crocuses and snowdrops

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such similarly-themed posts as “Hot, Dry, And Windy”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically horticultural pose:
I know it looks pretty dry here, and it sort of is, but a few days ago we had some more snow.
It still didn’t freeze, and this was only a quarter inch of water, but we’re still grateful for that. The guy I live with said we might get some more snow later this week, but it will definitely freeze then, even if we don’t get snow.

There are still crocuses in flower, here and there in the garden. These are Crocus speciosus, and they were sown by ants, who like the seeds, which are coated with something nutritious for them. This process, as I’ve no doubt said before, is called myrmecochory. Seed dispersal by ants. It happens with snowdrops, too.
This is the white form, but this was grown from a purchased corm. They’re easy to find in catalogues.
The guy I live with really enjoys walking around the garden and seeing these in flower, They appear in some unexpected places, like in the middle of paths.

At this time of year, the guy I live with starts thinking about snowdrops. The autumn-flowering kinds are up, later than usual because it’s been so dry, but here is Galanthus bursanus, flowering right on time.
This is new at the zoo, but should do well here, since it comes from a part of Turkey with very dry summers.
The guy I live with went into the shade garden and rummaged through the leaves, and found these. He posted this picture on Facebook, too.
These are up so early the guy I live with wondered what the point was. They won’t be in flower until the end of February.
These are Galanthus elwesii ‘Theresa Stone’; the snowdrops you see in the blog’s header.

The guy I live with didn’t tell the other story about these, and maybe I’ve told it before on this blog, since there are so, so many posts.
He and his wife went to Oregon, back in 2000. He was going to go alone, but his wife’s favorite purebred border collie Pooka had just died, and he didn’t want her to be by herself, so he bought her a plane ticket. Flurry, the other purebred border collie, stayed at my doctor’s office, like I have, too.
That’s where he got the snowdrops. A month later he and his wife got another purebred border collie, Slipper.

But every time he sees those snowdrops in flower he can’t help but think of the fact that his wife is gone now, as are all the other purebred border collies who lived here before me.

He still likes snowdrops, though. A while back, he got a bag of what people call “bulk” snowdrops. Galanthus elwesii again.
These of course come without roots, and trying get bulbs to grow roots by planting them out in the garden doesn’t work very well when it’s so dry. Even the sprinkler won’t get water down that far into the soil.

I made some other posts about these bulk snowdrops earlier, but didn’t say that most of the first batch came up and then never appeared again (probably because they only flowered, and never grew roots), and then when he got a second batch and tried to root the bulbs in pots filled with purchased potting soil, in the upstairs bedroom, the potting soil got so wet it turned to mush, and so did the snowdrops.

So this time (and he said this would be the last time he experimented with snowdrops arriving so late in the year) he planted the snowdrops in big pots filled with a super-gritty and porous mix, hoping the bulbs would root, and at the same time not rot from lack of oxygen in the mix.
About ten days later, after watering almost every day, he dug into the pots and found these:
There was an awful lot of strutting around in triumph, if you ask me.
The snowdrops were then planted into the garden, and watered again.

Oh, I’m also supposed to say that the guy I live with’s email is seriously messed up. Notifications from WordPress come through the email, so sometimes we might not see the comments for days. We’re not being rude; it’s just some technological glitch.

That’s what I have for today. My evening walks have been in the dark, lately, so I get to wear my lighted collar and make other dogs jealous, which they are.
The guy I live with explained Daylight Savings Time to me, but I still think he’s forgetting my dinnertime every afternoon.
I’ll leave you with a picture of me wearing my collar, walking along the canal road.

Until next time, then.

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18 Responses to crocuses and snowdrops

  1. barbk52 says:

    I’ll bet you do your share of strutting too, Mani. After all, you have so many reasons. But a garden triumph is important. I’ve been enjoying the cyclamens slowly spreading all over also. Takes my mind off of other current events.
    Did you go out to look at the moon in the middle of the night? It was cloudy here.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I guess I have reasons for strutting around, beside my lighted collar, like catching mice, which the guy I live with says not to do, but I do anyway.
      We didn’t see the eclipse. The guy I live with has to get up in the night, but he forgot about eclipse stuff.

  2. gfmorais712fbdd592 says:

    What a joy!

  3. tonytomeo says:

    You know, I still miss Privet and Bill (Willow), who were two terrier mutts who lived with me prior to Rhody. I sometimes consider how much Rhody would have enjoyed them if they were all here together. Then, I realize that I could not handle living with all three of them at one time! Oh my! One at a time is a challenge. Of course, that is different from how the guy you live with misses his people, both canine and human. It is different for everyone, and about everyone. Privet and Bill can not be compared to someone who was supposed to stay much longer.

  4. Paddy Tobin says:

    I have always thought the term “bulk snowdrops” meant people had bought a bag of, perhaps, a thousand bulbs or some hundreds at least but it seems it refers to buying dry bulbs. These are on offer in garden centres here at the moment and are almost certainly all misnamed. A package of “Galanthus nivalis” could turn out to be G. ikariae (as has happened!) or as G. plicatus or elwesii. So buying these dry bulbs is a pure lottery but, I suppose, might also lead to something unexpected, different and interesting. Snowdrops will also be on sale in small pots later in the season, 5 or so bulbs crammed into a tiny pot, bulbs on top of the compost, and one often comes on some with different markings which can be interesting and they are cheap especially at the end of the season when the prices are reduced.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says there are bagged snowdrops available at garden centers here, but the “bulk snodrops” he’s referring to are bags of 100 Galanthus elwesii or G. woronowii. He got a bag of each.
      CITES allows Turkey to export a million bulbs of each of these, every year (I think this is right), and at one time they were just dug up from the wild, but now they’re cultivated (at least according to the label on the bags).
      Since it’s become so dry here in the autumn, bulbs planted directly into the garden have little chance to form roots. (He couldn’t figure out why he had failed with eremurus so many times in the last few years, and then realized he needed to water them so they grew roots for the winter.)
      So getting snowdrops “in the green” actually works better than getting rootless bulbs at any time of the year. Especially with autumn-flowering kinds, so they don’t have to make roots and flower at the same time.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        That all makes perfect sense – of course, we would never lack water in autumn and winter here.

      • paridevita says:

        It is depressingly dry here. Every forecast of precipitation brings nothing to the garden.
        The guy I live with said that in 2014 he estimated 275 thunderstorms passed over or by our little neighborhood from May to October, but now we just get skies that look like it might rain, and it doesn’t.

  5. Mani, your autumn crocuses are simply ‘wagnificent!’ I was unaware about ants helping disperse seeds. Maybe we’ll do some next season to see if they’ll ‘help out in the garden.’ It’s been dry and windy in NW Denver too. No amount of raking seems to keep up with the amount of fallen leaves which means the catalpa and silver maple trees continue to produce work on a daily basis. It’s like they’re both growing leaves at an alarming rate!

    • paridevita says:

      We are certainly tired of “dry and windy”.
      The guy I live with said Brent & Becky’s is a good place to find autumn-flowering crocuses, though sometimes you see them at garden centers. Especially Crocus speciosus and C. sativus, the saffron crocus. (The guy I live with didn’t bother to collect saffron this year. He usually invites his neighbor to come over and pick saffron.)
      Either way they usually come with a flowering stalk already growing, but no roots. Soaking the bulbs in water for an hour can help, though here they’re planted in pots and watered for about ten days, then planted in the garden, just like the snowdrops.

  6. Mee-yow wow Mani an Guy mee apawlogizess fore not gettin heer sooner!
    BellaSita Mum has had a furry ruff week an wee so far beehind….
    Butt mee iss heer now an mee must meow that dustin of snow lookss pawtastick!
    Wee love snow up heer!!
    An wee love all yore purrty flowerss…so there ARE Crow-cussess that bloom beefore Spring? Wee know furry littel ’bout Gardenin as youss’ can see 😉
    An Mani wee bet efurry Poochie inn yore ‘Hood iss enveeus of yore purrty nite brite collar…..
    ~~~head rubss~~~BellaDharma~~~ an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

    • paridevita says:

      That’s okay. Yes, there are crocuses that flower in autumn, and also in winter. And spring, too. Just like snowdrops, cyclamen, and narcissus.
      No snow here; they said it might snow last night but nothing happened. The guy I live with would rather have rain, but whatever, I guess. So now it’s really dry again.

  7. WOW mee nevurr mew there were so many kindss of flowerss!! Wee iss leernin alot!
    Wee apposta to have snow flurriess tomorrow an Monday an Tuesday…..wee see rite?
    UCKY that it iss so dry again Mani!! **sighss**

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