Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hocus Pocus and Here Come the Crocus

When the crocus appear, it's like magic. The marvel of their sudden appearance makes me wonder that I never actually catch them coming in. As often as I'm there, I should be able to see them in a kind of stop-action film-style as they poke up through the dirt and then, unfurl six delicate petals to reveal their sexy, saffron-tinted stamen. These delightful early bloomers aren't afraid of a little frost or even snow on the ground and they have arrived as early as January in the back garden every year since we bought our home in 1986.

Equally fleeting is my daughter Patsy's good will in donating her photography skills to this blog project. I don't own a digital camera yet, so I am always pleading for a snap here, a shot there from my talented young photo-trix. And yesterday a perfect storm of crocus emergence and happy girl came together and the result is this masterpiece that I'm calling, "A Busy Bee Tends My Crocus."

I had long wondered what kind of crocus this might be; and over the winter, I'd studied my books and isolated a number of candidates. Crocus imperati was at the top of my list. But thanks to Patsy's picture, the imperati was quickly ruled out by the shape of its petals (mine are more rounded against imperati's more pointed ones). Instead, I've decided these are Crocus tommasinianus, which surprisingly are not natives. I had assumed these were some kind of eastern woodland wanderer, but I've learned from another ambitious garden blogger, Paghat the Ratgirl, that these Tommies hail from Hungary and Bulgaria. So someone must have planted them and over the years they've naturalized into the velvet, violet carpet that is the highlight of my first days of spring. (Some day in another post, I'll have to describe the state of our backyard when we first bought the property. It was indeed a Secret Garden that we had to dig out and rediscover.)

Today, a sunny Sunday, I'm choking on all the possibilities the day will bring. I've got to get to it. The Putterer

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