Archive for the ‘spring’ Category

Fall bulbs Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Sorry, I typed the ‘F’ word. Fall, or autumn if you are so inclined. I peered into my mailbox today and found the first Spring bulbs catalog of the season. ‘Spring’ bulbs are best planted in Autumn. And, if you are ordering you can get some good deals – this catalog has $25 certificate when you buy $50 worth of items.

At least now I still have a sense of what my spring flower bed looked like and where I could add some early pops of color. Tulips and crocus are missing from my bed of muscari (grape hycinth) and daffodils. I’ve already spread a few of those out and moved some iris and allium around to spread the wealth of color when they are in bloom. But, I don’t seem to have anything to show off in the early spring. Crocus and tulips should fill that void quite well.

Allium Friday, May 21st, 2010


Allium is the onion family. My decorative allium are blooming right now. They tend to show up after the daffodils, early tulips and hyacinth have all wilted and just before my bigger iris shoot up bloom spikes.

The orb-shaped head is actually a cluster of many individual little purple flowers.

Globemaster allium

They look just like a larger version of a chive flower. They should be planted like other bulb flower, in fall for spring-time blooms. They need little in the way of division, are adaptable to different soils and hardy to zones 3 or 4. The decorative ones don’t give off anything in the way of an oniony smell. They are great for cutting and my globemaster had to be since it bent right over on its 30″ stalk. (I think it had help) I’m just glad that it’s the first year I actually go a bloom from it. Previous years it sent up a bud shoot only to be killed off by frost. They take a while to open but once they do their unique bloom adds an ethereal note to any perennial bed. Definitely a good one to try.

Bloomin’ good time Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Apricot flower - even if the recent frost hampers fruit production the pretty blooms were worth it for aesthetic value

What I believe to be apricot trees were in full bloom and now have dropped most of their petals in a shower of pale white and pink. I believe they are apricots as apposed to plums because of their ridiculously giant thorn-branches. Only wild plums seem to be labeled  as having thorns in my research. Only true way to tell is if they fruit.

Pink and purple tulips give a monogmous color display

Bluebells and hyacinths are a great spring addition with their blue colors.

Bluebells in April

Quade picks some grape hyacinth

Yellow corcus

Crocus are one of the earliest harbingers of spring. They can come in blues, purples (like our state flower the prairie pasque) whites, yellows etc. My garden is definitely missing these so I’ll have to make note for a fall purchase – the best time to plant most early-spring bulb/corm bloomers.

If you are noticing that your spring bloomers, especially hyacinth, crocus or daffodils aren’t blooming like they used to, it just means that they need some dividing. Once they are done blooming (waiting till fall would be best) you can divide them and spread the extras to other parts of your garden or share with friends. Just mark their specific location now as they may be hard to locate in a perennial bed once your other plants have filled in over their wilted leaves.

Spring bulbs: when subtraction = division Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Spring bulbs have pushed their way up out of the dirt, like baby bird mouths hungry for sun and rain. I know it’s spring when my daffodils and grape hyacinths show that tell-tale shock of spring-green where there was once only gray rubble.

It’s been a few years since I planted these – a great fall investment of both time and money. The first signs that spring-blooming bulbs need to be divided is a lower blooming rate than in previous years. Some, like the hyacinths need it more often than others like tulips. If you pay attention they will tell you.

One thing I’ve forgotten in past years is to mark where my spring bulbs are so that, come early fall, I’ll still be able to tell where they are long after the shoots have withered back. I’ve been wanting to move them around anyway so I’ll be taking my smaller trimmed pieces of maple branches and poking them in the ground to note their location. My reason for moving them is simply aesthetics – I plopped the short bloomers in the middle of a south-facing bed so I end up with a dead spot come June, right in the middle of my perennial flowers. That or I end up trying to plant something new in June or in fall and I slam my trowel right through a mess of bulbs – and a slurry of 4-letter words bloom forth.