I was clearing the garden on Sunday, wondering how many perennials I had lost during the first snowless half of winter, and kept uncovering little surprises.
A crocus here. A mass of Siberian squill there. And bunches of sprouting tulip tarda, with the buds just showing.
Standard tulips and daffodils tend to be the big stars of the spring garden, but my favorite bulbs are the tiny ones that madly self-seed, spreading their colorful glory in clumps all over the garden. Tulip tarda, a six-inch Asian native with bright yellow-and-white flowers, spreads freely in my garden. Tiny glory-of-the-snow (chionodoxa) sometimes literally blooms right through snow cover and has happily colonized my lawn and garden. I have it in blue, white and pink, but blue is my favorite.
I planted masses of big purple and orange tulips last fall, hoping to break out of my boring habit of always choosing shades of red and pink for tulips. They’re just starting to poke through the ground. But I doubt they will make me as happy as the little bulbs that herald the start of the gardening season.
Do you have a favorite spring bulb?