Happy Spring 2015!

The spring equinox occurs today at 11.45pm here and our weather has certainly been spring-like. If you are still waiting for your snow to melt then be comforted – spring will come to you very soon. Gardeners are patient souls, so enjoy the last few days of dreaming and garden inactivity before the season sweeps you away!

EarlyHarvestTulips

My first tulips “Early Harvest” have been open for a few days now. During our partial solar eclipse this morning they actually closed up. It was amazing to watch as we had bright sunshine and clear skies. I didn’t have the special glasses to look at the sun, so I watched my tulips instead. Although there was only an hour or so when the light seemed slightly dimmed, the sun was still casting strong shadows. But the tulips closed… fascinating!

This tulip is a real winner. It opens very early, usually mid-March, on a short stem. Then the stem continues to grow as the flowers go on blooming and blooming, until April. They remain compact and sturdy, reaching about 25cm, so they would be ideal for containers too.

Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Early Harvest'

Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Early Harvest’

The glowing mandarin orange colour may appear brash – in fact I was unsure the first few years if I really liked it. This is the spring version of marigolds! However, on an overcast day they reflect light and continue to glow even at dusk. A gorgeous splash of colour against the bare soil.

EarlyHarvestTulips2

Happy Spring!

44 thoughts on “Happy Spring 2015!

  1. Hi Cathy, The more I read about your tulips, the better they sounded! They are really lovely. Fascinating to learn of them closing today during the eclipse! I wasn’t home to see what my flowers did, so now I’m wondering… Happy Spring!

    • They had just started opening in the bright sunshine, but around 10.30 it was noticeably dimmer and they had shut tight again! I bet the bees were disappointed as they had to wait!

  2. I haven’t been checking out others blogs for awhile, work and life have been too demanding! But first I need to tell you I love love love your header! As for spring, I am over the winter season, if I could I would move south tomorrow. It is currently snowing and has been since this morning. 8 inches of new snow. I know it will melt soon but the ground is still frozen.

    • Thanks Bonnie – good to hear from you. Your winter really is long this year. I hope it warms up really soon! We had such a long winter two years ago so I feel for you!

  3. Lovely tulips. How nice that you were able to enjoy the eclipse. Here it was so cloudy that we missed it. But Spring has definitely put in an appearance, this afternoon was beautiful

    • Most of Germany was cloud-free yesterday so we were lucky. In fact we have had some lovely spring weather on and off all month! Hope it is sunny for you this weekend Chloris. πŸ™‚

  4. Happy Spring to you too Cathy, your tulips are a lovely cheerful colour. We had cloud for the eclipse this morning but we did see the sun smile. πŸ™‚

  5. I think your tulips are the perfect color for spring, in fact a few bright pinks and purples mixed in would be perfect in my eye! Not exactly subtle, but I’m tired of the subtle grays and tans of winter.
    Fascinating to hear your eclipse stories, I’ve yet to be in the right place at the right time with the right weather to see anything more than a slight dimming of the sky.

    • That is it – at any other time of year i would shy away from these little orange beacons, but it is just what we need after a colourless winter! These are the earliest of all tulips, but it would be nice to have some early ones in another bold colour too.

  6. Happy Spring Cathy! Your tulips look so happy in the sunlight. Their response to the eclipse is so amazing. I don’t grow tulips often so didn’t realize they respond to darkness that way.

    • On a dull day they barely open, and when it rains too. They are enjoying some sunny weather again this morning though and should be opening up again soon!

  7. Happy Spring Cathy!! The tulips are beautiful, you have to be at least 2-3 weeks ahead of us as far as tulips blooming. I planted a bunch of tulips late last year and they have not even started to peak thru the ground yet. Enjoy your weekend!

    • Hi Michael! I can only just see a few leaves of the other tulips too. This one is usually a lot earlier than all the others. Have a good weekend!

  8. I also planted ‘Early Harvest’ last fall for the first time! Now I really can’t wait to see them blooming. My early tulips are just now sending their leaves up through the soil.

  9. I love tulips, Cathy, and I love spring! What a beautiful color. I think you’d be amused at my tulip story. Years ago I convinced myself that I could grow tulips and if I kept them in the shadier part of the garden they’d do fine. I nursed those bulbs and up they popped and I was so excited. I think they bloomed one day, and then with our heat they were gone. I’ve never grown them again–too disappointing–but it was so much fun anticipating them. I think it’s best I just really enjoy yours, and I do. πŸ™‚

    • That is a lovely story Debra and heart-warming to hear of your efforts! Such a shame you can’t grow them in your climate. After the winter season we are starved of colour and I often buy a bunch of tulips or daffodils from our shops to keep me going until my garden awakes! It is a wonderful feeling to see little shoots appearing out of the brown, leaf-strewn ground! πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Cathy, I think by this point in the year we are so eager for colour in the garden, orange is perfect! I always find myself craving acid green partnered with orange or purple but will have to wait a few weeks for that show to start. As for the eclipse, I had my colander ready to filter the images but awoke to leaden grey skies, which persisted call day!

    • A shame it was cloudy for the eclipse for you. There were plenty of images on the internet though, including one taken from a space station… quite stunning. Here it was just an eerie dimming of bright sunlight on a cloudless day – not as impressive as the total eclipse in 1999, but impressive nonetheless. I am also looking forward to the hundreds of different shades of green… if our weather continues to be so warm it may only be a month away before things start greening up!

  11. Wow, Cathy these are early tulips! I think we need bright colours in spring so orange is perfect; these might be good ones for me to look for as they obviously grow more quickly than others after their chilling. Happy Spring!

    • Yes, the earliest of them all. They would certainly be good for pots as they are so compact. I shall be looking out for other early ones in a different colour – yellow would be nice to go with the daffodils. πŸ™‚

  12. This is really interesting about the tulips during the partial solar eclipse. I have listened to our sparrows in that time, but they didnΒ΄t stop to chirp. But our crocusses need full sunshine for opening. Happy spring to all of us!

    • I also listened to see if the birds changed their tunes, but the blackbirds were as noisy as ever. I imagine plants are even more sensitive to slight changes than animals, but wonder what the bees made of it all!

  13. A most happy spring to you too Cathy! We’re all our starting blocks now. How fascinating to read that your tulips closed during the eclipse. There had been much mention in the media here about how birds would stop singing but no mention at all of how plant life would respond. We were in a rather murky and drizzly Cumbria where it was definitely a non event. However there had been spectacular shows of the Northern Lights just down the road from us a couple of days before.

    • I remember the total eclipse in 1999 and how the birds stopped singing. I’m glad I now saw that plants react too, as it will be the last eclipse in Europe in my lifetime I think!

  14. And a very happy spring to you too Cathy! I never thought to look at the flowers during the eclipse. I’m glad that you did… and that you shared it with those of us who were too busy looking at the sky.

    • I am now glad that I didn’t have the special glasses to look at the sun and was forced to look elsewhere. I tried to photograph the change in the light, but my camera was too intelligent and counterbalanced the dim sunlight! LOL!

  15. Those really are beautiful tulips Cathy! My Mom is from Holland and so our garden was always over flowing with tulips in the spring, and they are now a heartfelt favourite of mine. That is very interesting how they all closed up during the eclipse, nature is so incredible and fascinating like that! We are all wishing you a very happy spring too!

    • Thank you! I have always loved tulips and am so glad I can now grow them myself. One day I should love to see one of those Dutch fields full of them. I saw something that came near in England once, where small tulip farms in the east of England also grow them. No camera could do it justice!

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