Olly olly oxen free!

The only difference in the use of this hide and seek catchphrase is that I am both the hider and the seeker. I planted 336 bulbs last fall. Where the heck are they? This is what I asked myself in a semi-audible way as I scratched the surface of dried leaves from the partially-frozen ground. “We had six inches of snow just a few weeks ago,” my husband reminded me.(I accused him of blatant hyperbolic behavior and then apologized when I remembered he was right.)

Muscari 'Superstar'
Oh sure, I can see signs of some of the 115 tulip bulbs here and there, but I’ll have to wait until they bloom to know which is where. If they bloom. The extravagant nature of the purchase was driven home when I noticed deer footprints in the midst of one clump.

The trouble with planting spring bulbs is that, in order for them to look their best, some thought should be given to their surroundings.

I'm beginning to think perhaps I should make an attempt of cleaning up the garden in the fall. If I'd at least cut back the skeletal remains of the Japanese anemone and the now soggy strands of Siberian iris leaves, it would at least be easier to rake. My excuse has always been that I have more motivation in spring. As I age, I'm finding it doesn't matter how much motivation I have if there is a lack of momentum. So in order to negate the brown on brown surroundings, I'm left no choice but to plant more bulbs.
Scilla mischtschenkoana

Compared with my existing Muscari, the hybrid 'Superstar' is blooming very early. Of course, I planted it in the raised bed on the south side of my house, which is always a week or so advanced.
The 50 Scilla mischtschenkoana make attractive clumps that accompany fat little Hyacinths planted over the years. A clump of deep blue Hyacinths have apparently reverted back to a simpler structure. They're not the chubby little floret-packed stems, but they're still pretty and fragrant.
Simple hyacinth patch
A new bulb for me this year is Bulbocodium vernum, a Colchicum relative that's also referred to as spring saffron. If ever a bulb cried out for a tidy environment it's this one. It has no stem, and simply pops up out of any old scrubby pile of leaves and other leftover winter detritus without any warning.

Bulbocodium vernum

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