General Discussion:

First signs of spring?


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Patricia17-Dec-05 01:54 PM EST 5a   
Nancy19-Dec-05 04:46 PM EST 5   
Patricia 19-Dec-05 06:08 PM EST 5a   
carol24-Dec-05 04:02 PM EST 5b   
Ed27-Dec-05 12:38 PM EST 5   
Nancy17-Jan-06 02:03 PM EST 5   
Patricia17-Jan-06 05:50 PM EST 5   
Nancy18-Jan-06 01:26 PM EST 5   


Subject: First signs of spring?
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5a
Date: 17-Dec-05 01:54 PM EST

Where do you live and what do you consider to be the first sign of spring in your garden? Here, just outside Ottawa, we have a very sheltered spot on the south side of our house where, if we are lucky, crocuses will bloom the last week of March or the first week of April.


Subject: RE: First signs of spring?
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 19-Dec-05 04:46 PM EST

Ah, dreaming of spring already!!!!

I'm tempted to say the first real sign of spring at our house is the emergence of the leavings from our next door neighbour's dog out of the melting snow on my front lawn...... but it's really when I start seeing the first signs of the Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum)poking up through the leaves in my rock garden, where the warm sun melts the snow first.

That's usually in early March, as soon as there's gaps in the snow.


Subject: RE: First signs of spring?
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5a
Date: 19-Dec-05 06:08 PM EST

Nancy - where are you located? I was given ornithogalum bulbs - and told to plant very deep, like 10 inches - they did fine and then we lifted them in the fall. You say you are in Zone 5 and it sounds like you leave them in all year.


Subject: RE: First signs of spring?
From: carol
Zone: 5b
Date: 24-Dec-05 04:02 PM EST

The first sign of spring use to be seeing the first Robin, but here it is Dec. the 24th and I have Robins in my pear tree. I guess I feed the birds to well for them to fly South for the winter. So much for tht old wise tale. Merry Christmas and Happy New year to everyone.


Subject: RE: First signs of spring?
From: Ed
Zone: 5
Date: 27-Dec-05 12:38 PM EST

A chipmunk straggler daily dining on sunflower seeds beneath the bird feeder is a first in my experience of over 25 years. In past years all had hibernated well before winter and certainly before snowfall. Watching this lone critter scampering over (or even through freshly fallen ) snow seems to suggest that hibernating might be a waste of time.


Subject: RE: First signs of spring?
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 17-Jan-06 02:03 PM EST

Hi Patricia,

Sorry, but I don't check in here very often.

We're just north of Ajax, east of Markham........firmly zone 5.

My Ornithogalums came with the house when we moved in. Am not sure of the particular species, but these ones are actually rather invasive, with huge patches of them spread throughout my rock gardens and creeping into my lawn. They seem to be hardy as all get out. I've dug out several big clumps and the larger bulbs are about 5 to 6 inches below the surface. I have to make sure that I deadhead to remove the seedpods, 'cause they self seed on me like crazy.

Could be that some of the fancier varieties are less hardy.


Subject: RE: First signs of spring?
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 17-Jan-06 05:50 PM EST

The kind I have is the kind that florists sometimes sell (or Loblaws) with the name Chincherinchee. A white flower in clusters on a tall stem, from South Africa, related to hyacinths. Is that what you have? If yes, I won't lift them any longer, just leave them in the ground like you do.


Subject: RE: First signs of spring?
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 18-Jan-06 01:26 PM EST

Hi Patricia,

I did some searches on the web and I think I have O. umbrellatum. Here's a good site on it: http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/otgum.htm

Yours is also known as O. thyrsoides, and much showier and much more tender. One site I found listed it as hardy only to zone 7.

In other words, keep bringing them in for the winter.


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