Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Up through the Snow - Spring Bulbs

As the big dump of April snow melts I see the first signs of spring in the garden. Peeking through the snow are the green and red tips of emerging tulips, crocus and daffodils.

When I first started gardening I grew only vegetables and threw in sunflowers for good measure. I was young, had small children and was mostly interested in growing pesticide free food. When David and I bought our first house there were a few perennials already growing on the property (you know the kind you see on old properties, an iris clump, two peonies and some columbines.) It was because of those plants that I started to notice perennials in other people's gardens.

One day I dropped my daughter off at a new friend's house and was awestruck by her mom's amazing perennial garden. The Siberian iris were in bloom and I went from casual vegetable gardener to "obsessed with anything that blooms" gardener right then and there. The local garden center saw me every weekend (I ended up working there!) I bought books on gardening, cashed in bottles to pay for my perennial addiction and let my thumbs turn green!

One of the first things I learned was that when you plant bulbs in the fall you get a brilliant splash of cheery colour at the end of a long winter - something to dream of when the temperatures are in the minus 20s and the skies are grey for days on end.

I now make it my practice to make sure I plant at least a few every year. Last fall I created a brand new garden area behind the house. I bought bulbs on sale at the very end of the season and planted many different varieties. I can't wait to see what I planted! I'll be sure to post pictures when the bloom!