Another warm day and we jump ahead a week (and I’m sure we’ll take three steps back tommorow). Generally I prefer a long drawn out spring, but at this point I’ll take anything we can get, even if it means fast-forwarding through the season. Five days ago the bunny buffet officially opened with its first crocus bloom and now a second sunny day has brought out the rest of the snow crocus (mostly crocus chrysanthus types).
These are what remains of a fall 2012 planting <for more planting details click here> of about 200 snow crocus and maybe 150 tommies (crocus tommasinianus). The tommies are not yet up but are supposed to be better spreaders and less tasty to all things which love crocus as much as I do. Unfortunately Pennsylvania rabbits must be a less refined bunch since in my experience they mow down all crocus equally.
I don’t mow this patch of thin grass until late, so waiting for the crocus foliage to die off naturally is no problem, but if you are a mower keep in mind that the crocus need to grow for five or so weeks after blooming in order to build up next year’s blooms. Because the rabbits were so brutal on both bloom and foliage last year I didn’t think I’d see any flowers this year, but fortunately they came through even if a little weaker. Luckily the snowdrops are not at all tasty to bunnies.
I of course did not follow the rules of common sense last year and ended up adding more new and expensive snowdrops to my garden. They’re just as white and drop-shaped as my free snowdrops and all the other ones I have, but they’re much much better 🙂
Another new bulb added last fall is iris “Katherine Hodgkin”. Everyone loves Katherine for her subtle colors and intricate patterns…. except me. I have a lower class of taste and of course prefer the brightest colors, and this one doesn’t show up as well as I’d like. My mother of course will like it, and my wife too if she ever happens out into the garden before May, but I on the other hand say “meh.” Hopefully our children will not inherit their taste from me but will instead be the perfect blend of well rounded, refined, garden loving young adults. Optimism is one of the highlights of spring.
A couple more warm days and all the early bulbs will be blooming. Crocus are a favorite and along the warm south side of the house the first of the plump and bright dutch hybrids are opening. I wish they lasted longer, but nothing lasts forever and when spring turns warm and sunny I always make a point of getting out to see them.
Yesterday was beautiful, today not so much. I want to get out there and clean up but don’t want the neighbors judging me for gardening in the cold, gray drizzle. Looking at the forecast, Easter Sunday is supposed to be the most promising day, but Godless and crazy is probably a worse label than just plain old crazy so maybe I’ll try and get a few things cut back and cleaned up before then. Fortunately I was out there last weekend for a start (the backyard snow melted briefly before the latest batch came down, so I rushed out to do some raking and trimming!)
It’s going to be a lazy cleanup this year, I can feel it already. Electric hedge trimmer to cut everything back, mower to go over it once to chop, mower bag emptied on the beds to cover up all the leaves and bits which I didn’t bother raking out. Done. I need more time to transplant and divide, and gift plants with shovelfuls of compost. Plus the mulched debris will keep down many of the self sowers, and I think last year’s “riot” of volunteers was a little messier than I want this year. Always have to keep things changing!
Best springtime and Easter wishes to all, enjoy the weekend!