I saw....

julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)March 15, 2007

My first bloom in my garden today!

One lonely crocus shining away with vibrating purple stripes amid a wash of white petals in the oak leaf mould-

Spring has sprung!

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selkie_b(z4 MN)

Whoo hoo!

I have a little green showing on my grandma's iris, but that's it so far. That front bed takes a bit to thaw down far enough - but it's close! One more warm day and I'll be able to scrape off the leaves from fall and that'll bring 'em up if they haven't nosed under there already!

-Marie

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 9:52AM
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doucanoe

You guys are killin' me! Nothing yet in my yard, but soon, I hope!

Linda

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 10:01AM
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belle_michele(zone4Minnesota)

I still have SNOW in my yard.....

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 10:28AM
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deweymn(z4mnstpaul)

I don't consider it spring until I see/hear the first Robin. I'll bet some have arrived.

I've got snow yet and I was collecting snow melt water but the tub froze. I knew I should have emptied it.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 8:23AM
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ginkgonut(4)

No signs of life in my yard yet. But in the last week...

1 robin eating bittersweet fruit
The goldfinches are getting very yellow
My resident chipmunk has been out and about

Spring has sprung for some.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:24AM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

I have snow.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 5:14PM
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deweymn(z4mnstpaul)

I've got a hundred tulips on the boulevard under a lot of leaves in a 10x20 foot bed. Planted them in sept '05 and in the spring of '06 I uncovered them a little too late as they were already 3" out of the ground. Made it harder to uncover them.

If we get rain today, should I rake off the leaves after that?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 8:39AM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

deweymn - I would, but just the topmost layers - leave a few down *just in case* that's what I do.

-Marie

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:36AM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I saw my first robin today and a couple of clumps of daffodils near the foundation are peeking out. But I still have quite a bit of snow in my yard.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 11:21PM
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deweymn(z4mnstpaul)

selkie, I did investigate and most of the bottom layer is still frozen and/or wet. So, I removed most of the top layer of leaves. I have a boulevard on the south side of the street so my side stays frozen/snow covered longer than the other side. Even tho, a half dozen of the tulips were poking up thru frozen ground. About 2-3" high. I'm amazed at their strength and fortitude.

I'll watch and when the bottom layer is unfrozen I will remove it and put down a thin layer of stray I have left over. That I will leave till after they bloom.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 3:19AM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

3 inches of green daffodils poking up in front of my house!

Lots of snow in piles.

Plenty of green on all of the iris, even some that I got dug up and never replanted :-)

Surprising (to me) the bluebells are green. I didn't know they stayed green through the winter, but this doesn't look like new growth.

Hopefully, Spring really will be here one of these days!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 8:26PM
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tedb_threecedarfarm(Z4/5)

... three or four snowdrops in River Falls, WI. Crocus are coming up but not showing color yet. Flower buds on Cornus mas and Abeliophylum are swelling.

Ted

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 8:37PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

Tiny bits of green showing here and there, but still mostly snow or ice here in S. Mpls.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 9:35AM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

I moved more leaves yesterday and got lots of crocus and other noses poking up!

Also Mary Queen of Scots rose is ALREADY redding up and the buds are swelling...
She never ceases to amaze me!

-Marie

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 10:07AM
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tedb_threecedarfarm(Z4/5)

Vernal witchhazel buds are open but the petals haven't really expanded yet. The soil is still frozen around it, but it will be in flower by tomorrow. More people should grow this great shrub!

Ted

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 3:20PM
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belle_michele(zone4Minnesota)

Ted,
I've tried growing witch hazel a couple of times (both times got them from local, reputable nurseries)...they did well the first two years but didn't come back the third.

I'm going to try planting two again this spring and hopefully they won't die out on me after year three!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 5:12PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

The spring blooming witchhazels of Asian origin are far less hardy than our American native (Hamamelis vernalis). But the American is less showy.

Asian ones include:
H. mollis
H. x intermedia
Nearly all named ones are Asian. There are very few named American types.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 5:27PM
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laurampls(4 MN)

On a lark I planted helleborus foetidus (zone 6) next to my S. Minneapolis house last summer. Thought for sure it was done for with the below zero temps and no snow in February. But I kicked back the mulch two days ago and it had grown almost a foot (sideways, of course). The other hellebores (Royal Heritage, Ivory Prince) have new leaves and buds and the primrose leaves are bright green.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 9:20PM
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Annachief(Mn3Zone)

I still have some snow also over my daffodil bed. But on the bright side this weekend is supposed to be in the 50's so that should do the trick. I wished I was in zone 4!!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 5:26AM
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tedb_threecedarfarm(Z4/5)

Several big batches of Crocus! (Blue Pearl if I remember correctly.) Blooming nowdrops are scattered about.

Vernal Witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) is blooming as well. Flowers are small and not super showy but nicely fragrant. Michele I'm sorry to hear you had problems with witchhazel, I have 2 nice common withhazels (H. virginiana) that are great in fall and my one vernalis that blooms now. I think I got it at Hermes in Hudson, WI three or four years ago. I've ordered 2 new vernalis cultivars from Klehm's Song Sparrow Farm down in SE WI, hoping they are a little showier. I'm itching to try an Aisan cultivar (Jelena is at the top of my wish list) but it seems a bit foolish, since as Leftwood says, they're not very hardy. Maybe one just north of one of my huge red cedars pretty protected.

Laura - I'm jealous of Hellebore foetidus - I saw a great display in Brooklyn several years ago then planted some here but they didn't last. Where did you get yours?

Ted

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 4:00PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

My purple crocus are blooming in the east side of the house beds. Lots of other daffodils and crocus and tulips poking through the mulch.

Are you all removing the mulch? Seems a bit early but the weather is so warm.

Bobbie

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 9:32PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

I am jealous about your H. foetidus too, Laura. So far, I only have Royal Heritage. I have seen foetidus do well in Chicagoland gardens, so I always knew it could be zone 5 hardy, but never tried it here.

The Arboretum does have a Hamamelis x 'Arnold Promise'. Blooms well nearly every year. Never seen any dieback and it must be 20+ years old. I am sure it is done blooming now. It usually blooms in the first January or February thaw. Many years I have snowshoed out to see it bloom.

The arb does have some of the other Asian types, Jelena, Diane, mollis. They hang on, and usually put on some bloom, but most often flowers are malformed or just don't fully develop because of cold damage (I assume). They are in a good moist area, but very exposed, and in full sun. A more amenable area and you might squeak by. but if you try Arnold Promise, I think you can have a good chance.

Well my Pulsatilla turczaninovii's buds (a Russian Pasqueflower) are bunny eating size now, so I have them caged up. But I suspect it will be another week before they bloom.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:53PM
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tedb_threecedarfarm(Z4/5)

Leftwood - thanks for the witchhazel info - I wanted to branch out from the yellow flowers but it looks like yellow it is again.

Ted

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 2:16PM
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north40(z3 MN)

We're north of Alexandria. I have tulips from about 4" to 8" tall along the east side of the house and also one hyacinth is up with a flower bud (not open yet). The Sandhill Cranes were back last weekend and I saw my first Robin today. We had a wonderfully warm day today, but I see in the forecast for the end of the week we could have snow with a low in the 20's. Oh well, it's only temporary.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 10:28PM
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laurampls(4 MN)

Ted

I ordered my hellebore foetidus from Plant Delights in NC. I ordered some special stuff from them last year that I couldn't find anywhere else --- expensive but worth it to splurge once in a while.

I took all of the rest of the mulch off and was shocked and thrilled to see that nothing appears to have died. The zone 5 roses (Country Dancer and Abraham Darby) are going great guns. Caryopteris and Calycanthus floridus "Michael Lindsey' also made it. I'll have to see what happens with the buddleia, since they emerge quite late.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 4:44PM
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john_w

Daffodils coming up, about two inches. Heuchera, Penstemon and Lamium were evergreen, and after being laid low, are lifting up off the ground. Buds splitting open on all my roses except the smart Old Garden Roses (who know better). The red maple looks ready to flower. My honeysuckle vine is leafing out. I've got my fingers crossed, but it looks like my Sargent cherry will actually bloom this year.

I, too, have a vernal witchhazel. it flowered for the first time, ever, today. Orange blooms on mine. Came from Forest Farm, via mail order as a little bitty thing, years ago.

Boxwoods are bright green again. Hollies didn't fare too poorly wit just a few brown leaves.

The sky is low and grey today, spitting raindrops. I love this kind of spring weather. I wish I could save a day or two like this for hot, dry July,

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 8:24PM
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deweymn(z4mnstpaul)

For me it is officailly spring. I saw my first robin and better yet I saw two earthworms that had crawled out onto a blacktop parking area yesterday. And there are buds ready to burst out on many shrubs. One more day of 70+ and every tree/shrub will signal springs arrival. I also had a wasp (a large one) on Monday trying to get water from my aquafina bottle rather than go after my open can of cola like they usually do. Smart wasp?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 8:38AM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

dewey - wasps like protein at this time of year to get their nests going. If you'd had a tuna sandwich you'd have been mobbed :) They go for the sweet stuff a bit later on.

-Marie

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 9:04AM
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tedb_threecedarfarm(Z4/5)

A new bulb for me this year is Scilla mischtchenkoana, milk squill. A icy blue version of the common Scilla siberica but much earlier, even beating most crocus. I'll planting more next year!

Laura - Calycanthus! another thing I want. I'm hovering over my oak leaf hydrangea to see if it made it. Buds seem fairly plump but no growth yet.

Ted

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 12:41PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

Question? Have you all cleaned your gardens off?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 1:14PM
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deweymn(z4mnstpaul)

Mine is but the little bit of grass I have on the boulevard is still covered in leaves. That is the last thing I will deal with. I heard you can do more harm than good by raking too early.

Just saw my few strawberry plants (on strawberry hill) poking up with their first green leaves. Some daylillies are stretching up over 6" already but I don't count them cause they would grow on an iceberg I think. A few crocus have emerged too in the last day or so. Over half of my winter sowing seeds in planter boxes have emerged and I had to even give them a drink. Rain and cold predicted for the next few days so I will let them sit under a watchful eye. Gotta finish that new cold frame this weekend. Got a tile floor to do tonite to get some $ to buy some seeds.

If serious weather happens I am going to uncover my fishing boat and place every container that needs protection inside and recover with a tarp or plastic. Plan A anyway.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 6:51PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

I have not cleaned any of my gardens yet, although I have pulled away or fluffed some of the oak mulch around some things. The ground seems so warm already for this time of year, I just want to keep things as cold as possible. I dug some Gladiolus atroviolaceus for Dr. Neil Anderson at the U of M today. The already have tiny new growth!

Laura, I completely missed that you have a Michael Lindsey. How long have you had it, and has it bloomed yet?

Ted, where did you find Scilla mischtchenkoana? Did you get seed or bulbs? Sounds interesting. How does it compare in size to sibirica?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 7:01PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

I was bumming there for a while- I do not have any great spring flowering shrubs- just pussy willows shining away- and my helleborus looks like it spent the winter in, well- it's name sake...
But yes- I have been cleaning and clearing out beds as they become snow free and more solid- less squishy. I have lost more plants to cold wet oak leaves left on too long- than to a cold snap- or to missing a tip of tulip or lily poking and snapping or stomping it to smithereens... I only have a few under my belt- with many more waiting but it does feel good to be cleaning them out- and watching the reseeders sprouting....

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 7:30PM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

I heard this morning that the ground thaw in the Twin Cities is down to 24 inches. I've moved all my leaves off already - iris hate them there too long and I have so many iris now. This rain will hasten things up as well, and the weather looks pretty moderate for at least the next week.

-Marie

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 8:50AM
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dreamingofmygardens(4)

newbie here. finally a bigger site w/ MN folks! yeah!!!
I saw a robin last saturday..and my iris and tulips are poking up- [only in the protected garden] the others are still full of ice and some snow yet.. lost a load of branches off trees this weekend from all the rain and ice..it's a mess. we have puddles and muck everywhere but at least it is spring! Happy days

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 1:43PM
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tedb_threecedarfarm(Z4/5)

The S. mitchtchenkoana came from Van Engelen (I would guess Scheepers also has it - they are the same company). Right now they are maybe 3-4 inches tall but I think they will keep growing upward. The individual flowers are slight bigger then siberica. Altogether it reminds me of a cross between Pushkinia and S. siberica.

I don't know if it just the thrill of the new, but right now I'm entranced by these little gems. One of my favorite new plants for a while.

I took a few pictures today between raindrops and will try to figure out how to post them.

Every year I forget what a tease the Cornus mas is. The buds just keep getting bigger and bigger - but won't bloom yet - this week for sure.

Welcome Dreaming...

Ted

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 2:40PM
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laurampls(4 MN)

On the calycanthus 'Michael Lindsey' it bloomed last year. About 12 dark maroon blossoms, and yes they smelled as heavenly as advertised. My vocabulary to describe smells is not very sophisticated but to me it smells like a a strawberry Pina Colada without the dark undernote of rum.

A neighbor's elm that shaded it was taken down last year so I think it may get too much afternoon sun now. I'll probably move it in the fall.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 5:38PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

O.K.- I know it is spring- even if the forecast is snow- I have a tulip in bloom!! And several hyacinth- and I have lilies up 3" in one bed...... Note date of post- 4/2! No april fools!

Oh Laura- I think you described that scent wonderfully!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 9:50PM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

I forgot I planted so many crocus over the past few years - AND they are spreading so nicely! My front bed is just glowing!

-Marie

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 10:04AM
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