hepatica_z7March 23, 2009

Greetings to all. I am a long time lurker on many forums and am grateful to have learned a LOT. Thanks, all.

Has anyone else noticed that the yellow crocus usually are finishing when the purple and whites start to bloom? This year was actually the best overlap I have ever seen, but the yellows are finished now, and the others are still quite colorful. My yellows that I am trying to overlap are not the species crocus, those finish before the others even begin. My yellow do have narrower leaves and tend to clump closely as they multiply, more so than my purple and whites. Sorry, they have been around a long time, so I don't remember where or what I ordered, other than that they are not species. Perhaps there is a cultivar that blooms later? I have not seen this addressed in any of the bulb catalogs, even the ones with lots of information--and few screaming blurbs and photos.

One nice thing which I am keeping an eye on, is that this year the tete a tete daffs are blooming with the purple and white crocus. I don't think I have noticed them overlapping so well in other years. This spring has been dry and mostly cool in the mid-Atlantic.

On another bulb subject, I must share a serendipitous combination that I have been expanding on throughout my yard. Toronto tulips (bright salmon), grape hyacinths, and yellow, or pale yellow daffs make a stunning combination. Some years the overlap is better than others. I am still working out which daffs are best. The first year I noticed it, it was with some "King Alfreds" (but I doubt they were the real thing.) Lately, they have been finishing too early, so I keep adding daffs with later bloom-times. When the timing is right, it is gorgeous. (Take my word for it/use your imaginations, as I have yet to try posting photos! When the combo is up and running this year, I will try to snap and post a pic.)

Thank you to all you friendly sharers of great information. Have a fabulous spring.


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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Welcome to the posting side of GW! I hope your lurking days are over now, with a name like hepatica I'm sure there is a ton we could learn from you as well.

I noticed that the yellows in the crocus mix bloom earlier here too. To tell you the truth, I never really liked the yellow mixed in, I prefer a blue, purple, white mix, but I think that's just me. The most common blues and whites are all crocus vernus hybrids, the yellow is most likely a crocus flavus hybrid. So even though it's not a straight species, it is a hybrid of a different species that blooms slightly earlier. Sometimes the yellow is listed as a vernus, but I don't think this is true.

I can't wait to see your pictures. I have no theme to my garden, I just go by more is better especially with bulbs.

Here is a link that might be useful: yellow crocus

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:38PM
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thank you kato b. That makes sense about the yellows being a different hybrid. Everything about them looks slightly different. This year, with more whites and purples than in the past, I am actually enjoying that theme too. And more IS better!

So you know about hepatica? When I was a child we used to go hiking in the Wisconsin woods at just this time of year to look for the springtime ephemerals (just the term is evocative of this unique season.) It was like a treasure hunt, so my parents got their hike and the kids didn't even know it was anything but a lark.

Happy treasure hunting to all in their bulb gardens. Each day brings new excitement.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:51PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

"Happy treasure hunting to all in their bulb gardens. Each day brings new excitement."

My neighbors will soon realize I am nuts. Every day (I try and limit myself to one or two inspections per day) I go out and check every crocus, snowdrop and aconite. I then kneel down to check all the daffs to see if the buds grew any since the last time I checked. I keep hoping the weather would warm up and things would start moving, but then when the daff bloom I worry I didn't get enough snowdrops during snowdrop season. I guess you can't win.

I'm going to try a new park for hepaticas this spring. I've seen the leaves but never caught them blooming. I hope this year i might catch a few. I didn't know they came out so early!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Looking for the pinkest and bluest crocuses. Catalogue photos are not really reliable as to true color!!!! Anybody with suggestions???

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 1:53PM
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e36yellowm3(7 Raleigh, NC)

Hepatica, nice post. Your combos sound great and I'd love to see some pictures posted when you get them. I noticed you mentioned tete a tete daffs blooming - I assume outside. Do they overwinter ok here in zone 7? I have some I received in a forcing kit that I kept going. I'd love to plant them outside if they're somewhat cold hardy. Is that what you've done? Thanks. Alana

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I'm not hepatica, but will reply about the hardiness of the Tete-a-tete daffs. They are quite hardy. I grow them here in my zone and see they are listed as being hardy to zone 3 at an on line site selling them.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:56PM
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My tete a tetes are actually rescues from potted plants. The American Cancer Society does a daffodil fund raiser in February or so. My co-workers thought I was nuts, asking for their drooping, leggy, bloomed out daffodils! I planted them out in the garden and had blooms by the second year. So those from your forcing kit should do just fine. Just check to make sure they are not paperwhites. Those are very common in forcing kits, and I have never gotten them to re-bloom. Some of them survived in the garden for several years, but nary a flower.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:51PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I am not a fan of bright yellow. For some reason I like it in daffodils and not in crocus. I planted some "cream beauty". That is a soft yellow: not really cream and not really yellow. Kind of a "real butter" versus "margarine" yellow. (maybe whipped butter?) THOSE are a beautiful yellow. Stamens are a rich, more orangey yellow like saffron: lovely contrast.

Not the best picture but the sun was going down. Color is a little washed out. Maybe you will like these more. "Cream Beauty" against Purple Petticoats heuchera.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:18AM
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linnea, that is a lovely idea. Do you find they bloom together with the purples?

I waffle between subtle color combinations, and really bright ones for those first few flowers of spring. It's an opportunity to go all out and bright, without overwhelming the eyes, since each show is so short. That said, I still haven't incorporated red or orange tulips!


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:19AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I donÂt know. I planted the Cream Beauty in the fall of 07. When I planted that year I covered everything with rocks to foil the squirrels and I think 80% of what I planted must have rotted. The Cream Beauty is the only thing that came up, except for 2 (only 2!) Tricolor in another bed. So that mean it overlaps at least with Tricolor.

Last fall (08) I planted a lot more and covered them with mesh. Those were a species crocus assortment. Since it is their first year they are coming up later. I looked today and only 3-4 buds on those are showing: and it looks like those will be yellow. (I never would have noticed that one color bloomed earlier if you hadnÂt mentioned it!)

I planted Ruby Giant too in another bed (those are crocus tommasianus, which supposedly squirrels donÂt eat) and did not use mesh to cover them. So either they are very late bloomers, or the squirrels couldnÂt read and ate them anyway.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:06PM
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