Saturday, February 16, 2013

Crocuses! Or rather... Croci.

... But Croci sounds kind of silly, so we'll just take one crocus at a time.

Last fall, we (meaning mostly Scott) had our old broken concrete sidewalk stripped out. We replaced it with a fun walkway made of  broken chunks of marble composite countertop (We love Urban Ore in Oakland!) and lined with river-rock. We're pretty pleased with how it came out.  The great challenge was not disturbing the bulbs that were growing along the walkway.

Yellow Tiger Crocus
From the foliage that started coming up mid-January, I was guessing that the Dutch iris and the  Tete-a-Tete daffodils survived just fine, but there was no sign of thin grasslike croci coming up.  I'd just started to despair when I walked out the door last week, and there they were! Nestled in amongst the sweet alyssum, tiger crocus were blooming. These delicate beauties have sweet brown stripes and their foliage is variegated, making for interesting texture. Sadly, it seems that only four survived the landscaping project.

Pickwick Crocus
And then there were the Pickwick croci with their white petals and purple stripes. Again, only a few seem to have survived the devastation of the sidewalk so they'll have to be ordered and replanted again next fall.
I just love the way they go with the burgundy sweet allysum. You'd think I planned that, or something. Yeah! That's what I'm going with. All perfectly planned for maximum effect. I did it on PURPOSE. (That's one of the problems with being a wildflower/bulb person. Once you admit it, everyone knows you didn't plan anything, but just kind of put some stuff in the ground and hoped it came out okay.

The last bloomers were, surprisingly, the ones I thought we'd killed off! These little yellow charmers are from the American Meadows Wild / Snow Crocus Mix. The past two years have seen many purple and yellow blooms: I had lots of white the first year, but they never returned.  This year, only three lone yellows bloomed, so I'm seeing a fresh planting of these coming up next fall as well.  

My favorites, the tough little Crocus Minimus that I have planted in the front bed by the sidewalk, didn't do well this year- lots of foliage but only one bloom- and I failed to get a good picture of it. I think next year I'll mulch the front bed late in the summer, and see if they do better. Otherwise, gee... I'll guess I'll have to pick out more crazy little crocus for the yard! (I'm leaning towards Ruby Giants and Lady Killers for a pile of purple!)

Wild Crocus Yellow

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