So there’s still a lot of snow on the ground but things are starting to heat up around here in Boston! Pretty soon, the gutters will stop leaking, the ice on the driveway will melt and our shovels will be put away until next winter but guess what else will be changing soon? Our gardens! Yes, my fellow New Englanders, I promise you there’s actually life in the works happening right below those last few feet of blanketed snow. You may be looking out your window in disbelief, but it’s a fact that a snowy winter can actually be beneficial to our flower and vegetable beds. This is because the snow acts as a warm cover and becomes its own watering system long after the fruit and blossoms have reaped their seasonal harvest. Herb gardens can do particularly well within this case, benefiting varieties such as rosemary, sage and thyme. New plantings of basil and some types of parsley can be expected, but all in all your herbs will thank old man winter for his snow fury. So what should we expect to see bloom first in our backyards after the clean up has occurred? Here are some beauties to look forward to until spring officially arrives…
Crocuses are probably the number one flower that appears first in most New England gardens. Originating from the iris family, crocuses bloom from what are called “Corms”. The ability for the heads to extend through colder weather and even snow make this a desirable plant for garden lovers as well as their beautiful colors that include purple, violet, yellow, white and even striped. Another bonus of including crocus in your plantings is that they are very hard to kill and will spread and multiply over time.
If you haven’t planted tulips in your yards quite yet, here are a few reasons to get you motivated. Grown from a bulb, Boston soil is ideal for cultivation because they love cold winters and dry summers, which holds common to this area. Native to southern Russia, these beauties are ultimately bred in almost every color imaginable including black, blue and multi-colored. A tulip head can have one or double petals surrounding its center often resembling a stunning silk cocoon. The perennials are perfect as edging for garden borders or placed in clumps to present a beautiful floral display. One thing to be mindful of if you live near a wooded forest area, deer absolutely love to eat this perennial and will chew the heads clean off if not guarded by a gate.
HyacinthHyacinth is another spring season starter, arriving soon after the crocus and right before the tulips. The plant is tied to Greek mythology believed to hold the blood of one of Apollo’s victims killed in battle. The shape of the hyacinth resembles a skinny beehive with several bell-like buds that run up and down the thick stem. Available in shades of pink, white, lavender, yellow and dark blue, the flashy bulbed plants possess a sweet smell that will fragrant your home or garden. Cuttings are remarkably durable so don’t forget to utilize hyacinth in spring bouquets and centerpieces!
she had hundreds of bulbs to her home in Westwood every year.