Northern Shade Gardening

Crocus Flowering in the Lawn

Saturday, May 11, 2013 Category: Bulbs
crocus bulbs planted in lawn

crocus bulbs planted in lawn

After a long winter,  pretty flowers are  popping up where I planted the Crocus corms in the lawn last fall. The early crocus look even better than I anticipated. The bright petals add beautiful colour to the dull, brown grass. While most of the yard still wears neutral winter colours, the vivid crocus patch is a refreshing start to the garden. I’m very happy with the bright effect, which makes me smile every time I look out the window.

Crocus chysanthus flowers in lawn

Crocus chysanthus flowers in lawn

Most of these crocus are very early blooming, so the foliage should get enough energy to replenish the plants and die back naturally before the lawn needs cutting. As you can see in the photos, the lawn hasn’t even greened up yet. The Crocus chrysanthus and Crocus sieberii are the first to bloom in my garden, while Crocus x tommasinianus ‘Yalta’ flowers later. If ‘Yalta’ takes too long to die back,  since there is only a small patch in the lawn, I might move them into the garden where they can flower next year with the later blooming C. vernus.

crocus bulbs in lawn with petals folded

crocus bulbs in lawn with petals folded

Even when the petals are folded up in the early morning or on a cold day, the flowering crocus are still decorative with the patterns on the outside of their petals even more visible. Since there were still freezing temperatures and the odd snowflake a week ago, they folded up and waited for warmer times.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Romance' planted in lawn

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Romance’ planted in lawn

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Romance’ is a particularly attractive yellow crocus. The soft yellow petals alternate with ones that have a slightly  silvery sheen. The subtle variations are a nice effect, and this is now my favourite yellow crocus. These are larger than Crocus ‘Cream Beauty’, so they make a better show. ‘Romance’ is extra early, and after 7 months of snow early flowering is a very desirable trait. I highly recommend these if you are looking for an early yellow crocus.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Romance'  soft yellow

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Romance’ soft yellow

‘Romance’ have their petals mostly folded up in this picture, showing off the alternating darker and lighter petals, and the almost silver gray tone to the lighter ones. With the flower petals upright, they look as if they were carved out of butter for a table centrepiece.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus'  with Crocus 'Romance' behind

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ with Crocus ‘Romance’ behind

Here are the purple and white Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ flowering in front of ‘Romance’. These charming bulbs really glow in the sunshine. The crocus get a sunnier spot in my lawn and in the garden, as they don’t appreciate the shade and don’t open much in the shadowy areas.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus' bulb flowers from above

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ bulb flowers from above

Looking down from above, Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ have mostly white petals, but the few flowers with closed petals show the purple design on the outside.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus' white petals with purple outside

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ white petals with purple outside

When ‘Prins Claus are fully open they appear mostly white. With that hint of purple, these bulbs pair up well with other purple crocus, or give a hint of contrast next to yellow crocus.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus' petals closed

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ petals closed

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus' petals folded showing purple patches

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ petals folded showing purple patches

The dark purple patch of colour on the outside of each petal of  ‘Prins Claus’ is mostly noticeable when the petals are folded up first thing in the morning. The warmth and sunlight later on coax them to open fully.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus' with Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor'  behind

Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ with Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ behind

Here are some ‘Prins Claus’ flowering in front of the purple and yellow Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’. You can see the silver stripes down the centre of each crocus  leaf in this picture. Although those beautiful flowers get all of the attention, the grass like foliage with the zippy silver stripes is attractive, too.

 

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor' flowers mauve and gold

Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ flowers mauve and gold

Crocus sieberi subsp sublimus ‘Tricolor’ have an especially appealing colour combination. Don’t tell the other crocus, but these are my favourite of the new crocus bulbs I tried this year. The combination of a medium purple colour with the yellow ring really catches your eye, and the white band between them makes the colours stand out.

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor' flowers folded up

Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ flowers folded up

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor' with petals folded

Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ with petals folded

Even when the  ‘Tricolor’ flowers are folded up, they are charming with their colourfully banded popsicle appearance. Here you can see how the colours really pop out with the transition between purple tops and yellow bottoms on each petal. ‘Tricolor’ has the prettiest folded colour of all of my crocus. The bulbs look especially lively against the background of the dreary grass that hasn’t come out of dormancy yet.

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor' flowers from above

Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ flowers from above

This shot shows the cheery colour of ‘Tricolor’ flowers when they are open. The purple colour on each ‘Tricolor’ petal intensifies at the edges. The bulbs bloom at the same time as ‘Romance’ and look good contrasting with the butter yellow Crocus ‘Romance’.

Crocus sieberi 'Tricolor' flowers

Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’ flowers

Here’s another group of ‘Tricolor’ in the grass, showing the yellow bee in the middle, and the white separation. I highly recommend these bulbs for an early pop of colour.

Crocus 'Yalta' flowering in lawn

Crocus ‘Yalta’ flowering in lawn

Crocus x tommasinianus ‘Yalta’ is the largest of the crocus in the lawn, and the last to bloom. Their two toned purple colour combination is very attractive. The petals have a longer and narrower shape than the other crocus. They are a cross between the large C. vernus and C. tommasinianus, so they bloom later and larger than the C. chrysanthus.

Crocus 'Yalta' bulb flower in lawn

Crocus ‘Yalta’ bulb flower in lawn

This photo shows off the alternating dark purple and light silvery purple petals of ‘Yalta’, which are very appealing. This is another standout, and my second favourite purple crocus after ‘tricolor’.

Crocus 'Yalta' in lawn

Crocus ‘Yalta’ in lawn

I didn’t plant as many of the ‘Yalta’ in the lawn, as I only found a smaller number of the bulbs. Aren’t those alternating dark and light petals good looking? Whether closed or open, the blooms are still beautiful. I’m going to plant more of them in my garden with the larger crocus next year, if I can find them in the fall.

white crocus flowers planted in lawn

white crocus flowers planted in lawn

These mislabelled white crocus are pretty, despite the fact that they were supposed to be Crocus ‘Spring Beauty’, which are a dark and light purple colour. There is no trace of purple on them, but they still look good in the lawn. I’m going to look for ‘Spring Beauty’ again next fall, as I was looking forward to them.

mislabelled white and yellow crocus in lawn

mislabelled white and yellow crocus in lawn

This combination of two mislabelled bulbs turned out quite pretty together. The smaller yellow ones were supposed to be ‘Gipsy Girl’, which are yellow with small maroon purple stripes on the outside , but there is no hint of stripe and they look more like ‘Cream Beauty’. They are short and sit quite close to the grass, barely showing any  leaves.

crocus planted in lawn

crocus planted in lawn

Here’s another view of part of the bulb lawn. The whole crocus planting is about a 2 m (6 ft) by 3 m (9 ft) oval. It turned out so good, I’m going to expand it next fall with more of the early crocus. They are such a respite from the dullness of the dormant grass, old leaves, and maple keys in the lawn, and were the first flowers this year. It was easy to plant them, as I just dug up  30 cm by 30 cm (1 square foot) patches adjacent to each other in the lawn, put a group of 20 or so bulbs in, and put the sod back over top.  You can see photos and read more about planting the crocus in the lawn last fall.

crocus flowers blooming in lawn

crocus flowers blooming in lawn

Despite the fact that these crocus are flowering in May in my yard, these are actually early crocus. It’s just that we had an extra long winter this year, which makes them an even more welcome sight. After many months of snow, there’s nothing like a yard full of flowering crocus to cheer you up and get the gardening season off to a good start. The bees appreciate the early flowers, too, and these have been buzzing with visitors.

 

17 Responses to “Crocus Flowering in the Lawn” »

  1. Trainer_John :
    May 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I’ve been complaining about our winter here in SW England but seeing your crocuses flowering in mid May reminds me how lucky I am to live in the comparative warmth of 50 N Plymouth. We’ve had a bad winter and we’re still three months ahead! The only consolation is that your summer will be hotter than ours. Lovely photos – and they do benefit from planting en masse.

  2. Northern Shade :
    May 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    John, we had an even longer winter than normal, so the flower sequence seems to have been compressed into a shorter period, and now so many more bulbs are all opening at once. After a long wait, I appreciate the flowers all the more. The one plus to our climate here is that we do have lots of sunny days.

  3. Kim :
    May 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Wow these look great! Nice job selecting and combining the different varieties. What a way to start the growing season. If I had to pick I think Romance would be my favorite.

  4. Northern Shade :
    May 11, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Kim, the two-toned yellow effect of ‘Romance’ is lovely. Every second petal has a slight silvery sheen to it, which makes them a little shimmery. It’s my favourite of the yellow crocus.

  5. Marit :
    May 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Hi!

    Good to see your garden again! Lovely crocus you are showing. ‘Prince Claus’ and ‘Romance’ are my favorites. This winter has been so long and hard here, and many plants have died. It is lovely to see spring flowers again :-)

  6. Monne :
    May 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Nice to hear from you again :) What amazing pictures of your Crocus viewing! Here in our garden it is no use to plant crocus for the deer eat them: (We have had a very long and hard winter this year, no snow and -8 C at night and +8 C on the day which has resulted in large and severe damage to our Rhododendron: (Have a great day / Monne

  7. Northern Shade :
    May 12, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Marit, we had an extra long winter, too, but we also had a very deep snow cover, so it seems to have helped protect the plants. However, my perennials have barely started to come up, so perhaps I’ll know better in a few weeks how they fared.

    Most of the bulb flowers seem extra large this year, perhaps from all of the melted snow.

  8. Northern Shade :
    May 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Monne, it is too bad that the deer get your crocus, as they are so appreciated after a long winter of no flowers. It is harder on the garden without snow cover to protect it, and especially disappointing when shrubs don’t make it, as they take so much longer to establish.

  9. Dave :
    May 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Very nice to see the results of all your mass planting being so cheerful. My crocuses are fading and being overtaken by the rest of the spring flowers – it seems everything is rushing to take advantage of the warmth of the last week and catch up with the calendar. The Hepatica nobilis is in full bloom, the Marsh Marigolds in the bog are starting to flower and the Bloodroot has just popped-up. Unfortunately, there are a number of spots with no sign of anything springing-up yet. Too soon to be gloomy, but soils too soggy for too long in the spring can be a killer. On the other hand, our newly dug tanks in the country, which were merely muddy puddles last year, are filled to the brim and should help that garden make a good start.

  10. Anna :
    May 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    How heart lifting it must be to see a return of colour after such a long time. The crocuses look glorious. I’m off to make a note of ‘Romance’ for my bulb order this autumn :)

  11. Northern Shade :
    May 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Dave, all of the other bulbs are quickly popping up, as the flowering schedule seems to be compressed this year with the warmth starting so late. Like you, my Hepatica nobilis are flowering, but I haven’t seen the bloodroot yet. Even my Helleborus have only small buds. There are very few perennials sprouting yet, but they are a little slower to appear in my shady garden anyways, and are perhaps not sure that the snow is really gone for good. The wary perennial probably lasts longer in Alberta.

    It’s great that you have a good stockpile of water for your garden in the country. I was surprised when I was out at Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary that the marshes and pond levels didn’t appear higher than normal.

    Anna, it has been a long time without flower colour in the garden. ‘Romance’ is very appealing, and looks great with purple crocus.

  12. Mariana :
    May 13, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Det verkar vara lite kallare och senare hos er!
    Fint när det blommar så många tillsammans!!
    Crocus chrysanthus ‘Romance’var vackrast, den vill jag få tag på.
    Hälsningar
    Mariana

  13. Northern Shade :
    May 13, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Mariana, the little crocus do look best when lots of them flower together. There are many flowering in my garden now, too, both the established ones and new ones planted last fall. All around they yard, bulbs that would normally be flowering through April and May are blooming one after another. The little ‘Romance’ crocus are very sweet.

  14. Ray :
    May 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I think my favorite matches yours. One I really liked was Pickwick, but it disappeared a few years ago from my front garden bed, probably from squirrel activity.

  15. Northern Shade :
    May 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Ray, I have some ‘Pickwick’ in my garden as well, and the stripes look super next to solid crocus. The squirrels don’t seem to go after my bulbs. Perhaps they are too busy gathering all of the spruce cones.

  16. Derek Yarnell :
    May 16, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Looking great, can’t wait to follow in your footsteps on this one next fall.

  17. Northern Shade :
    May 17, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Derek, they really bring a shot of beauty and colour while the lawn is still in winter mode. The grass is greening up now and the foliage is blending in. When the crocus leaves start withering, I’ll mow that section.

Leave a Reply