Question from Margaret in Kingston, Ontario: I have some crocus clumps that need to be split and divided. Do I do that now or wait until fall planting time? Beckie’s reply: Experts recommend moving crocus (and other spring-blooming bulbs) just after the foliage dies back. Carefully lift the bulbs to avoid puncturing them, and replant them at the same depth they were growing … [Read more...] about When do I split crocus clumps?
I’ve come around to a picky point of view, and that is, I favour spring bulbs with scented flowers. That might seem like a basic gardening no-brainer, but there are some flowers that are more about style and flash, and less about fragrance. For instance, I’ve yet to find any of the elaborately evolved parrot tulips with scent to match their increasingly strange mutations. … [Read more...] about Scented spring bulbs
This slow, cool spring is frustrating for gardeners, but good for perennial plants. Their roots are growing in the soil, weeks ahead of first shoots appearing above ground. New root growth enlarges their clumps, and they’ll be better prepared for summer droughts that may be ahead. The cool dampness also prolongs the bulb display, giving us a long look at the spring garden. This … [Read more...] about Minor bulbs make a big impact
Treasures are revealed as the snow recedes from my front foundation bed. I can see fat buds in the crowns of Lenten hellebores (Helleborus orientalis, syn. H. x hybridus, Zone 5) that are happy in the bright shade on the north side of the house. There’s always a cluster of small, self-sown seedlings around each plant, showing me that hellebores reproduce easily from fresh seed. … [Read more...] about Backyard plant hybridizing