As Carol, founder and matriarch of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, noted in her post for this month, spring seems to be running a bit late. At this time last year, I showed pictures of 'Chocolate Chip' ajuga in bud, and added a last-minute picture of a flowering frittilary. This year, I don't see buds on either... yet.
But really, I'm not all that far off from last year. My beautiful 'Ivory Prince' hellebores are blooming, along with their 'Pine Knot Strain' cousins. And there is one early tulip in bloom. Outside of the aforementioned frit, a tulip and some hellebores were exactly what I had blooming in April 2007.
The petite beauty above is 'Shakespeare,' which Netherlands Bulb Company listed as t. greigii on the tag but which I see ID'd as t. kaufmanniana, native to Turkestan, elsewhere on the web.
I was initially a little dismayed at the pastel-but-bright orange color of 'Shakespeare,' since all of my other species tulips are supposed to bloom in various shades of red. But that quickly dissipated when I noted how well it echoed the color of my 'Peach Flambe' heuchera, and even the reddish tones in my beloved bergenia. Since nothing else is showing much color right now in the front yard, that works for me.
In the backyard, I now have TWO winter aconites and a handful of snowdrops blooming. Lots of other foliage is showing now, too, including 'Geranium' and 'Orangery' daffodils, and the uber-cheerful tulipa tarda.
Plants in bud include 3 different cherry trees, more species tulips, and blueberry bushes. In addition to those flower buds, I have leaf buds on many other plants (including my tree peony) and it doesn't appear at this point that I've lost anything of consequence to a rough winter after a drought-ridden summer. Which is enough to make any northern gardener happy in the spring!