Dear Friend and Gardener,
I have learned through my online friendships with many garden bloggers that spring comes late to my part of the world. Friends around the country (and the world) speak of snowdrops blooming when mine are buried under snow, and show off their daffodils while I am waiting for my first crocuses to open up.
Psychological warfare on my own behalf
We cold climate gardeners are hardy souls but these are the times that try them. I have learned to exercise psychological warfare on my own behalf. It isn’t enough to have early-blooming bulbs like crocus. No, I am constantly searching for the earliest of the early, and planting them where the snow melts first. Odyssey Bulbs is a good source of such extra early bulbs. I bought these ‘Lemon Tiger’ crocuses from them last fall and they are the only crocuses now blooming in my garden.
Not only did I plant crocuses that bloom earlier than those commonly available, but I made sure to plant them in a warm spot visible from the house.
It takes true grit
Since these crocuses are in a garden bed (and pretty expensive for crocus) I took extra precautions against rodent-pillaging when I planted them, a tip I first read in the Old House Gardens newsletter. I used grit under the corms:Then I covered them with additional grit:
Chicken grit, to be precise
The grit I am talking about is chicken grit.It comes in two sizes: starter and developer layer. The starter is finer and is what I used for crocuses.
Be part of the solution
I planted over 700 crocuses in the lawn over the past two years, and none of them are blooming yet, so these few early-starters help me wait until the big show starts. But I shouldn’t have to wait so long. Every week when my husband and I “go to town” to do errands, I crane my head (while he drives) searching for crocuses in the front yards of the two-zones-warmer metropolitan area, to no avail.
Why don’t more people consider planting crocuses a public mental health service? All those lawns going to waste, when they could be planted with crocus, or Siberian squills, or glory-of-the-snow. It’s a travesty!
Dear friend and gardener, don’t be part of the problem; be part of the solution. Resolve to plant some small bulb like crocus, Siberian squill (Scilla siberica), or glory-of-the-snow (Chionidoxa) in your lawn by the hundreds this fall. Yes, I said hundreds. Thousands would be even better! Your neighbors and those who drive by will thank you for it.
Posted for the Virtual Garden Club. If you grow your own food, flowers, or herbs and have a garden blog (or start a garden blog), we would love to have you join in. Just go to the home page for Dear Friend and Gardener, grab the badge, put it on your blog with a link back to the club page. Then post about your garden about once a month during the growing season. We want to hear all about your growing adventures. Let Dee know you’ve joined, and she’ll include a link to your blog on the club page. That’s it!