The importance of immediate spring cleanup was made very clear to me at the end of last week and the beginning of this week. A number of my little spring bulbs and a few perennials have decided that it’s time to bloom and without the cleanup, it would be difficult to see them.

Galanthus elwesii with Helleborus

Galanthus elwesii with Helleborus foliage

Eranthis hyemalis

Eranthis hyemalis

My snowdrops (Galanthus) and Winter Aconite (Eranthis) have actually been blooming for a few weeks but were difficult to see under the dead stalks of my perennials and grasses.

Crocus tommasianus

Crocus tommasianus

Crocus vernus 'Pickwick'

Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’

Crocus chrysanthus 'Jeanne d'Arc'

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Jeanne d’Arc’

This week, several different crocus have made their appearance: C.tommasianus, a very tiny purple one that is supposed to be immune to squirrel predation; C.’Pickwick’, a lovely striped cultivar; and C.’Jeanne d’Arc’, a clear white.













Iris reticulata 'Cantab'

Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’

I’ve also been happy to see my Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’, a glorious shade of blue. I have to replant these every few years, probably because they need better drainage, but the effort is worth it.

Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant'

Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’

One of the stars of the shady moist garden is Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’). When they first bloom, they resemble snowdrops but by the end of this month, they will be twenty-four inches high. I love that they bloom for a month.

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen, technically corms, are divided into two groups, fall blooming and spring blooming and, of course, I have both. What they have in common, besides beautiful variegated foliage, is their ability to thrive in dry shade. Cyclamen coum, the spring bloomer, has tiny, bright pink flowers that are only one inch high but the color is so strong that you see them immediately.

Helleborus orientalis

Helleborus orientalis


Helleborus 'Joseph Lemper'

Helleborus ‘Joseph Lemper’


Helleborus 'Cinnamon Snow'

Helleborus ‘Cinnamon Snow’

Hellebores are always the first perennial to bloom. I have several different ones. Right now, the species H.orientalis is in bloom; some are rose; some are white. Also in bloom are ‘Cinnamon Snow’ and ‘Joseph Heller’. Some others are budded and will probably bloom within a few days.

I love that there is so much more to come. My hyacinths are well budded although still nestled way down in the foliage and the Narcissus and tulip foliage are up at least three inches. Ah, glorious Spring.