It may seem crazy to think about next year’s garden already, only a few weeks into this year’s growing season, but if you’re anything like me, you’re already noticing gaps. This point was brought home to me a few Sundays ago while I was admiring Crocus blossoms enjoying the afternoon sunshine. I’ve planted hundreds and hundreds of Crocus corms on this property over the past 20 years, but they don’t seem to naturalize very well here, like they did in previous gardens. As a result, this year, I can pinpoint exactly where the dozen or two blooms are. There should be so many more!
The point here is not a lack of flowers in early April, but a lack of pollen for pollinators: at each crocus I saw at least one and often two and sometimes three, bees frantically rooting around inside the crocus flower. And it hit me: I need to plant more crocuses this fall. And perhaps more Chianodoxa as well – they’re spreading really nicely in a few areas and I should plant more.
The trick in introducing new bulbs to an established garden is planning. I don’t want to plant where I know they don’t grow well, I don’t want to plant where I know they may interfere with veggie or annual flower planting, nor where current shrubs and perennials and trees are likely to get larger and cover the area.
So I’ve been wandering. Meandering around the yard, in all the garden areas, looking at where those few Croci were blooming, wondering if I can add a dozen or so more to that spot. Wondering what the soil conditions are like there that encourage them to survive. While I’m wandering, I notice all the other spring bulbs coming up – thousands of daffs, hundreds of tulips and Hyacinth and Allium. Patches of Camassia, Leucojum, fading Galanthus and, of course, the emerging leaves of fall-flowering Colchicum.
And I’m planning – what to buy, where to plant it, when it may bloom and how the colour and bloom time will relate to the garden as a whole. Here are a few thoughts.
The first bulb catalogues are out, and I’ve been on the internet, oohing and aaahing over so many gorgeous spring bulbs around the world. The next trick is remembering, in October, where I want to plant things. That’s really why I wrote this post – so I can come back to it and remember what the garden looks like in April.