Way Ahead of Schedule

yellow and orange tulips
Tulips bloomed early in 2010.

The tulips in front of my house are in full bloom today — about three weeks to a month earlier than previous years. In 2009, I wrote about these on May 13, and commented that they had lingered longer than usual due to cool wet weather. On the same date in 2008, the blog noted that the purple tulips at the back of this photo were opening up.

blue and white scilla
Scilla or squill is one of the earliest bulbs to bloom in Minnesota.

Here it is April 15, and the full regalia of tulips are blooming. The squill (Scilla) that are among the earliest blooms in my yard have bloomed and faded. (The picture at right was taken almost a week ago.) Friends have commented that their crocus are done already and my next door neighbor’s azaleas are opening up. Magnolias all around town are in bloom. In back, the fritillaria look dainty and lovely. In 2009, these were in bloom around May 5.

Our “perfect” winter ended abruptly in mid-March, but it seems dicey to go ahead with spring planting because we are still a month from the last frost date for this area. I have planted some cool weather crops, of course, but am wondering: Has anyone taken the plunge and planted the rest of their garden in anticipation of no more frosts or cold weather? Who is a garden gambler? And, what have you done?

5 thoughts on “Way Ahead of Schedule

  1. My daffs have been blooming for two weeks and are now past their peak (last year they were just starting to bloom on this date) and my few remaining tulips opened yesterday.

    I haven’t planted anything yet — I am still figuring out what I want to grow myself, given that we are doing the CSA this year. I do like to have bunching onions to pick on the spur of the moment.

  2. The bulbs have been blooming early in St. Paul, too. I wish I had been keeping better records. This seems like a spring for surprises.

    Sunday, April 11, I swatted my first mosquito. And Monday, one of my lungworts started to bloom. That’s almost a month earlier than they were blooming in 2007.

    This time last year, my peonies were just starting to push out of the ground. This year, they are already 10 inches tall. Solomon’s Seal is also about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of last year’s schedule.

  3. I don’t mind seeing the early bulbs, except that I do fear that they will not last very long because of the heat. Oh well, can’t control the weather – and I’m not about to start dumping ice in my garden 🙂

    Those fritillaria are my faves. I have some growing for years, but the garlic chives ate them 🙁
    I will have to try to get more this fall.

  4. I decided to take a more precise measurement of my peonies. They are 24 inches tall, with buds forming.

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