Early spring flowers are some of the most refreshing, uplifting blooms in the garden. They appear after the cold, grey days of winter and bring vibrant color to the landscape just when we seem to need them. They make absolutely lovely flower essences, but their blooming season is so short that we must be diligent to capture them quickly before the flowers fade. Here are a few to watch for in your area.
Daffodils and Narcissus
The daffies start blooming a week or so before the narcissus here and start fading sooner. Capture their essences in early spring. We’re near the end of daffodil season here, but folks in colder zones than ours will start seeing them in the next few weeks.
Alpine and Garden Strawberries
This might not be true for every location, but in our area, the strawberries are already flowering. Check your plants daily for signs of new flowers so you can be ready to make flower essences when they start blooming.
We’re pretty near the end of the crocus-flowering season, but you can still see a few late bloomers blooming in our area. You can also gather autumn-flowering crocus essences in the fall season.
Hyacinths fade pretty quickly once they have fully opened their flowers, so once you start seeing flowers opening, be prepared to do some essence-capturing any day. I like to wait until at least the top 2/3 of the flower spike has opened before capturing the flower essence.
Grape hyacinths bloom with the other hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils in our area. They’ll bloom a bit longer if kept in partial shade. They fade with the daffies, so keep an eye on them so you don’t miss them at their peak.
Rosemary flowers are one of the first blooms I start to see in my garden when the winter season starts to come to an end. This is a great time to start checking your local plants for blooms.
Sweet violets bloom in late winter to early spring, up through the days when the sun starts to feel a lot warmer. Some violets will re-bloom in the cool of autumn, but they’re really best gathered in the spring.
Pansies and Violas
All kinds of pansies and violas are happily nodding about in our local gardens. They start flowering in late winter and will bloom almost year-round, so you aren’t particularly limited to the early spring weeks. However, they do tend to look especially happy this time of year.
My tulips started blooming only just this week, so we’re still pretty early in the tulip season. They tend to start flowering right around the time when the daffodils are starting to look a little spent here.
Pear and Cherry Blossoms
Flowering pear and cherry trees are filling our spring days with color and fragrance this season (though the flowering pears don’t have a very pleasant smell!). This is the perfect time to capture their essence.
Early flowering blueberry varieties are currently blooming and preparing to open their flowers in our area. Check your local varieties to see which ones are flowering where you are. Harvest sparingly – every pollinated flower makes a blueberry fruit, so harvesting many reduces your berry yield.
Early Flowering Clematis
Most clematis will be blooming later on in the spring, but a few early-flowering varieties will be opening their blooms in the coming weeks. This evergreen clematis is far ahead of my other varieties and is looking especially lovely right now.
You’ll want to source blooms from herbicide-free areas when you make dandelion flower essences (or really any dandelion-based remedies). They’re blooming in abundance in the PNW right now, but be sure to leave plenty behind for the pollinators as dandy flowers are one of their main food sources in the early spring.
If you grow Phalaenopsis orchids in your home, you’re most likely to see fresh blooms in the early spring weeks. My re-blooming Phal’s are currently flowering and have 3-5 open flowers each right now, with more buds preparing to open in the coming weeks.