Spring Fever

It's a yearly ritual

Spring Fever is a cross between nostalgia and excitement; I get it worst when I see the tiny tips of bulbs emerging from a snow bank.

Spring Fever...finally...

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Sometimes you get those balmy spring days in February or March, when it gives you a taste of what's to come; warm breezes, the snow is melting, and all of the earth seems fresh and new. 

It happens during a spring shower, or even a last minute snowstorm. 

There is hope, finally.

So, just to get you into the spring fever mode, here are some pictures that I've dug out of the archives; you can tell I'm a big fan of spring bulbs; the reason being, by the time they emerge, it's been so long since you planted them in the fall that it's a huge surprise;

Purple crocus...I've forgotten the name of these beautiful purple crocuses, if I ever knew it. They just keep getting better, every year...

Crocuses come in all colors; these royal purple ones, striped and splashed kinds, and delicate species types; they have different bloom times, some of them pushing their way through snow.  They flower from earliest spring right through to May, giving the bees a reason to visit early and often.

Jet Fire and Tete a Tete Daffodils...Jet Fire and the smaller Tete a Tete daffodils are growing happily together...
Tete a Tete daffodils just get better and better...Tete a Tete daffodils thriving in their xeric garden bed

I do have other varieties, like New Baby, and Cheerfulness, as well as the common larger ones, King Alfred, but these little ones are among my favorites. 

The conditions that they like (well drained sandy soil with some organic matter, cool temperatures to flower in, then dry warm conditions to ripen the bulbs during the summer) are exactly right in my garden.  Native to the Mediterranean region, most flowering bulbs thrive in these situations.

Lily flowered tulips are different and fabulous...Lily flowered tulips this bright should be outlawed...
This variety, Ballerina, smells fantastic, like mandarin oranges......I only grow them for the scent - they smell like Mandarin oranges...

Some tulips dwindle away, never really becoming naturalized; some of the best are the species tulips, like Fusiliers (bright red) and those that are grown for the veined and striped foliage, the ground cover types.

Violas are a favorite...Scented, very cute, and a favorite host plant of the Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly - whether they're native, like the palest blue Viola adunca...

These are native to sandy acid soils like mine; they're happiest growing where they will get full sun early in the spring, and more dense shade later on, such as under deciduous trees.

Viola 'Freckles'...or splashed with spots like 'Freckles' here, they're always welcome in my garden

Spring is such a time of renewal.  For someone that has never experienced winter cold, they won't be able to fully appreciate the joy and sense of relief a gardener gets when the sun is warm, flowers are starting to bloom through the snow, and even the odd insect emerges from hibernation.

Even the scent of the earth and the buds unfolding create a feeling of well being and your heart expands with bliss.

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