Snowdrops & Crocuses

As I was walking the grounds the other day, I came across a swath of crocuses & snowdrops along our driveway.  I was so pleased that these harbingers of spring had decided to flower now.  Although it's still technically winter, seeing these flowers scattered among the maples, locusts, ash trees and lindens made me hunger for spring.  After such a brutal winter with so much snow, any type of color is always a welcoming sight.  Take a look.  

The lavender-hued crocuses are blooming everywhere around our house.  This picture was taken on March 5th.
The crocuses vary in color from lavender to pale pink.  You can see that the leaves from last fall have not inhibited blooming.

Here in my hand is a pale mauve, single flower.  Simply beautiful!

Here is a closeup of a quartet showing their vivid yellow stamens.  These woodland varieties are spring-flowering, Series Verni, Crocus tommasinianus. 

Just look at these snowdrops (Galanthus) with their delicate, pendulous flowers.  Snowdrops are members of the Amaryllis family and they flower before the vernal equinox.

(Photo taken March 5th)

Here is a small patch of these flowering beauties underneath some partial shade from our maples.

You can see just how small these really are.  The flowers are held by a very delicate pedicel which causes them to droop.

A few of these are just beginning to open up.  The outer tepals open and reveal an inner flower which is marked with green tips.  Believe it or not, these flowers actually have a very delicate fragrance.

If you want to have these beautiful flowers around your house in the spring, you really should plant them in the fall.  Crocus bulbs do well in sunny spots and under deciduous trees.  They like good draining soil and should be planted 2 to 3 inches deep into the ground, with about 2 to 4 inches of space between the bulbs.  If you want a swath of them, simply dig a trench and begin placing your bulbs accordingly.  Snowdrops like shaded areas and soil with good drainage (remember, they will be dormant from late spring through the summer).  Unlike crocuses, though, the bulbs can be placed in groups of one to two dozen and should be planted about 5 inches into the ground.  Check with your local nursery and see what varieties of crocuses and snowdrops are available for your area.  These flowers are definitely a great addition to your home and make the arrival of spring a very good thing!