Put aside your frets about that dreaded Pollen Vortex, because there are greater things to celebrate - it's here - the perfect spring ( at lease in New England). As our second weekend passes, delighting us with warm, breezy days above 60º F. and with only the slight threat on one freezing night predicted for next thursday, I am confident that this spring will remain gloriously…..slow. And that's a good thing, for us gardeners.
I am reminded of how rare such springtime weather is here in New England. Sure, many grumble about the lack of 70º days, but in many ways, this is the perfect spring - the sort of spring weather one would experience where many of our cherished plants come from, the high Himalaya, the Alps, Western China, the mountainous islands of Northern Japan, or the mountains of southern Chile. What I mean is, this is a rare gift - a gift of a winter of deep snow, and then a single thaw, when the snow melts gradually, and the soil thaws gradually, never to refreeze again ( for it is this refreeze which spells certain death for many plants, even if they survived a frigid winter. This year, everything thawed over the past two weeks, nice and slow, with no refreeze, at least at root level - surely we will still continue to have frosts, but this is setting up the garden for what I predict will be the ideal spring.
Check out what's coming up after the break.
|A different speices of petasites, Petasites japonicus 'variegata' has slightly nicer flowers, yet much, much smaller.|
The first year the bloomed, their single, small and weak flowers were so difficult to see, so difficult that I thought that maybe I had made a mistake. In the second year, they were just as sucky. To make matters worse, our geese and ducks pulled out all of the blossoms, which just made me want to forget the whole crocus lawn thing. Then, two years ago, Joe planted a few hundred of the more common Crocus vernus - the Dutch crocus we all know, showy, large and easy, they look pretty fine. But then this year, as the Crocus tommasinianus emerged, a few weeks earlier than their larger relative, they really proved their worth - with large clumps, some with 7 or 10 flowers. Below, is a clump from the front of our yard, that I planted ten years ago - look at how nice one tiny corm can grow into. Now I can see why the 'tommies' are preferred for naturalizing. They will only take time.
|A single corm of Crocus tommasinianus will mature into this - a cluster of color, delicate, less gaudy than it larger relative, Crocus vernus, and a honey bee magnet. This clump is ten years old, and just keeps getting larger with each year.|