susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Croci or Crocuses?

Both are acceptable according to google (which knows everything 🙂
One is from Greek the other from Latin.
Which is which?
Does it even matter?

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Purple crocus are the first to emerge.
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Bi-color crocus are attractive.

This is as far as my flowers progressed
before snow came and
spring is on hold.


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Early Spring

We have had a bumper year for rain,
which after a drought is very welcome.
As soon as the rain lets up,
plants (including weeds) reach for the bits of sunshine.

I have been watching my crocus for years
and observed the various colored flowers bloom in a specific order:
yellow ones first, then the lavenders, next come purple and white striped,
then purples, and the pure white ones last.

Here is a crocus fact that I can vouch for from experience:
If you want to move the bulbs, wait until the blossoms are spent,
but before the leaves have died.
It is a short window of opportunity,
but the bulbs are easy to locate in the ground.
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Bergenia are starting to bloom.
This large-leaved groundcover has such pretty, delicate flowers.
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I know a little about hellebores,
like deer do not eat them and they love shade.
In contrast to the crocus, the white blossoms come first,
while the pink flowers are still budding.
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I have planted and divided and planted hundreds of daffodils around our plot of land.
All I see around the house are emerging leaf blades.
What a surprise to find these flowers near the driveway, closer to the county road.
On a south-facing slope, with little shade from trees,
the micro-climate here must be quite a bit warmer.


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The early flower gets .. rained on

Why would only two crocus bulbs flower and all the other ones wait over a week to bloom?
This is not even the sunniest location.

1st crocus

After some days of rain, the sun has encouraged more crocus to break their dormancy, and greet the winter sun.
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A week later, after days of rain, the sun re-emerged.
These same crocuses (croci?  I saw this plural someplace, did not make it up myself!) put out more blossoms.

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A few more bulbs bloomed

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And more are on the way

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Autumn Crocus

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Technical name for this beauty is colchicum which is in the lily family
It has no relation to crocus, in the iris family.
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Above, the buds are emerging from the ground in the same hole as their dead leaves did last spring.
There should be 3 to 4 times as many flowers as I see this year, because there were that many leaves a few months ago.  Perhaps this summer was too hot for the bulbs.  I understood these bulbs can take full sun, but apparently, I was mistaken.


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Purple Power

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With some warm days, early spring flowers have come into full bloom.

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These windflowers close up overnight, and in cool or wet weather.  But when the sun emerges or even on an overcast afternoon, they open to the warmth.

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It will soon be time to move crocus bulbs around.  Unlike most other flower bulbs, they are amenable to a change in location as soon as the flower dies, but before the leaves do.


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White Flowers Hyacinth and Crocus

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Did you know that the white hyacinth flowers before the blue or purple colored one?  Or that the purple crocus blooms before the white crocus?  I have been trying to figure out if the white colored specimens of a flower bloom first or later than the other colors of the same name.  Here it is early in the bloom season, and I already have two different bulb flowers that give me opposite information.  I can only conclude that there is no “theory of everything”.  Ever since Albert Einstein, physicists have been searching for a “Theory of Everything”, and perhaps Mother Nature has been trying to tell us all along that does not exist.

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Early Iris

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Early iris sure are short in stature, just like the bulb catalog claims.  It has been relatively warm and sunny for February, with the temps in the low 50 degrees F (barely over 10 degrees C).  Since the sun has come out the last couple of afternoons, the plants are basking in it.

These blooms were open in the early morning fog, while the crocus stayed closed.

Through the years I have planted so many bulbs in the ground.  Now, I have no idea what will come up where.  If I move a perennial from one location to another in a flower bed, too often, I find I have sliced bulbs with my shovel.  One time, I moved crocus bulbs to encircle perennials to solve over-crowding.  Then I intermixed some tulip bulbs with the crocus.  Now I find those, and other bulbs, showing up in interesting places.  I’ve heard of small animals, as mice and voles, moving bulbs around underground.  It seems to me, the rodents must see the bulbs as winter food to be stashed in case of need.


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Crocus and an Orgiastic Bee

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The green and white crocus leaves outnumber the current amount of flowers, so I am anticipating many more blooms.  Mr. Sun peeked out from the overcast sky just a few times today, and the plants do feel the unusual February warmth.   Fifty degrees F (10 degrees C) would have felt much warmer if the sun really came out.

While I was taking pictures, I heard a bee – so early in the season.  He found a crocus flower and went straight for the pollen.  At that moment, my camera batteries decided to run down.  I fumbled through the case for my spare pair of batteries, and clumsily made the switch.  Where did that bee go?  He was having an orgy with himself still in the flower cup!  I decided to leave him in crocus heaven, as he was in no rush to leave, and that was the only ‘game in town’ today.

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Colchicum or Autumn Crocus

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I was paying attention and took photos of these flowers as they emerged from the ground over a period of a week (okay, I was visiting my grandsons for a few days in between, but I did not miss one of my favorite flowers).

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I was given my first Colchicum bulb many years ago when I went to a farmer’s market looking for a friend.  Never found her, but did chat up a person packing up their booth, and they gave me this strange, roundish, potato-shape bulb that they claimed would flower.   I stuck it in the ground and promptly forgot about it.

The next spring some leaves came up, but I could not remember what they went to.  The leaves died out, and not until late summer did a beautiful pink flower emerge.  I thought the crocus had forgot what season it was, since they bloom in early spring.  The flower died and I got busy with my life again.

Years later, I noticed many of the beautiful delicate pink flowers in the fall.  I read about colchicums in a gardening magazine and finally realized what I had in my yard.  By this time my area of these bulbs had enlarged quite a bit.  When I dug them up to divide and spread them around, I saved half a dozen bulbs for my friend who gave me a stack of her old Fine Gardening magazines where I learned about these unusual flowers.