Plan Ahead for the First Flowers of Spring

Where I live, in zone 4, the ground is frozen solid for at least 4 months of the year. So by late March or early April, I’m outdoors daily, looking for signs of spring.

What a joy it is to see the first snowdrops and crocus poking up through the frozen earth. How do they do it? Not only is the soil still hard as a rock, but one day there’s nothing at all and the next day there are flowers and honeybees.



Species crocus and snowdrops always bloom first, but it’s never much more than a week or two before they’re joined by chionodoxa, iris reticulata and scilla siberica. I depend on all of these early-blooming cuties to entertain me while I’m waiting for the big show of daffodils, hyacinths and tulips.

It’s impossible not to admire these brave little flowers. I’ve seen them mashed by snow and frozen solid by zero-degree nights. No matter. As soon as there’s a warm ray of sun, they’re back.


Even the tiniest garden has room for some of these early bloomers. They’re inexpensive and you can plant a hundred of them in about 5 minutes. All are good naturalizers, too. Less winter and more spring? I’ll take it!