Garden Photo of the Day

Spring Discoveries

Unexpected blooms in a new garden

close up of purple hyacinths

Hi, this is Joseph in Indiana. I moved into my house about a year and a half ago, and the yard was a completely taken over by masses of invasive weeds: honeysuckle and knotweed. So I cleared all that out, and now that they are gone, I’m finding all kinds of treasures. Sometime since the 1940s when the house was built, a gardener must have lived on and loved this little urban lot, because all kinds of long-lived treasures are popping up and enriching my spring.

close up of purple hyacinthsThese hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis, Zones 4–8) somehow survived years of being smothered by weeds. Last spring they were just foliage, but they’re bouncing back now wonderfully and are covered with fragrant blooms. I have no idea what the variety is, of course, but I’m thrilled with how vigorous they are. I can’t wait to start dividing them and spreading them over the garden so I can enjoy their fragrance.

close up of small peony budPeonies are survivors. There were a few peonies on the property when I moved in, but the shade of weeds had reduced them to just a few wisps of foliage. But now, with a little love and more sun, they’re coming back, and this one even has a flower bud! I can’t wait to see what it looks like and to watch it really start bulking up in the years to come.

close up of small blue and white glory-of-the-snow flowersLast year I had just one or two blooms of long-suffering glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa forbesii, Zones 3–8). But free from weeds, they’ve transformed into a carpet of bloom this year.

close up of purple primrosesI’ve been adding my own plants, of course, like these primroses (Primula hybrids, Zones 3–8) I grew from seed.

large planting of purple and white primroses with daffodils behindI grew a LOT of primroses from seed. I wish I had planted them closer together so they’d make a solid carpet, but maybe next year.

close up of hoop-petticoat daffodilsThese little hoop-petticoat daffodils (Narcissus ‘White Petticoat’, Zones 5–8) are tiny and delicate. I love how they look, but maybe they aren’t in the right place, as they’re a bit easy to overlook.

close up of light yellow daffodilsNarcissus ‘Trena’ is in the bed between my sidewalk and the street.  I love the nodding flowers held up over the foliage.

close up of purple Pasque flower Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris, Zones 4–8) is a favorite. I love the early blooms and the way the silky hairs on it glow in the sun.


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  1. User avater
    musabasjoosue 04/20/2023

    What a perfect reward for all your hard work! Thanks for sharing it with us, Joseph.

  2. MohawkValley 04/20/2023

    Very nice surprises to your purchase of the property ! And next year , things will even be better ! That's the thanks one gets for giving them the opportunity to thrive again . Great inspirations to build upon ... Peace from the Mohawk Valley in central NY .

  3. sandyprowse 04/20/2023

    A wonderful and uplifting story Joseph. Love the photograph of the Pasque Flower. Keep up the excellent work!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 04/20/2023

    It's so nice to find surprises come up from whoever lived there before you, and to bring it back to life by clearing the way for the sun to reach the Peonies again, etc.
    The glory-of-the-snow - oh wow! I just bought some for Autumn and look forward to having what you have!
    Never heard of a Pasque flower before its so exotic- super interesting.
    I had no idea how gorgeous a mass planting of Primrose could be!

  5. Oxdriftgardener 04/20/2023

    Great story Joseph. You must have taken a lot of care while removing all those weeds to have such healthy survivors. I know if I tackled the job there would be nothing but more weeds seeding back in . Be proud!

  6. shegardens 04/20/2023

    “Maybe they aren’t in the right place, as they’re a bit easy to overlook.” I’ve always used the out-of-the-way spring bloomers as an excuse to wander—repeatedly— around our property to check on what might have popped up overnight, to uproot some persistent dandelions, to dream about companions for next year. If the neighbors ask what I’m up to, I have an answer they can relate to.(The little girls next door have asked if I lost something!) “Checking on our new Lenten rose” makes sense to them. Wearing a path in my lawn in April, not so much. :)

  7. sheila_schultz 04/20/2023

    Let the new adventure continue! I used to want to get everything planted quickly, but as I age I am enjoying the process more. It is always such a delight to see a plan come together... then figure out more possibilities! I am in awe of your delicate Pasque flower, it is a true beauty. Enjoy this adventure, Joseph.

  8. btucker9675 04/20/2023

    What wonderful surprises! It's always a treat to walk our gardens in Spring noticing each new little growth each day. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos.

  9. jos29803 04/20/2023

    Joseph, you're obviously enjoying your new home and bringing to life all those treasures with your TLC. Continued success and I look forward to more great photos and finds.

  10. Alid1988 01/12/2024

    Get ready to scream!: geometry dash world is back with a vengeance! New story, new levels, new pain... I mean, FUN! Prepare to rage (and love) your way through these insane challenges. ️

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