spring cleaning time

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you up to date on various things. You may remember me from such posts as “Equinoxious Weather”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.You might be able to see how cut-down everything looks. Today was a nice day for working.

The guy I live with said there was a drawback to having all these native warm-season grasses in the garden, especially at this time of year, because they’re brown.
That little tree is the Prunus andersonii hybrid with purple leaves that’s going to be trialed for Plant Select, I think.
The guy I live with said he should plant some crocuses in the buffalo grass so things might not be so brown, though he doesn’t care all that much about that.
There are some crocuses, regular ones, in the grass now.
I think there should be more. Ones like ‘Snowbunting’, ‘Blue Pearl’, and so on.
The grass wouldn’t get mowed–if it gets mowed at all–after the crocus leaves wither in late spring.
It looks a little less brown where there are gravel paths.
Here’s a view across what used to be a rock garden, looking almost right into the sun. You might be able to see that the grass in the field is turning green.
There are quite a few crocuses in flower. This is Crocus ancyrensis ‘Golden Bunch’.
This is Crocus alatavicus.There was a lot of raking today, after the guy I live with came back from the store. I supervised.
Here I am supervising in another part of the garden.
Mostly what happened today was raking pine needle mulch off the bulbs, especially the cyclamen. This one should have had the mulch removed earlier.
The cyclamen without mulch are flowering, too, but the guy I live with was concerned about the soil freezing, the way it has the last few winters. The cyclamen don’t like that.
While the guy I live with was wandering around where the cyclamen are, I heard him say “Ha!”, which he only sometimes does. He said it was “A Holmesian cry of triumph.”
This is the Iranian snowdrop, Galanthus transcaucasicus, from the area around the southern Caspian Sea (Iran and Azerbaijan).
There’s another one a few feet away. I heard another “Ha!”.

So then he went to look at something else from Iran. A lot of common garden bulbs are from that part of the world, but he was especially interested in one thing.
He got distracted by seedlings of the central Asian onion, Allium pskemense. They’re kind of funny-looking.
But then there was another “Ha!”, when he found what he went over to look for, emerging leaves of Colchicum haussknechtii. Some say this is a synonym for C. persicum.
Even though this has been a long, rough winter, and we’re still supposed to get more cold weather later this week, the guy I live with was very pleased to see these leaves. There’s another corm pushing up leaves a little distance away.
They had a rough first winter because they were planted so late, but they made it through that winter, and this last one, too.
But seeing these emerging plants made everything we’ve had to endure lately seem like it was almost worth it.

So, dear friends, that’s my post for today. They say it might rain tomorrow. It rained for about fifteen seconds last night. I guess we’ll see about tomorrow and the coming days.

Until next time, then.

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15 Responses to spring cleaning time

  1. Paddy Tobin says:

    I am surprised to see no mention of the black cat!

    • paridevita says:

      That’s a “French scare cat”. The guy I live with’s wife got those, years ago, to scare away birds trying to shred crocus flowers. (They do anyway, looking for bugs.) Green marble eyes.
      There are about half a dozen of them here. They get moved around the garden, sometimes.

  2. Wow, you received 15 seconds of rain more than us in the city. This is the season of discovery in our gardens. Those little pops of color are easier to spot in a sea of drab brown-it’s Nature’s way to get our eyes to see special things.

    • paridevita says:

      Growing in buffalo grass is a really effective way to do it; for some reason the bulbs like that environment even though it’s often not their natural one.
      Here, though, the ground is often so dry that using a dibble at planting time would be a lot of work.
      And of course the guy I live with says I would trample the bulbs when I chase squirrels around the garden.
      He’s getting pretty frustrated with these weather forecasts. Thinking it’s going to rain and then nothing happens.

  3. Mee-yow Mani an Guy youss’ gotted alot accomplished inn THE back garden!!
    It iss lovelee to see THE Crocusess….wee love THE pointy leafed yellow oness so much!
    An THE Cyclamen iss so purrty…..
    Guy you DUE have a green thumm!!
    An 4 “Ha’SS” meenss success rite?
    Mani you look hansum once again. Wee due not think you efurr take a bad foto!
    Wee hope youss’ due get sum rain…..it iss till snowy inn placess here an chilley.
    ***nose bopss*** BellaDharma an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

  4. tonytomeo says:

    HA! That French kitty is startling!

  5. Elaine says:

    You’re a good supervisor. Sitting in the sun while minions do the work. I kind of like the brownish aesthetic in Spring as it doesn’t overpower the smaller bulb colours. Snow crocus here barely exceed an inch and a half so would hardly be visible if they were competing with green grass. Gotta love hearing the ‘Ha’s’. A true expression of triumph. More sunny days to come.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with said that one of the complaints about buffalo grass is that it looks like this in March. Brown.
      Regular bluegrass lawns are still brown, too, with just a little green showing, so that’s kind of a double standard. But when there was bluegrass here, the green was really jarring in combination with the raised beds. (He asked people who knew about such things and they said Yes, it was.)
      The only thing now is that if he wanted to sow more buffalo grass the seed has become very expensive. (Over $30US for a pound.) Same with blue grama, which is the other grass.
      My Private Lawn is Cody buffalo grass.

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