February 11, 2011

And then, it's spring-ish

Fritillaria, crocus and other spring bulbs open their flowers on this cold, February day.

I am always surprised, since it happens so suddenly. Usually, right around Valentines day, I notice almost instantly that spring is near. The sun is still up, at 5:00 pm, the native birds start singing different tune, even the cardinals are starting to sing their spring mating call, and in the greenhouse, the plants all react to the effects of the slightly longer days, even though the temperatures outside are still in the single digits. Spring, is indeed, near.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Cream Beauty', an easy-to-force small 'species'  type crocus, that I pot up because our local super market reduces their price in October, they are easy peasy to force, opening in a week or so, after being brought in, and they mark the beginning of the spring forced bulb season in the greenhouse. They are common, but look much more interesting indoors, at eye-level. In the garden? They are best planted in significant numbers, I prefer planting them buy the hundreds, scattering them under shrubs and in the lawns, as they grow in the wild.

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor' , the tri colored crocus, are intense and cheerful on a snowy day. Sound fancy and pronounce it properly - Crocus See Brrrr Eye.

A rare Fritillaria sewerzowii ' Goliath', blooms on a shorter than normal stem, due to the low light conditions. I should have waited, ( I expected it to be browner, too), and it is short, since I let it emerge too quickly in the greenhouse, but I could not wait. Where I live, this Frit does best in a cold greenhouse.

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