Posted on: February 3, 2016 | Written By: Doug Oster |
Laying on my ample stomach on the soft, cool earth, I marvel at the first diminutive snowdrop blooms. The moistness of the ground starts to penetrate to my elbows, but I don’t care; a flower has bloomed and I’m going to soak in the moment.
“Spring is here,” I herald to anyone who will listen.
In reality I know that’s not true, but these little flowers signal the start of the season, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at us next. No matter how cold it gets, or how much snow is dumped on the garden, the snowdrops will just sit in suspended animation waiting patiently for milder temperature to return.
There are lots of different varieties of snowdrops in the same area staging their buds to bloom. The beautiful ‘Flore Pleno,’ with it’s double flowers will be next.
It’s always a guess as to when the first flowers will appear. Sometimes it’s January, February or March depending on the winter. That’s what makes them such an unexpected pleasure.
These little flowers would be insignificant if they bloomed mid summer. But three tiny flowers now are the queen of the garden.
I urge gardeners to mark their calender’s now for fall planting. Include snowdrops in the list of bulbs, and reap the glory of winter blooms.
Snowdrops can be a surprise this early, but seeing a snow crocus push through wet, brown oak leaves in mid-winter is also a joy. The colorless landscape is brightened by purple buds which will open to blue.
My only regret is there aren’t 300 more doing the same thing. Every season I plan to plant more, and with only a few emerging, I must remember the feeling of seeing them in winter and force myself to add more this fall.
Next to the purple crocus is one which has emerged in sky blue and soon other varieties will reach up toward the sun as it gets higher and stays longer each day.
These early blooming plants nurture the soul of any gardener and are well worth the time to try and include in the landscape.
Any thaw will bring with it sprouting bulbs that shouldn’t be up yet. Daffodils and tulips are two culprits that cause gardeners angst. At work yesterday, three people stopped to ask what they should do about the problem. The good news is, there’s nothing to do. First off, these plants have been dealing with fluctuating temperatures for centuries. In most cases they are just sending up foliage and the important flower bud stays below until it’s sure the coast is clear and it will stay warm enough to bloom.
That’s not always the case, but it’s rare that the buds will come up and freeze out.
As spring slowly approaches and the early bulbs bloom. Take note of where you need more of certain types.
You’ll be so happy you did next year at this time.