Spring comes a little later upstate

Things happen slower upstate. Those of you who have ever tried to engage a contractor know this for fact. Out in our front lawn, we see bulb varieties that have already swooned weeks ago in the heat of our New York City April.

I plan to get many more of the prim white crocus above. Her name, 'Miss Vain', suits her well. The graceful flowers remind me of the rain lilies (Zephyranthes) that used to pop up overnight in our front lawn in Texas after a storm.

Scillas reliably come up through tufts of moss and grass every year.

I wish I kept better track of the names of the hellebores. These do well at the base of the stone chimney.

The always reliable 'King Alfred' was our first daffodil to bloom this season.

This 'Flower Record' crocus looks a bit lonely by itself. Bulb expert and author Anna Pavord recommends Crocus tommasinianus as a good naturalizer for the lawn. I will take her advice this fall. I wrote about her wonderful new book here.

We are starting a rock garden around the bluestone patio. The little irises like 'Harmony' seem very happy there.

My favorite small iris is 'Katharine Hodgkin', above. She is the color of a blue oxford shirt with yellow falls spotted and striped with deeper blue. In slight shade, below, the markings are even more distinct where they don't get bleached by the sun. Anna Pavord calls this variety "subdued and strange in its beauty". It was hybridized in 1958 by a alpine garden enthusiast in Gloucestershire and he named it for the wife of fellow rare bulb collector.

They'll be many more daffodils to come. Stay tuned!

8 comments:

Elizabeth said...

gorgeous pictures! What a wonderful environment.

Markus said...

Wow. i love those white crocus. They are so graceful

Stephen Orr said...

Thanks Elizabeth! It's easy to take nice pics of such beautiful subjects

Barb said...

look at that little spider on the daffodil!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Lovely stuff. I really admire the Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin.' Your photo shows its delicate markings better than any I've seen. Time to start making a list of bulbs for fall.

Les said...

The color on 'Katherine Hodgkin' is sublime.

Mandy said...

Where are you in upstate NY? I'm in Glens Falls and I planted a bushel of King Alfred type daffs from a great supplier (pristine bulbs) and there is not even a leaf showing. I'd be very upset if none of them bloomed especially with all the time and money I spent on them. Any info appreciate. Thanks, Ana

Stephen Orr said...

Hi Mandy.
It's been such a cold spring. If they are in a sunny spot they should be up very soon. And if they are in the shade it will take longer. The bulbs should come up without fail. If you want to ck you can dig down to see if one of the them is sending up leaves underground.