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Why Crocuses Bring the Spring

purple flowers garden

Crocuses are the first spring ephemerals

Why crocuses? Just a few weeks ago, snow and ice were everywhere. Yesterday, walking through the dormant garden, we found the first pop of color! These little beauties add a lovely violet accent to the lawn. The dormant garden may be sleeping, but there is actually so much life just beneath the surface.

I think these were originally planted in a border along the lawn, some years ago, but they show up along the entire lawn now. We love it! We are no-till and of course, working towards a permaculture garden. So a healthy layer of dead leaves is serving as mulch. Doesn’t seem to bother these little blooms at all!

Three purple crocus flowers viewed from above.
Happy crocuses in the morning sunshine.

Spring lifts the spirits

At this point in the year, spring is well on its way. I’ve started some seeds indoors. The indoor trees in their pots are starting to go outside during the day to harden them off. (Our lemon tree actually sprouted some new leaves!)

As I write this, I realize that the aloes, fern, and a small cactus will feel left out. Not to worry, they have now gone out into the sunshine as well.

green and gray bird perching on aloe vera plant
Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

Still, nothing is really happening outside… yet. Well, not in the garden.

A lot is happening in the forest. There are visible buds on the top branches of the tallest trees. The migratory birds have returned in force. The geese have paired off. The mallards have returned. The flock of turkey buzzards down the road seems to have doubled in size since last spring. No eagles yet. Many hawks and owls. The resident heron circled a few times yesterday on reconnaissance.

In the garden, though, the dominant color scheme is still wintery. So these signs of rebellion are very welcome!

About a dozen purple crocuses bursting through the brown leaves.
Looking cheerful

Crocuses are hardy perennials

Hidden for most of the year, the crocuses are ready to take their moment in the sun the instant winter starts to recede. They rely on a robust root system just under the lawn. Mowing doesn’t bother them. Foot traffic over the grass in the warmer months has no effect.

In fact, they seem to spread a little further every year. Since the grass isn’t much to look at this early anyway, all the better. A little later in the spring we will have so many bluebells. I can’t wait. Do you have a favorite spring ephemeral? To me, they are just the best.

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Don’t Feed The Wildlife — existential ergonomics

macro photography of brown rodent

A cautionary tale: don’t feed the wildlife no matter how cute they are!

Two weeks ago, our garden began blooming. Then, one week ago, the green foliage began to recede. Today, it fully disappeared. And today, I finally discovered why. As I walked past the window overlooking the patio, I noticed a flash of movement. On closer inspection, I saw a small squirrel nibbling on a nasturtium leaf […]

Don’t Feed The Wildlife — existential ergonomics
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How to Identify and Treat Herbicide Contamination – Deep Green Permaculture

green plants near brown wooden fence

How to Identify and Treat Herbicide Contamination of Commercial Soil, Compost and Manure. Shared post from Deep Green Permaculture.

Over the last decade, there have been increasing reports from gardeners that their vegetables and flowers have been damaged or killed after adding manure or compost to their gardens, or when they’ve planted into new soil they had delivered. In fact, the problems of contaminated composts adversely affecting horticultural crops first surfaced in 1999. […]

How to Identify and Treat Herbicide Contamination of Commercial Soil, Compost and Manure — Deep Green Permaculture