The first signs of spring

There is nothing more encouraging than seeing green shoots break through the wintery earth.  Tulips (amung other things!) are just starting to sprout, for me this is the first official sign that yes spring is coming and it’s time to get excited about another gardening year! I love tulips they are in fact my favorite flower(if a gardener can every truly choose a favorite flower) my plan was to create two huge drifting patches of bright white tulips under my big trees, I wanted to extend tulip season as long as possible so I planted an early and late bloomer.  Upon flowering last spring I discovered the colour “white” varies widely among tulip varieties the early being pure bright snow white(what I was expecting) and the late being a honey cream beige(not what I was going for). 

Last springs tulips

They were both labeled “white” at the garden centre and after lovingly planting over 200 bulbs 2 seasons ago I am constantly torn between digging out the late creamy variety but This comes on the back of my decision 3 seasons ago to plant over 200 yellow tulip bulbs in the same spot, only to realize in that following spring they just didn’t look right and I dug them ALL out and gave the bulbs away in favor of the all white look, which turned out to not be all white after all.  If I had it to do over again I would have just gone exclusively with one single variety and sacrificed the extended season for the peaceful uniformity of a sea of white.  I guess I still have another couple months to decide if this is going to be yet another tulip removing kind of spring…..

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2 Responses to Tulips!

  1. Louise MacDougall says:

    Tulips peeking through already! Made me go out and check under the big cedar tree to see if there were any signs of crocuses. Nope, not yet. My growing season is about a month behind yours, but crocuses bloom much sooner than tulips, or even daffodils, so I thought there may be some signs of them.

    The first things to bloom in my yard are different bulbs, though. The earliest are scilla (little blue flowers) followed by snowdrops . Then come the Dutch crocuses. I will have to look tomorrow for signs of snowdrops, that is, if the snow is gone in that part of the yard. It wasn’t today, but with another night of rain, it might be gone tomorrow.

    By the way, keeping with your theme of white spring bulbs, next fall you could plant some snowdrops and white Dutch crocuses (Dutch crocuses come in a variety of colours). Yes, of course both of those will be different colours of white than your two different colours of white tulips! Had you not mentioned it, I wouldn’t have noticed they were two different colours. In any case, they were sure beautiful last spring.

    Too bad the crocuses, which are native to the Canadian Prairies, don’t come in white. They are only mauve. They are also very furry (like they are wearing little fur coats to ward off the chilly Prairie spring weather). Those furry kind of crocuses are actually my favourite spring flower, but are difficult to domesticate. I did have one growing under the big cedar for years, but it is gone now. I ordered it from a garden supply company, so I suspect it wasn’t a “real” one from the wild, probably a hybrid of some sort, but it looked like a real prairie one.

    Prairie crocuses are the floral emblem for Manitoba, and an artist named Belle Busch immortalized them in her paintings. Your grandpa grew up with Belle (and crocuses!) in Shellmouth, Manitoba and he was always proud of the fact that he knew “The Crocus Lady”.

    Too bad he isn’t around to read your gardening blog. He loved gardening too, mainly flowers though, not food. Not people food anyway–I think his love of flower gardening had something to do with his being a beekeeper–and flowers are food for bees!

    • Thanks mom, I was surprised to see them this early too! Chives and strawberries are starting to come now as well, I don’t have any croccuses I still havent gotten around to putting any in, maybe this fall I’ll do some in the asparaugs bed?

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