This year we all crave color like never before, and after a long winter, it’s HERE. At the Colorblends House & Spring Garden in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the floodgates open early to give you the shot of spring you so desperately need. If you can’t get to Bridgeport to take it all in in-person, share in the splendor as the blooms evolve via their Facebook page. Are you feeling lightheaded? I promise: It’s only Spring Fever.
Before the color burst of daffodils or the rush of unabashed tulips, before the hyacinths and all the other wonders of spring…in come the crocuses! A hundred crocuses is a start, but if you really want to bring your neighbors to their knees, imagine crocuses by the thousand. The Garden welcomes spring with a strong statement of color by creating waves of crocuses across the lawns. The collection continues to grow each year as more bulbs are planted, making a bigger impact with each seasonal bloom.
The season starts subtle with those intrepid little Tommies (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Barr’s Purple’) that open their modest, blush purple blossoms among the earliest spring flowers. Then comes Hokus Crocus, a blend of purple, white, and white striped with purple crocuses. The purples and whites play off of each other to create an eye-catching carpet. Look closely and you’ll discover that your crocuses are courted by a herd of honeybees desperately searching for their first feast of the season.
If spring is a race, then the Snowdrops are rushing in first. These early gems lay the groundwork for good things to come, combining the bright white of fresh fallen snow with hints of green that seem to shout that spring is nearly here.
If you get down and take a closer look at your snowdrops, you’ll see that their nodding buds hide their charms beneath winged petals. A close-up look will reveal tiny hints of green underneath – mother nature’s quiet celebration of the season soon-to-come. And they are so easy to grow! Yes, they will slip away in summer. But next spring, the surprise will pop up reliably.
One day it’s winter, and then the next day Iris Harmony are sprouting. You hardly realize that their dolphin-like noses have broken above soil before they’re fully loaded with buds. Then come those eye-catching flowers. They were given a prominent bed right along the sidewalk at the Colorblends Spring Garden so that all the locals enjoying the fresh spring air can admire the ultra-early display. This lavender-blue flower really speaks out. And better still, this is a legacy blossom. Expect many happy returns.
If you like spontaneous surprises, then Striped Squill is the performer for you. Striped Squill breaks ground loaded with buds and ready for action. Out of the grass-like leaves, starry white flowers pop up streaked with blue stripes. In the mass appeal of a chorus, they make a statement. These shade-tolerant bulbs combine well with other spring blooms like crocuses, adding fullness and texture to the early spring display. Whether on their own or part of a grand display, they’re sure to spark a smile.
About the Author
Author, garden writer, lecturer, blogger, and photographer Tovah Martin has spent decades working with and writing about bulbs. An honorary member of the Garden Club of America, her most recent book, The Garden in Every Sense and Season, was awarded the Gold Medal from GardenComm. A fanatical hands-on organic gardener outdoors and inside, she digs into Furthermore, her own 7-acre Connecticut farmstead.