Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, February 28, 2011

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Pollinator Post To Bring You Tommies!


Don't I wish! When gardeners dream, we dream big dreams!
My little hillside looks like this!
(Lilac Tommies On A Hill Need No Prose)
This spectacular hillside of Tommies has delighted and charmed me for over 20 years. No way, can I possibly reproduce this look~That's a million dollar estate! But, I knew that given enough time, that the little snow crocus would make a nice show. So, I ordered and planted a 1000 Tommies on the small hillside slope where the Blue Bottle Tree resides....and, waited patiently to see what late winter would bring.

Crocus tommasinianus planted elsewhere in the garden
They are blooming and they are the tiniest little things, standing about 3" (8 cm) high. Tommies are hardy to Zone 3, often blooming through the snow, but, can get knocked over (but not eaten) by marauding squirrels searching for something tasty to eat.
some are deeper lilac tinted like this 'Ruby Giant'
Instead of blooming all at once like my hillside inspiration, they are opening a few at a time. Gone is that dream of a river of lilac Tommies blooming their hearts out for me! It's not going to happen this year! I have been assured by sources like Paghat and others, that newly planted Tommies bloom sporadically, but, after a few years they will all bloom at the same time! They also have the fastest reproductive rate of any species crocus....self sowing by seed and through offset cormlets. I just might get that dramatic look sooner, rather then later! When gardeners dream, they dream big dreams! Then, we figure out how to make them happen (just in case, I plan on planting even more on my little slope and there's a nice slope in the Garden Of Benign Neglect that would look good, too.)

xxoogail

PS In case you want to learn about the dozens of different species crocus go here! They're gorgeous.


This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

40 comments:

  1. I love that look of seemingly acres of spring flowers blooming under still bare trees. It reminds of an English film. I know one day your dream will come true, because you have been working at it rather than waiting for it.

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  2. That is a beautiful dream. I hope your Tommies get it together for you in a year or two and put on a display like that one. They look so great after winter.

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  3. Oh what a beautiful dream... lovely! But it's hardly just a dream, you're making it become a reality. 1000? You are an inspiration.

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  4. Be patient Gail your dream will come true. These little beauties do make late winter a little easier to take.

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  5. That first photo is just gorgeous Gail - it looks so pretty!

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  6. You may not have the grand sweep of crocuses you envisioned yet, Gail, but your little Tommys are so cheerful. It's good to know that they will spread--maybe in a few years you will have that "million dollar" look, too.

    I'm still shaking my head, though, at the thought of you planting 1000 of these--I planted 100 last year and thought that was work:)

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  7. Wonderful post Gail! Tommies are so welcome after the long winter - yours are beautiful this year even in little bunches.

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  8. Still beautiful, Gail and next year will be the charm!

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  9. Even if they don't all bloom at the same time this year they are still fun to watch bloom! Just think your 1000 Tommies will be many more than that next year and all on their own!

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  10. Gail, I have one problem with this. After planting 1,000 crocus bulbs, that's 1,000 bulbs in one season, you can no longer call it the Garden of Benign Neglect. ;^) Yours will look just as lovely in no time at all. Meantime, enjoy the borrowed view.

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  11. Gail, I can only dream of tommies. I'm so glad I have your pictures of them to enjoy!

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  12. Your own hillside looks grand already, if not exactly like the garden shown. Could we dream for the rock walls and bridge, while we're at it? My tommies, in their second year are still sporadic, but they will be spread about each year in hopes of more of a show. They are so tiny!
    xxxooo
    Frances

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  13. 1000 Tommies! You have patience with planting! I do believe you'll have your dream when the bulbs mature and expand for you.

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  14. Oh my gosh! They are beautiful. I MUST have some. Is it cold enough in the piedmont area of NC almost into Virginia (west of Raleigh/Durham) to grow them?

    Where did you order yours from. I am really hoping I can grow these beautiful plants.

    Patricia

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  15. So lovely, Gail! "Dreams are the touchstones of our character." (Henry David Thoreau)

    I've almost given up on crocus ... chipmunks and squirrels abound in my neighborhood. I'm barely in the house, closing the door after planting, when they begin their shenanigans ... I see the fruits of my labor blooming in all of my neighbors yards :)

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  16. It takes years for masses but you are off to a great start. Another 1000 this year? I'll bet you do.

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  17. beautiful dream and Gail how funny that today I posted a pic of my snow crocus...you will see your dream come true in a few years and it will be stunning...my voles don't let my dream live long...

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  18. Yes, we do dream big dreams, and thank goodness we do. I think the twenty years of tommies are why that hillside looks so gorgeous. Mine new ones are just blooming a few at a time, but they are blooming and if they come back, I will be so happy. I'm glad you talked about planting them last fall in time for me to be inspired by you. Mine are just in the garden though. No hillside.~~Dee

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  19. Hi Gail, the million dollar estate certainly has a million dollar display of crocus, how beautiful, no wonder it is an inspiration. May your "tommies" be fruitful and multiply!

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  20. I love your tommies. I don't have any but I have dream of a flock of daffodils along the edge of my road.

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  21. Beautiful! I've been noticing little bees flying around mine, that is when it's not raining. :)

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  22. What a gorgeous hillside. Indeed that's something to aspire to. I planted siberian squill in my own yard. Only 75 bulbs went in this year but my hope is that each year I'll add more and eventually, many years from now, I'll have a sea of blue to look out onto in spring.

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  23. Hooray for Tommies! That estate hillside is exceptional, but your groupings are very sweet, too. I've planted a hundred or two and will keep planting them through the years - along with fall crocus, can't ever have enough!

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  24. Dear Gail, I remember your post on planting these one thousand tiny bulbs! They look lovely and someday may mirror those on the other landscape you so dream of. I am sure it took many years for those stunning carpets to develop. Beautiful!!

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  25. This is something I really miss down here in SE Texas, the early spring flowers like those awesome nice Tommies.
    I grew up in Kansas and still remember very well the beautiful crocuses in my folks backyard.
    Thanks for sharing those awesome pictures.

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  26. I haven't done well with crocus here. We used to grow them all the time in England, but here they only seem to last a season or two at best. Yours look gorgeous though, and wouldn't we all want that lovely Estate too!

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  27. Wow, that is beautiful! Your work paid off in a big way.

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  28. Gail,

    Every time I attempt to order Tommies they are sold out!! Guess from the looks of these photos you bought them all!!! WOW! And I've been drooling over maybe 25 Flower Record and Pickwick crocuses blooming together.

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  29. You planted 1000??? WOW!!! My crocuses have just popped their leaves up a bit so the flowers are still to come. Just my few make me happy but I can imagine 1000 in my lawn. :o)

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  30. What a wonderful idea. I'd never heard the term "Tommies" but I've had teeny little crocuses in the grass... ;-) I guess you've raised the bar! ha.

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  31. Beautiful, just beautiful. I can't imagine anything being any prettier. Must see if the little jewels will grow in my garden.

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  32. Wonderful! It must have been a lot of work to plant 1000 bulbs, but look at the reward you have. I love the color!

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  33. I am always visiting but still can't leave a comment. Silly blogger, but it worked this time.

    They would be lovely, but I am sure that your 1000 are equally gorgeous.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  34. A beautiful dream indeed and so worth it come spring. :)

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  35. Dear...I'm jealous! My crocus and other bulbs that I planted last fall are still under 2 feet of snow! It smelled like spring today though...

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  36. Patience, Grasshopper! I'm sure your crocus slope is much further along than my crocus & scilla lawn, which I started years ago. I think I will follow your lead, and plant more scilla in the lawn this fall.

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  37. 1,000 is a fantastic start dear Gail! They are lovely, colorful harbingers of spring!

    We gardeners are so fortunate for the lessons in patience we didn't know we signed up for. :)

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  38. The front gardens of old estates in Illinois didn't have tommies, but were covered in sheets of blue scilla so I kept planting them with fingers crossed. But we moved so I don't know what's happened in the past 12 springs. Hope you stay in one place long enough to see the crocus fields, Gail!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  39. I just ran across your blog and it is very lovely! What really caught my eye was your comments regarding your back. I have also recently discovered laying flat for a time and also working core muscles to provide some relief for the horrible pain that accompanies most days. I unfortunately can't take anti-inflammatories, and am willing to use pain meds only in the most severe times as I don't like the way they make me feel. Never the less... the gardens must go on as they are such an important part of my life! I look forward to investigating more of your posts! Larry

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  40. I hope you publish an update this year, and not just of close ups, I am very curious to see the bigger picture and how it is all coming together.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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