Thank goodness spring has arrived! OK, so technically the vernal equinox is four days away, but you know what I mean: it's warming up, birds are nesting, and our plant friends are looking alive again, so I'm calling it. I'm so happy winter's over, I'm even trying to accept losing an hour to Daylight Savings Day more gracefully. (Trying. Normally, I whine for weeks.) On to the blooms! First, the roses.
'Lady Banks' was the first to bloom. She's covered in buds, but this cluster's the first to open. She's planted in a spot she could quickly outgrow. I fear massive trellises and pruning will be in order soon.
'La Marne' was the second to bloom. I love her sweet, simple blossoms and her red-tipped leaves.
'Old Blush' was the third to bloom. I spotted this blossom after dark on Saturday and shot it on Sunday.
I have six other roses that have no flowers--yet. 'Mutabilis' has buds but no blooms, and 'Carefree Delight', 'The Fairy', 'Chrysler,' 'Dame du Coeur' and 'Buff Beauty' have yet to set buds. All have put on tons of new growth, though, and look positively fantastic after winter's freezes (my, how I love my hardy, antique and Earth-Kind roses!). They'll be featured in April's GBBD.
In my garden, no March GBBD would be complete without a vegetable gone to seed. This year I have a lovely red bok choy that never produced enough choy for a proper stir fry. In fact, none of the bok choy I've planted ever has, but I plant it every year nonetheless. Aren't its blossoms lovely?
(We're eating the rest of the cruciferous veggies, particularly the 'Packman' and 'Green Magic' broccoli, quickly, before it bolts.)
Next up, the bulbs. The Southern grape hyacinths were the first, but they bloomed last month, so they don't count toward this month's GBBD. 'Erlicheer' daffodils were the next to bloom, and while they're on the tail end of their short season, they're still going, as this picture testifies. I'd like to plant a million more of these--if I win the Texas Lotto, maybe I will!
The summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant') were the second to bloom, and this is the first of the bunch, a teenager in nearly full shade. The newbies in full sun and the oldsters in dappled shade have foliage, but no blooms.
Last but not least, we have "the rest." The '"May Night' salvia (Salvia nemorosa 'Mainacht') is remarkable in that it's the first of my many, many salvias to bloom. Given its name, I guess you could say it's two months early. This is a passalong plant that's done very well, from my mother-in-law in Northern Virginia.
The coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is fully leafed out and blooming. Hummingbirds will be soon be passing through on their return flight from Mexico to parts north, and this vine never fails to attract them. Unlike Japanese varieties, this honeysuckle won't attempt to take over your entire universe, or your neighbors'.
The four-nerve daisies, also known as hymenoxys (Tetraneuris scaposa) are back in full force after a brief winter lull. They've re-seeded everywhere and will bloom nonstop to the first hard freeze.
Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Visit her GBBD page and look at what's blooming in March gardens all over the world.
Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.