Lens-Artists: #142 You Pick It!

Crocuses. I feel a bit guilty about these non-native early bloomers yet they have been here for generations and pollinators feed on them.

Pickwick Crocus

They were already well established when Emily Dickinson wrote of them in the 19th century:

The feet of people walking home
With gayer sandals go-
The Crocus-till she rises
The Vassal of the snow-
The lips at Hallelujah
Long years of practise bore
Till bye and bye these Bargemen
Walked singing on the shore.

The actual name of this stripey ‘giant’ early spring crocus is “Pickwick”. I picked Pickwick. Ha ha. Yeah, I’m not even cracking myself up.

When I lived on a small lake front I had crocus naturalized through the woods.
Keeping crocus in the dunes of the city is different. It is an ongoing battle with all creatures, great and small, that have adapted to urban living. Problems arise in fall planting where squirrels, theretofore unseen by me, watch and wait til I am done then when I’m gone they dig up the crocus bulbs. To their credit all food is fair game in Squirrelland and in their frame of reference it must be something reallllly good to eat or I would not have buried it in the first place. Argh. Side trip: It once took me a good week to plant a back yard of early daffodils. I’d plant. Go to bed. Next morning EVERY bulb dug up. I’d replant the same bulbs now lying on the ground. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Every day. I don’t think much of city squirrels.

Squirrels never eat the bulbs, crocus or otherwise. They have a good look at the bulbs once they’re out of the ground. That’s all. Sometimes they shred the bulbs. I dunno. Maybe they are checking for food on the inside of the bulb. They never eat, just destroy.

In the spring when the shoots start emerging a different problem arises as gangs of deer come into play. That never happened when I gardened in the country. I don’t think much of city deer.

If you have a warm, sunny, protected area you can get crocus to bloom as early as February. Out by our old lake home I planted crocus over the septic tank as the snow always melted there first. Yeah, there’s something said about my vaguely optimistic general approach to life in that action; planting a miniature garden over the septic tank.

There is a problem with early crocus blooming in February in Michigan (btw I’m in zone wtf it’s cold), snow squishing. Snow’s heavy. The flowers get squished but ‘spring’ back up after the snow melts, unless the bunnies find them.

Species Crocus ‘Barr’s Purple’

Another reason I invest in early crocus is that crocus can feed early emerging spring pollinators. If there are any left. Even as I write I am giving more of my gardens and yard to Michigan natives in support of beneficial pollinators.

* Here is her poem in entirety. I actually found a WP blog post from 2009 about the poem:

#Lens-Artist: #Challenge #142

Published by dunelight


22 thoughts on “Lens-Artists: #142 You Pick It!

      1. You are the most welcome. My follow i working without entering emails, i checked with customer service and they said to follow directly you have to be logged in your account

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  1. Purple is my favorite color, and that single purple blossom is stunning. No flowers in my yard. I’m too lazy and these days the ground is too far away. Nevertheless, I love the early spring bloomers.

    1. Those purple Remembrance are HUGE.

      That ground being far away, I hear you. My spine is fused so when I get down to garden I pretty much stay down.

    1. I too am uneasy with changing bloom times, hottest summers and winters on record, no bees..no ‘fireflies..not many insects.

      Me..I dislocated my rib yesterday, I popped it back in myself but that is painful and it’ll be a couple of weeks before that one dies down. I bought a brace for my foot today. I will always have a broken down body but in two weeks the sailboat goes in the water…that is good. Also, we both have had both Covid shots so soon we can do more things. And you?

      1. OH. I hear a rib is vey painful. Lots of nerves there. I understand – to some extent – what you may be going through but the fact that you’re ready to sail in a fortnight speaks well.
        And yes, two shots means more “freedom”. Though still exercising caution. We’ve had our first shot. One feels safer. Should have the second in a short while. Like a breath of fresh air. Fair winds…

  2. I learned several years ago that daffodil bulbs are toxic to squirrels. I’ve also read, though, that they will often dig them up (fresh soil I guess) and then bury a walnut in its place.

    1. TY…trying to figure out blogging has been interesting because that narrator’s voice, like me, is curious about everything and has a wicked case of ADHD..and so my loves and hobbies are many! πŸ™‚

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