Watch Your Step: Early Signs of Spring

Ladies and gentleman, you are currently looking at the first tiny leaves of what is likely to be the first blooming crocus in my 2009 spring garden.

However, it is not in the spot where the first crocus normally blooms. In that spot, there is nothing, not even an early snow drop. Zip, zilch, nothing.

I guess that kind of blows my theory about using a microclimate to get crocuses to bloom a few days earlier than normal.

Or does it? Time will tell, it could be a crocus will shoot up in the microclimate location, overtake this one and flaunt a bloom before this one “realizes” what’s going on. It’s a race, a competition, and neither bloom knows it. If this was Vegas, we could wager on it.

But this isn’t Vegas. It’s Zone 5 in Indiana, where it has warmed up these past few days for a kind of ‘faux spring’, which has melted all the snow and whetted our appetite for “real spring”.

It is a time for daily walks around the garden, weather permitting, to look for early, early signs of spring.

Here’s an early sign of spring.
That’s the very tip of a daffodil leaf making an appearance. Perhaps it is an ‘advance scout’ for all the other daffodils, sent up to check out the situation to see if it safe for the others to sprout.

It’s safe. I swear it is.

Many gardeners worry about these early blooming bulbs, that they’ll sprout now during these first warm days and then “Pow!”, cold weather will return and try to knock them down.

But the cold weather won’t succeed with a complete knock out. I’ve never seen it happen that the spring flowering bulbs didn’t succeed and bloom, regardless of how cold it got after they sprouted those first leaves. (Okay, I’ll admit spring 2007 was bad, but that was really unusual).

In this fight between winter and spring bulbs, put your money on the bulbs, especially the crocus and snow drops (Galanthus sp.). They’ll bloom regardless. And soon.

So let’s watch our step out there, be happy and not worry that we see some green, and welcome these earliest signs of spring.


  1. We had one of those faux Springs here as well... then it snowed last night and there is sleet falling right now... sheesh... It's enough to drive a gardener to drink! LOL

  2. I'll second that - got faked out this weekend, then the snow returned. Oops! I checked on my already-blooming crocus, they didn't seem to have minded at all. They even opened up again today when the snow melted. Maybe an industrious squirrel moved your crocus bulb for you, just to be nice...

  3. These first signs of growth are most welcome - no doubt Spring is on its way!

  4. Heck yeah! Spring is on it's way for sure! Love the little Daff peeking up to check things out!

  5. Argh! I have spring envy. I still have multiple feet of snow on the ground with no end or bare ground in sight...

  6. I have worried about my early bulbs in the past but no more. As you say they know what they are doing. The bulbs that were up before the snow show some burned edges but they will pull through.

  7. Giggle. I'll welcome early signs of spring in YOUR garden, my friend, whilst looking at the glacier-like conditions in MY garden. I'd go on an expedition to see how the hamamelis is faring, but there's so much snow everywhere around it (partly from plowing) that I can't even SEE it. Spring? Maybe by April....

  8. I wonder if all gardeners are the same going out in the garden and looking for a sign of green poking through the ground? Your snow melted really quickly- spring is on the way.

  9. Sage advice Carol! I'm tiptoeing around the tulips as we speak. (well not tulips but you catch my drift) ;)

  10. Here's to more signs of spring at MDG in the days to come!

  11. It's not quite as bad here as where Jodi and chzplz garden, but I don't have bare ground yet, either. Hard to imagine things are so far along at your place.

  12. I'm on daffodil watch myself. Soon I hope to see their little heads poke up. Congrats on the return of your babies!

  13. LUCKY YOU! The snow have just about melted and MY garden (in NJ) has no life...yet! Meanwhile, I'll just join in on your excitement...yippee!

  14. i have never had a spring bloom freeze, thank goodness. Now my iris buds are another story. I use styrofoam cups and cover every blossom if its going to freeze.

  15. They are exciting when you see them peaking out of the leaves....I also have to watch where I step..

  16. My problem is that the birds find my crocuses irresistible :( The leaves come up all right, but as soon as the flower forms the wretched flying monsters descend on it. I know people use thread and so on to deter them, but that seems too fiddly to me. I will put them in pots in the conservatory this winter, and do without the ones outdoors.

  17. Carol, we are having our azaleas starting to bloom here on the Gulf Coast, but our daffodils are still in bud stage. You would think they would be in bloom with or before the azaleas. This winter has been a puzzle.

    Always Growing

  18. Hooray for Spring!

    PS: I may have a challenger for your ugliest tomato.

    At any rate, it might be the ugliest tomato ever harvested in February...

  19. I haven't seen any signs of spring in my garden yet, Carol, but it's so muddy here that I'm afraid to step very far:)

  20. I think your bulbs are okay, too, but we both know better than to uncover chancier plants.

    Over at Kathy's blog this quote appeared:

    When dealing with frost it is always best to be paranoid. In the spring never think it is too late for one more frost to come. And in the fall never think it too early.

    Good advice from Rundy Purdy!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  21. If only the snow would melt, so my spring blooms could come up!


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