daffodils coming up and Carolina jessamine buds.

  19. When I first looked at the picture of your "brain rock" I thought that it was a head of cauliflower! It looked so good I think I will go to the grocery and buy a few heads for cauliflower soup. Thanks for the idea!

  20. I'm on crocus watch, too. The foliage is up, but no signs of buds yet. It's been mild, so if we don't get a deep freeze, they could be blooming within two weeks.


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