alternate pathways, tree roots and looking up

front walkway through vegetable beds integrated among perennials backyard pathway leading to wooded area and driveway pathway al...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

the tease of spring

There are several plants beginning to emerge from the beneath the mulch. The unseasonably warm (so I have been told) weather has the daffodils reaching for the sun. As with any house this age, the first year...or three... will be an interesting adventure as little surprises begin to pop up around the yard. I unearthed several bulbs while prepping the ground and thinning the overgrowth.

I am not a bulb enthusiast, at least not traditional bulbs like crocus, daffodils, hyacinth and tulips. However, bulbs are an excellent accent among the perennials and add that early season splash of color much like a new throw pillow on the old sofa. They can transform the garden and signal the onset of spring. Who does not get a thrill watching the first green shoots push up through the soil and eagerly announce that Punxsutawney Phil was incorrect ;)


I found this rap of William Wordsworth's poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" (Daffodils) many years ago. It is a classic.

I do like Allium. My gardens traditionally intermix edible and perennial plants. The allium flowers are particularly good at attracting parasitic wasps, a beneficial insect. I also like bulbs such as the "stink lily" (Fritillaria imperialis) which deters moles.

I have more than a few times forced bulbs to the delight of students and my own children. I love that you can observe all of the plant in a shallow glass bowl in pea gravel. Bulbs make an excellent science lab also.

I did not plant bulbs last fall since we are new to the property and do not know what already exists. Once the flowers emerge I will most likely mark them and gather them to replant next fall in proper groupings in a new garden plan. Bulbs show best when grouped and yet are often spread willy-nilly detracting from their impact.