It’s a lot of fun planting spring flowering bulbs in the fall. As you bury the little brown lumps, you can imagine all of the spring colours that will appear. I’ve planted 360 crocus corms that will form a yellow and purple patch under the lilac tree. I’ve included some Crocus vernus for their large showy flowers, and some Crocus chrysanthus which will flower earlier, in charming soft colours. I placed the packages on the ground in their approximate positions, so you can see what it might look like next spring. I can’t wait to see them blooming in early spring.
These crocuses are being planted around some hardy geraniums under a lilac tree. The geraniums get a later start in the spring, so the crocus will flower unhindered, and when they are done, the emerging geraniums will help hide the foliage until it dies down.This garden area is in part shade, but there should be enough light for these sun lovers, since I limbed up the maple earlier this year, removing some of the lower branches. It should be bright enough to open their flowers; I hope.
The Crocus vernus (large Dutch crocus) are planted together in the back half of the garden bed. They progress from purple to purple stripes to yellow, going towards the front of the bed. At the very back are the dark purple ‘Remembrance’. There is a small group of ‘Remembrance’ here already, and I’ve added more to extend the group across. Just in front are some ‘Silver Coral’ These are white with purple marks on them. To the left are ‘Pickwick’, which are purple striped, while to the the right are ‘Striped Beauty’, also with purple stripes. The ‘Yellow Mammoth’ are in front of all of the purple crocuses.
The earlier flowering Crocus chrysanthus (snow crocus) are at the front of this garden bed. These are smaller, and should flower first early next spring. I’ve planted them in a very similar colour arrangement. Across the back of the snow crocus section are some ‘Blue Pearl’, which are a very pretty lavender blue colour. To the left in front of them are ‘Fuscotinctus’, which are yellow with purple stripes. In front on the right are ‘Gipsy Girl’ (I’ve seen this sold as ‘Gypsy Girl), which are also yellow with maroon stripes. The pale yellow ‘Cream Beauty’ are across the very front of the Crocus chrysanthus group.
Here are some Crocus vernus ‘Striped Beauty’ corms in their hole, ready to be buried. For small bulbs like this, I dig a hole about 7 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in) deep and about 30 cm (a foot) in diameter, and plant 10 to 15 bulbs in a random pattern. Then I cover the hole up, and tap it down. Afterwards I water all the bulbs to settle them in.
There are 360 crocus corms here so far. As I planted, I kept picturing what it will look like when the crocuses flower next spring. I think this purple and yellow patch will be very uplifting with its spring colours. I appreciate the earliest flowering plants the most, after the long winter desert of white. In spring, I’ve often wished that I had planted more bulbs, but I’ve never wished I planted less.
You can see and read more about how the Crocus vernus flowered here, and there are pictures of the Crocus chrysanthus blooms here. There is also more about planting crocus bulbs and what their flowers look like in this other post.