Friday, May 1, 2009

Seasonal delights
Spring is a long time coming up north. Case in point: Crocus. Elsewhere, the crocus are long gone; in my garden they're just starting to wind down.

It's been a good crocus year. The large flowering
crocus (Crocus vernus) that I planted in the grassy berm near the road maybe a dozen years ago was gorgeous this past week. It's a mix of Flower Record, Jeanne d'Arc, King of the Striped and Yellow Mammoth I bought from John Scheepers. I don't remember exactly how many bulbs I planted. Maybe 500, many of which have now naturalized. I do remember planting them. With a trowel and a dandelion digger. In tough, clay soil. I'm sure I didn't plant them all as deep as recommended. After you do a few hundred, there's a tendency to get a little sloppy.

But this year it was all worth it. I managed to keep the rabbits and deer at bay -- for the most part. Regular applications of milorganite and Plantskydd helped, but nothing is foolproof. The lesson here is to overplant because you're bound to lose some.

More crocus

Nearer the house, we've enjoyed the species crocus. They bloom earlier than the large flowering crocus and have a more delicate demeanor. For some reason, the rabbits haven't bothered them. This variety is C. tommasinianus roseus.

And here is C. tommasinianus.

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