Calling it a crocus meadow might be overselling things a bit, but I like to think of my little plantings last fall as the start of something bigger…. even though right now its main function seems to be rabbit buffet.
Of course a green background of lush grass would make a nicer setting than the current dried tan, but even this little burst of early spring color is most welcome at a time when everything else is still on the sidelines, waiting for the weather to make up its mind.
The meadow wasn’t much of an investment. All the bulbs were purchased for around $30 with shipping from Van Engelen during their post-Thanksgiving clearance sale (an awesome sale btw). I chose the species grand collection which included (50) Blue Pearl, (50)Cream Beauty, (50)Goldilocks, (50)Purity and (50)Ruby Giant. A pack of 100 Crocus tommasinianus also ended up in the shopping cart. I got some great clearance prices but even pre-sale they still would have been a good deal. You just have to be able to meet their minimum order since they are a bulk seller.
Cold weather and 350 small bulbs in need of planting doesn’t sound like a good combination but I tried a new (to me) planting method. Someone on the bulbs forum on Gardenweb suggested using a masonary hammer for planting and I figured I’d give it a shot. Using the sharp end you swing it into the ground, pull back, drop in a bulb or two, hit the hole closed with the hammer end and you’re done. Repeat 300 times. It only took me a couple minutes and only cost me one blister on my hammer hand. I like the results!
One problem has been the rabbits, they love the fresh crocus blooms and every now and then mow down part of the display. Oh well, as long as the crocus live to bloom another day. Another crocus bloom killer is the little girl who lives here and her playmates. Once the fun of the egg hunts ended the kids spent a good hour making bouquets and delivering them to the neighbors. How could I say no to that?
I didn’t plant any of the big purple and blue hybrid crocus, I was trying for a species look and I suppose I got that. For now they’re out, but I’ve seen lawns with the bigger types naturalized and they do look great.
I did sneak in a couple spare snowdrops.
I plan on adding other bulbs this fall. Maybe a few of the early (short) daffodils, possibly a few alliums that will bloom amongst the uncut grass, maybe a couple other things. Right now the only bulb on the definitely transplant list is this scilla mischtschenkoana (trust me I googled that spelling). It’s another early bloomer that I hope will do well in the grass.