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Spring Is Here

April 3, 2021

pickwick clumpSpring has arrived early in Maine. In the first week of April, the snow is already gone from the garden, and clumps of Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’ have been blooming in the warm micro-climate along the foundation of the house since mid-March.

Crocus shoots are also poking up through the plant debris on the side slope. Some of them have even begun to bloom. At this time of year, I find myself peering carefully at that slope each day, looking for new clumps of crocus to appear. Eventually, there will be about sixty such clumps; today, I counted a dozen.

crocus shoots

Other spring bulbs have also begun to appear. In the back garden, I can see flower buds among the hyacinth shoots; and today, I spotted the first shoots of the 150 daffodil bulbs I planted last fall on the front slope.

The Xerxes Society recommends that, in order to protect pollinators overwintering in the plant debris, we should not begin spring cleanup in the garden until the evening temperatures are reliably above 50 F. For the most part, I try to honor that recommendation, despite the fact that I am eager to get out and work in the garden. So far, I have managed to confine my gardening activities to pruning that should be done before shrubs break dormancy. This week, however, I will make an exception to the rule and begin cleaning up the areas where crocuses are planted so that I can enjoy their colorful spring display.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2021 3:45 pm

    Sixty clumps is tremendous! I love crocus and would plant more if they didn’t die out so quickly in my climate. I hope you have ample time to enjoy your spring display, Jean. Conditions seem disturbingly summer-like here already and my bulb blooms are already throwing in the towel in many areas.

  2. April 4, 2021 2:34 pm

    Pickwick was the first crocus I ever met. My mother planted them around the roots of a fruitless mulberry tree, and explained that they were the first to bloom as the snow melted. Of course, I had no idea what snow was.

  3. April 12, 2021 5:19 pm

    Those stripy Pickwick petals are very pretty

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