March 20, 2011

Crocus in New England

A spectacular meadow of naturalized Crocus tommasinianus at our friends Mike and David's new house in Woodstock, CT. Here, they planted hundreds of crocus, snowdrops and narcissus in a sunny meadow that surrounds their new home in northern, CT.

It's the first day of spring, and besides all of the excitement about our 'super moon', the signs of spring, officially, are everywhere. Robins, Gold Finches, the first warblers migrating through, and crocus. This weekend we visited a friends
 new home in nearby Woodstock, CT, and Mike's meadow of crocus ( and soon, antique narcissus varieties) inspired me in many ways ( mostly, it inspired me in the 'Matt-you-gotta-move-outta-Worcester" way), but I do need to plant more bulbs en-masse. I have planted crocus in the lawn,  but if only my crocus looked this good. Crocus look best in grassy meadows and lawns, it's how they grow in nature, but it takes quantity ( clearly, hundreds of corms planted at Mikes home). If happy, they will self seed, but they must also be sited well, with the ideal location having lots of sun in early spring. Later, tall grass doesn't hurt them at all ( no one weeds in nature). 

Below, you can see my "meadow" of crocus, planted in an old putting green on our property. We still have snow, as you can see in the distance, where there is shade, and our many tall evergreens cast shadows over this planting, which is less than ideal, since crocus demand full, sunny slopes.

Our planting of 'Tommies' are not doing that well, and after the ducks ate them today, there is little hope that they will survive another season. Two hundred corms were planted here two years ago, and if they were able to get more sun, they would spread nicely, but my idea of a 'crocus lawn' will need to wait until we cut more trees. I do like how these crocus emerge just as the snow recedes, just as they do in the Alps.

The species crocus, or, more accurately, hybrids and selections of cloned forms of species crocus, are my favorite, as they are to most experienced gardeners. Here, the brown feathering on Crocus reticulatus x C. angustifolius ' Nida', makes this one a sunny splash in the alpine garden.

Our honey bees were busy with the early crocus.

Another view of Mike and David's crocus meadow in Woodstock, CT. It doesn't get more ideal than this.

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