Unusual Spring Bulbs Bloom Early

Muscari macrocarpum 'Golden Fragrance'
I'm not sure what happened the last time I tried Muscari macrocarpum 'Golden Fragrance', but it never came up after planting it in fall in one of the sunnier areas in my garden--a raised bed that also includes plants that require good drainage--but it surprised me this year. I'd planted it once again last fall after purchasing it from Brent and Becky's Bulbs. They're pricey, and since I wasn't sure they'd come up, I only bought a few. It's more of a novelty this year but hopefully will be happy enough to reward me with increasing numbers in future years.

Fritillaria meleagris

Why it took me so long to grow Fritillaria meleagris. This unassuming, deer-resistant bulb doesn't mind a moist spot, and will reseed when it's happy. I planted a mix of both the checkered type and a white, both of which bloomed in late April last year. They're a whole month earlier this year.

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

Fritillaria raddeana
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' seems a bit more floriferous than the species, and its flowers appear to be larger as well. It's having a good year even in its location in some serious shade. Redbud is an understory tree, but I'd been concerned it wouldn't get enough sun on the north side of the house.

I'll have to start saving my money now so I can buy at least two more bulbs of Fritillaria raddeana to keep this lonely flower company. I had hoped that it would be so happy it would reseed with abandon. It's been two seasons already... Anyway, I certainly like its unusual and delicate look and color that goes with everything.

Hyacinth 'Odysseus' flopped after a heavy rain.
It doesn't go with everything like the Fritillaria, but Hyacinth 'Odysseus' is a great springtime color, and unusual in the Hyacinth world. In its second year since planting this orangey-peachy blend is packed with so many florets it almost seems as if they were double. I recommend planting it in the sunniest spot you can find so it doesn't flop like mine have. It gave me an excuse to pick one for a vase, though.

Most of us are scratching our heads about this weird weather and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will the proverbial shoe arrive in the form of an ice storm? A short-lived blizzard? We're back closer to normal today with temps in the high 50s and incredibly foggy. But with all of the plants that are supposed to bloom in April opening in March, I'm not sure what next month will look like. But I guess that's one of the best things about gardening--the surprises.

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