Emerging this week

Our mild weather continues.  With sunny, 60-degree weather, yesterday was a great day for garden cleanup.

The hellebores (also known as Lenten Rose) are now blooming.

Hellebore

Hellebore
Hellebore

Crocuses have made an appearance.

Crocus
Crocus

The first of the daffodils are blooming, while other varieties of narcissus are still making their way out of the soil.  Toad lily (erythonium) is also one of my early risers.

Toad lily
Toad lily

It won’t be long now…

Hyacinth buds emerging
Hyacinth buds emerging

If you’re admiring the Spring color in your area and are thinking about how to capture that in your own garden, it’s easier than ever before.  The majority of the flowers mentioned above, except the hellebores, are bulbs that need to be planted in the Fall.

The camera on your mobile phone and the web can help you match what you see with helpful information — check out catalogs, gardening sites and lifestyle or home and garden magazines to understand what you’d like to plant and where it does best (look for zone information and details about light, soil and watering requirements).

I’ve been practicing heirloom and organic gardening for more years than I can remember, and there are a growing number of sites dedicated to each — check out a couple on my Resources page. However, take care to read the descriptions. As with most gardens (my own included), heirlooms may be mixed with  more modern varieties.

Take notes.  Check garden centers and websites as early as June or July to order bulbs for Fall planting. Good catalog sites will ship the items timed with the optimal planting schedule in your zone and area.

The best thing about planting Spring plants is that they generally go into the ground while you can still see the plants and perennials around them, if you live in an area where frost kills back plants. This saves a world of troubles by avoiding digging up plants you love, but may forget the exact placement of come Spring.