Monday, April 21, 2008

Nearly the Last of this Year's Crocus

As I've mentioned in a couple of recent posts, the crocus have been on the wane in the last week or so, and these shots (taken Wed. 16 April) are probably going to be the last we'll see for this year. We're sad to see them go, of course, but their time is always brief as the true harbingers of Spring, and they do a remarkable job of setting the stage for the bulbs to follow ... and now with the daffodils are taking over center stage, with the tulips soon to follow...

Though I didn't get any new shots taken today (household tasks again got in the way), I did notice that more and more daffodils are opening, and the hyacinths are starting to take on their true colors ... and that 'Spanish Squill' (which I've discovered recently was a misnomer, as they are really in the hyacinth family) are growing profusely and apparently have spread since last year.

And with certain exceptions (the cold and rainy last few days), the weather looks to be cooperating to encourage a quite showy display for the tulips this year. We can't wait to see the masses of red, yellow and purple tulips yet to come, and with any luck, this year they'll be blooming upright this year, unlike last year's disaster. As I said, so far, so good, but with fickle Iowa Spring weather, anything can happen but this year I'm fairly confident that the worst is finally behind us.

The first shot here is of what I call the 'Buttery Yellow' snow crocus, which the more I see them, I'm more and more admiring of their simple beauty. Though a bit more subtle than their bright yellow, orange, gold and purple cousins, I think they really add something different to the mix with their tulip like Inner Bits and diminutive, unprepossessing presence among their showier relatives. I'm thrilled they have done so well and appear to be spreading out each year. The second shot shows the 'Pickwick' variety that I featured in an earlier post (though unopened). The veining on this variety is just lovely and carries a lot of variation from flower to flower, which makes them an even more fascinating addition to the early spring garden. Enjoy them now because they won't be back before next year!

P.S. We're now on 'Arum Watch' for the Dracunculus to emerge. No signs yet, but given this Spring's tardy arrival, doesn't seem unusual yet. We'll have the first signs up here when it does break ground, and are really looking forward to the shots we can get of it this year with the new S700! Yes, we're getting impatient too, and hope that we might get two blooms this year instead of one ... so stay tuned!


boran2 said...

Is there a cure for crocus envy?

FARfetched said...

Boran, I think you just have to wait for it to… um, "croak."


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hehe, B2 I think the only way to manage the condition is to buy about 100 bulbs, grab a trowel and start digging holes in your yard in the fall. They're small bulbs and don't have to go down too deep (about 3" or so) so you can plant a lot in a short amount of time. Bury those pups and wait patiently until spring! I know it's a time investment to plant, but after that they're virtually maintenance free (the kind of flowers everyone seems to want!)

FAR, *groan* :-) What does g/d/r mean? Or dare I ask?

olivia said...

LOL ... I've got crocus envy AND squill envy b2 ... :D

Thanks for the update on Mr Arum!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Toots! There's a reason I proselytize shamelessly for my favorites, hehe. Like I tell everyone, yeah, it's a bit of work at the start, but after that, it's all (as we say here) gravy! A nice fall afternoon (or two or three) digging holes and plugging bulbs in leads to greater rewards in the future, with next to no maintenance!

Oh yeah, and it also provides oodles of hope in the late winter months when you know that they will be appearing soon ... that alone is worth the initial price to me!

PS Mr. Arum is still sleeping.