A couple of years ago, I told you to choose your fall-planted bulb locations now, when the snow is just beginning to melt. Of course, it helps to have snow. We finally got some, and I thought you’d like to know I’m following my own advice.
I went around the yard, camera in hand, taking pictures of places where the snow melted first, and making mental notes of what I’d like to plant there.
These two bare strips in the lawn would be good for very early blooming bulbs
In the photo above, the snow has disappeared from two long strips along the driveway. For a very early show to greet commuters returning home, I think I will plant…
These crocuses bloom every year at our previous house. (c)Cadence Purdy
… crocuses of all kinds and bloom times. In our climate, at least, the foliage has pretty much died down by the time the lawn needs its first mowing. In some years, we did have to let the Crocus Bank
at the old house get a bit shaggy, I concede. But it’s worth it to be cheered up in March and April.
Yellow and white blooms show the best from a distance, but I love all the colors, so that’s what I would plant. I’d probably start with mixes of snow crocus–the earlier ones–and Dutch crocus–the bigger, later ones, and then add some individual varieties to the mix. I will look for crocus varieties noted for fragrance, and like Gail did at Clay and Limestone, I want to plant lots of “Tommies” (Crocus tommasinianus) because they are reputed to be rodent resistant. So far, Gail has found them to be so.
To Be Seen From the Road
These evergreen trees border a parking area close to the road.
To the right is a parking area up close to the road. The pine trees border it and there is a tractor path behind it, seen on the left side of the photo. There is no lawn in this area, so a larger bulb that takes longer to die down would be appropriate here. To greet the neighbors driving by, and the guests who park here, I think I will plant…
These daffodils from the old homestead will feel right at home in the new one
…daffodils. Taking a page from Fairegarden’s
book, I will dig up daffodils from the garden at my previous house and plant them where they “need” to go around here. So far I have seen maybe three daffodil shoots at our current home, and swaths are called for. Fairegarden includes many good ideas for suitable companion plants for daffs, but planting them in borders will come later for me. First I need to make the borders! Cornell University also has some great bulb and perennial combinations
When Early Isn’t Early Enough
The best place for the earliest bulbs
Next, the photo above illustrates the perfect place for the very earliest bulbs, to get the earliest show. There is a narrow garden bed between the garage and a stone path. The garage provides shelter and some residual heat. The stone walkway absorbs heat and then releases it. For the earliest possible bloom in my short season, cold climate, I will plant…
Crocus korolkowii 'Lucky Number' is my earliest blooming crocus.
‘Lucky Number’ crocus from Odyssey Bulbs and winter aconites
Winter aconite (Eranthis sp.)
and also the Giant Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii
) plus some of the ‘S. Arnott’ snowdrops
Galanthus 'S. Arnott' blooms early for me.
which I mentioned in my post about warm micro-climates
Each shrub has a spot near it that melts first.
Finally I turned my attention to the border planted by the previous owner. I don’t yet know everything that’s planted in this bed, but I do notice that some of the shrubs have an area near each of them where the snow melts sooner. I think I will plant…
actually, I haven’t made up my mind. Since it is a cultivated area, something that needs a bit more pampering, or is a bit more rare and I wouldn’t want it to get overwhelmed by lawn grass, would be suitable here. What do you suggest?