Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Week 4- April 6

I was in Washington DC last weekend being educated so I did not post the news from the garden. Sorry. By the way, Washington was beautiful. The cherry trees were just starting and the daffodils and hyacinths were in full flower. I even saw a few tulips.

At the moment it is all about everything in the garden. We had several good rains this week followed by warmer temperatures and sunshine. Well there were some snow flurries in there somewhere. What a combination.
The big bloomers at the moment are the crocuses. They just keep getting bigger and better. I plug away each fall planting another 50-100 new bulbs someplace. Some percentage are eaten by the squirrels, but most come up and over the years they have clumped wonderfully.
So they are going strong this spring. The squill have started. (Is squill singular?) The little iris reticulata have begun. The little yellow one called danfordiae is on that list I make each year called “Get more”. The yellow is a wonderful contrast with so much blue that is coming.
And everywhere there is promise. The peonies are coming up as are the monkshood.(Is monkshood singular?)(Would one plant be monkhood?) I caught a glimpse of the first hosta yesterday along with the first tips of the Asiatic lilies. I could go on. But mostly you all enjoy the pictures so here they are.

The pictures do come with a couple of crocus comments.

It is still very much brown outside these days. I think that is why the color is so vivid. Did I mention yellow? How about purple? And then there is just white, which can be a magnificent color.
On cloudy days, such as Thursday, the crocuses do not open up. But they can then be like little thin glass bulbs, perhaps designed by Dale Chihuly.
Please note the clumps. I really do think that you get these clumps after 3-4 years, but it could be 6-8. Time can do that without much effort. Actually I took a look at some pictures from several years ago. I think these clumps have developed in as little as 2 years. The fact that last year was a year of ample moisture had to have helped.




















































































There are two pictures of the little reticulata iris. They are actually bulbs, not rhizomes, like the bearded iris, or roots like the Siberian and Japanese iris. Dutch iris are also bulbs.






















The last two pictures are some of the portent of things to come. The first is a peony clump. The second is a crown imperial fritillaria. It almost makes you want to fast forward several weeks. But then you stop to see what is here now and you almost want to hit the pause button.

















I do have 2 final notes.
First we did see the first Iowa City daffodil yesterday. We went for a neighborhood walk and I knew right where to look. Right there on Seventh Avenue. This clump is almost always the first. I think we will have daffodils by the end of the week.
Second, the hard rain this past week was hard on the pumpkins. They had survived the worst that winter could throw at them. The only one left hanging was the Christmas pumpkin. Several of the little ones are completely dried at this point. I will find a sheltered place for them to stick around and be on display.

If you are in the Iowa City area do stop by.
Philip

2 comments:

Judith said...

No logic to it, nor anything but my sense of what's right in the world, but crocus is just supposed to be yellow. With a few others to remind you that crocus is supposed to be yell.
The only thing in my garden is probably going to be pokeweed, if I don't get out there soon.

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