A Few First of the Year Bloomers

“A Few First of the Year Bloomers”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Warmer temperatures are on the way for this coming week, but already there are early spring bloomers showing up.




I noticed the first wild violet while strolling around today.  I know many people dislike them because they can be so invasive, but we don’t have a problem with them.  Just a few show up in the lawn here and there, and the sweet little flowers are welcomed.




The first of the oxalis has shown up.  Now, this has become a very invasive weed in the garden.  While I do think the flowers are pretty, they are, for the most part, not worth it.  The only way to really get rid of this weed is to dig it up and remove the little bulbs.  I have had oxalis grow up through ten inches of pine mulch, so heavy mulching won’t help, and I don’t use herbicides.   But, with only one showing up among the agapanthus when there are few other flowers showing, I can appreciate the bloom, however, that won’t save it.  Next time I am in the garden, out it goes.



  1. Brenda Kula said,

    January 25, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    If it blooms, I like it. Usually. I have the purple oxalis, and when Nola of Alamo North was visiting me this past week, she wanted some, so I divided it. I love that particular one. And it has barely grown, so I don’t think it’s going to be invasive in the spot I have it. But, I could be wrong….

    • Jan said,

      January 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm

      Brenda, I believe you are right about the purple leaved oxalis being better behaved. In fact, I am considering planting them in the entry garden. I love the little flowers of the ones I have, but they are just too invasive to let stay.

      Kylee, the oxalis usually dies down in the heat and the bulbs can be pretty deep. I am in zone 8, and it survives the occasional temp. drop in the teens. I don’t think cold weather will kill it.

      Racquel, I know I am lucky to have some new flowers to look at. After reading so many blogs where there is still so much cold weather, I know southern gardeners are fortunate.

  2. January 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Jan! Violets can be invasive here, too, but I love them, so I usually leave them undisturbed. That oxalis is so pretty! How hardy is it?

  3. Racquel said,

    January 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Wild violets and Oxalis are quite invasive in my neck of the woods too. But I do leave a few violets here and there cause the tiny flowers are quite sweet. Lucky you to have some warmer temps coming and some early bloomers.

  4. Tessa said,

    January 26, 2009 at 12:51 am

    You know what they say…get while their young! Good luck and I’m glad you don’t use chemicals 🙂

    • Jan said,

      January 26, 2009 at 5:17 am

      Tessa, it is better to get them while they are young, but sometimes with the oxalis, it is easier when they are big. The bulbs are easier to dig out. I wish more people would not use chemicals. I don’t really have any garden problems that can’t be dealt with without resorting to chemicals.

      Katarina, I agree with you. I think the violets are so sweet and old-fashioned. I often pick them and make a tiny bouquet for a small vase.

      Andre, yes, I think Sweden will be several weeks behind us when it comes to the first new flowers popping out. Just enjoy mine until yours appear.

  5. Katarina said,

    January 26, 2009 at 1:04 am

    The wild violets are a very welcome sight in my garden each year. I don’t mind their spreading – they are so cute! And quite easy to remove should they become too big.

  6. andré said,

    January 26, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Lucky you who have early spring bloomers in your garden in January (although invasive!). I guess we have to wait a few more weeks here…

  7. Janet said,

    January 26, 2009 at 6:08 am

    I too like the violets and oxalis. I have a few violets, if the bunnies haven’t eaten them. There is a yard in our area that is so covered with the oxalis, it is a sea of pink in the spring. I like it, but it isn’t my yard!

    • Jan said,

      January 26, 2009 at 8:23 am

      Janet, we have not only the pink oxalis but also the yellow wood sorrel coming up in several lawns. It can be pretty, but if it doesn’t stay out of the flower beds, I don’t want it. I’ll keep the violets though since they are not invasive for me.

      Tyra, yes there is hope that spring will be coming.

      Tina, for us with all the warm weather we have been having, it seems spring is just about here.

      Randy, I am sure yours aren’t too far behind ours. I know you’ve been wanting spring to be here ASAP.

  8. Tyra said,

    January 26, 2009 at 6:17 am

    How wonderful Jan, they are so beautiful, there is hope after all! / Tyra

  9. tina said,

    January 26, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Spring is near….

  10. Randy said,

    January 26, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Jan, I’m so jealous! You have spring flowers!

  11. January 26, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Hi Jan, It’s been so long since I’ve been to your blog. Sorry about that:) It’s so hard trying to keep up with everyone & everything! I have those same wild violets in my backyard. They aren’t ‘up’ yet, but boy, I regret having put them in. My neighbor with a lot of woods gave me some a few years ago. Well, last summer they were all over. It looked nice, in many ways, but they have such tough roots with long runners and they go fairly deep as well. They spread like crazy. I have tried digging them out but if a tiny piece is left behind they just won’t die! I have no idea how I’m going to get them out, because I want to put an actual garden area where they are growing. I’ve never had oxalis and now I know I never will! Thanks for sharing that, I don’t need more problems on my hands. I agree, the flowers are pretty…but it’s not fun when a plant takes over, I feel your pain.

    • Jan said,

      January 26, 2009 at 10:33 am

      Jan, I know a lot of gardeners don’t like wild violets for the very reason you cite. We are lucky that they have not been a problem. I don’t know why they don’t spread like they do in other places. Maybe it’s our hard clay soil.

      Sylvia, you have said exactly what the problem with oxalis is – you have to get every little, tiny bulb. They have taken over a patch of rain lilies, and I have dug up everything twice. It seems it is back this year. I am thinking about digging everything up and throwing it all away.

  12. Sylvia (England) said,

    January 26, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I don’t mind the volunteer nature of violets because the are fairly easy to dig up but Oxalis is more of a problem. If you miss the tiniest piece of bulb it will grow again. I have the purple leaved one with yellow flowers and yes I would prefer to see it gone but I think it will take a long time!

    Good luck with yours Jan. Best wishes Sylvia

  13. Miranda Bell said,

    January 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    These are just such beautiful pictures and what delicate little flowers… wonderful!

    • Jan said,

      January 26, 2009 at 5:36 pm

      Miranda, these are sweet little flowers, and the colors are esp. lovely at this time of year. I was so glad to see them on a gray, dreary day. They really lifted my spirits.

      Debbie, I hope you do see them soon in your garden since that would mean spring is very near. I think everyone is a little tired of winter by now.

  14. Debbie said,

    January 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Glad to hear you don’t use chemicals. I like violets in the garden. Maybe soon I will see them blooming in my yard!
    Debbie – Garden Thyme with the Creative Gardener

  15. January 26, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Brenda’s experience is like mine, Jan. Neither the dark-purple leaved oxalis nor the light green/white flowered oxalis have been invasive so far (4+ years at this house), but some friends have a different opinion of that pink one in your garden!
    As to violets – they were everywhere in Illinois but so far I haven’t seen any in Austin. That doesn’t mean they’re not here – just not grown by people that I know…. and in spring they are missed.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    • Jan said,

      January 27, 2009 at 5:40 am

      Annie, I think the cultivated ones are better behaved than the wild ones are. Though, I think some of mine that is growing in the garden beds came with soil that was added to the beds. I have even had it pop up in containers. The wild violets are the only ones I see. My sister is the only person I know of that still grows garden violets, and they don’t spread all over like the wild ones will. It is a shame that such pretty flowers can be so invasive.

  16. January 28, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Like Brenda said, anything with a beautiful bloom would be okay for me, but for few weeks and it’d come out in few days as I don’t want them gulping my main plants’ food. I love the violet – a pretty bloom!

    • Jan said,

      January 29, 2009 at 8:06 pm

      Chandramouli, the violets don’t bother me, but the oxalis is a pain and must come out. I’m trying, but it is going to take a long time I am afraid.

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