Dreaming in the February Garden

 IMG_4064

“Strange how many flowers that bloom so early are the ones you would describe as humble.  But it is a good way of edging into a new year–a reminder that it is not the noisiest people or the showiest flowers that are worth taking notice.”

Alan Titchmarsh

 

February can actually feel like the longest month even though in reality it is the shortest.  Cold and snow start to wear on one and the lack of gardening brings severe withdrawals and a need for colorful blooms and perfumed breezes.  So the dreams of spring continue and I wanted to share a fabulous early bulb that has a tiny but gorgeous flower.

If you have never grown or seen Puschkinia scilloides libanotica or Striped Squill, you are missing a great early spring bloom.  I adore this bulb and its striped flower.  I will even lay on the ground eye level just to admire it.  Or maybe to peek and see if a fairy is hiding in its bell shaped flower.

It is a fabulous bulb for anyone just starting to plant spring bulbs or if you want to add some unusual color to your garden.  And it naturalizes easily and quickly.

I am linking in with Carol@May Dreams Gardens where she hosts GBBD on the 15th of every month as I dream about this beloved spring bloom.

 __________________________________________________________

IMG_0508

Puschkinia is part of the family Hyacinthaceae, and grows everywhere in the garden except very wet areas in winter.  I avoid planting it where there is a heavy pooling of water from winter thaw.  It does love moisture throughout the growing season and sun to part shade for blooming.

 

 

IMG_4065

This bulb is hardy from zones 4 to 8 and has a lovely fragrance.  It has few faults or diseases, and can be grown beneath black walnut trees.  Deer also do not like this plant.  And I love to see it spreading beneath trees in my garden.  I am not sure why I have not planted it in more spots, but I hope to add more of it to my garden plans.

 

 

 

IMG_0654

Puschkinia mixes well with other early spring flowering bulbs.  I have it planted here with hyacinths.  It is related to Spanish and English Bluebells, and its species name comes from its resemblance to Scilla.  This bulb grows as easily from self seeding as it does from bulbs.   Try planting it in the grass with crocus or anywhere you want to see a lovely early spring drift of bloom like walkways and meadows. 

 

 IMG_0566

This lovely little bulb is native to Caucasus, Turkey, northern Iran and Lebanon.  Puschkinia was named for Count Puschkin who collected many plants in the Caucasus area.  There is one other cultivar of Puschkinia that I may plant eventually and that is the pure white ‘Alba’.  It will look great naturalizing in my white garden.

 

 

Have you grown this lovely bulb?  What are your favorite early spring bulbs and blooms?  

 

 

IMG_0827We had this stone marker made by Adirondack Stone Works commemorating our gardens that were started in 2005 when we moved into our house.  It is when the dreams started and they continue to this day, as I observe and dream about my gardens in 2014.

 

 

 

 

They speak of hope to the fainting heart,
With a voice of promise they come and part,
They sleep in dust through the wintry hours,
They break forth in glory, bring flowers, bright flowers!

Felicia Hemans

Seasonal Celebrations will be starting on March 1st.  Please join us as we celebrate our next season spring.  Details about how to join are below.

________________________________________________________________

Come Join Us:

Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time.  I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether winter or summer or something else.  Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words starting March 1st.

And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of autumn here in the North and spring in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.

The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.

Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (around the 20th of March).  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the solstice to give us enough time to include your post in our summary.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page.  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!

 
 
______________________________________________________________________

Next up on the blog:  Monday will bring another Garden Book Review.

I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my latest post.

I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.  You can see my posts here.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.sharethelove

I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

94 comments

  1. Cathy says:

    I agree entirely – they are such pretty signs of spring. Lovely photos Donna. I grow both puschkinia and scillas, but some are so similar I get mixed up! I can’t wait to see them again very soon!

  2. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Oh, I can’t wait for Spring!!! I love that little striped puschkinia and it’s now on my wishlist. Just a few more weeks, just a few more weeks. I have to order some seed and such and dragged up a shelf from our scary cellar to make my own 3 tier lighting system to start seeds. Getting ready!

    • Donna says:

      That shelf unit sounds great. I have to get busy and clean up from last fall and spring…life was so busy everything is in a big pile. And as soon as I get it cleaned and ready, we will be in full swing and spring will be here.

  3. HolleyGarden says:

    Thanks for introducing me to this little sweetie! I’ve never heard of it before, but it looks adorable. I will have to put it on my wish list. Even my husband is complaining about the cold now. Poor February – such a sad reputation to be the worst month of winter!

    • Donna says:

      Holley I agree, but if we had better weather then Feb would be a better month. Of course my garden and bulbs need the cold and the snow is such a great blanket so I know I have to have this winter weather to enjoy the flowers. Glad you found another sweet bulb for spring.

  4. Carolyn @ This Grandmother's Garden says:

    Ahh… so nice to see color in the gardens… a sweet respite from the monochromes of Winter. My Spring bulbs haven’t fared so well for the last several Springs… the dear have enjoyed them as a smorgasbord of tasty greens. Personally, I’d rather have the deer in my gardens… the city thought otherwise and shot them. I’m so not happy about that.

  5. DeniseinVA says:

    I see these pretty flowers on one of my favorite walks and I can’t wait to see them bloom again. Thank you for the lovely post and for visiting my blog. Happy Sunday to you 🙂

  6. Shirley says:

    We are so ready for spring. Those little squills are pretty.

    I don’t typically plant spring bulbs because our climate is so mild. This would have been a good year to give them a try though.

  7. susan@life-change-compost says:

    Hi Donna, I’m like you with the deep blue hyacinths coming up, but after seeing the lovely little puschkinia, I wish I had some in the foreground! We are just melting out from a huge snow storm. Can’t wait until the ice melts so the roads are safer.

  8. Angie says:

    These pretty little bulbs struggle in my garden and I suspect you’ve nailed the cause – winter wet! The colour of the flowers always remind me of toothpaste 😉

  9. Island Threads says:

    they are lovely Donna, I remember buying some years ago shortly after I moved here but mine decreased instead of increase, perhaps it is the peaty soil, the white ones look beautiful, I thought the fairies used the flowers as hats ;o) Frances

  10. igardendaily says:

    Hi Donna, Lovely, I had some in a previous garden but have yet to include them in this garden. I love your quote as I am guilty of forgetting about some of these beautiful early bloomers and have focused more on the “louder guys,” such as tulips! 🙂

  11. Donna says:

    I have grown this bulb also, but they are now gone. So much snow as of late, but it still blankets the gardens. I enjoy the break and when Spring rolls around, it is like Christmas seeing what and where the bulbs break ground.

    • Donna says:

      I adore the break too Donna, but I would love to have the bulbs show a bit earlier in March. But the celebration is awaiting us under all that snow….I think of it like fireworks!

  12. Susan says:

    I’ve had scilla in the garden before. I don’t know why I didn’t plant some during my bulb frenzy last year. Do you know if the Puschkinia scilloides libanotica spread as much as the Scilla siberica? I’ve got a lot of space but don’t want it to get out of control.

  13. Casa Mariposa says:

    I have a few solid blue squill that pop up but are under appreciated in my garden. I really need to add more. Even my bulbs are still asleep in this cold winter. Spring will probably be a bit late this year.

  14. debsgarden says:

    I love the Titchmarsh quote, and the Puschkinia is a great example! It really is a sweet flower. We are expecting freezing rain tonight, but I am so ready for spring. If the weather will only cooperate, I know those tight buds in my garden will start opening.

  15. PlantPostings says:

    No, I’ve never grown Squills of any kind, Donna. But I really like them! I’m thinking of adding more potted bulb plantings to my garden–if I can keep the chipmunks out of them! February is passing so much faster than January did. I guess it really does help to get out of the house more! 😉

  16. Andrea says:

    Hello Donna, Happy Valentine’s Day. So February is your transition month and ours too, from less hot to more hot. That is the better description i can give because ours at 19°C is not cold at all with your standards at the temperate countries. I love that striped flowers, oh if only they can grow with us here, i will be very happy. So i will just appreciate them in your photos.

    • Donna says:

      Andrea I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Yes February can be a transition if the spring comes earlier in March…but sometimes March is more of a transition. So glad you enjoyed my striped flowers. they will show up officially in April.

  17. KL says:

    Is this flower same as scilla? I planted many scilla last year but nothing grew. Let’s see if anything grows this year. My favorite first flowers are many — muscari, lady’s slipper, rhododendron, tulip, daffodil and hyacinth, but I think dandellion beat all of them — just looking at them fills me with joy.

    • Donna says:

      Indeed they are related but not the same flower. I hope they grow for you. I love your first flowers and yes the dandelions seem to help the bees and early overwintering butterflies when they appear.

  18. Christina says:

    I think you are right we enjoy far more the delicate ‘humble’ flowers of winter and early spring to the brash beauties of summer. Winter flowers usually have delicious perfume to tempt the bees from their winter hives and fill our hearts with joy.

  19. catmint says:

    I love that little blue and white striped flower. Even the name is quite magical and romantic. Bulbs that naturalize are wonderful, you plant them once then they decide when and where to grow.

  20. Helene says:

    Gorgeous photos!
    I have planted Puschkinia scilloides libanotica for the first time in my garden and are eagerly awaiting their flowers – not long to go now. I hope they will look just as lovely as yours.

  21. commonweeder says:

    It took me a while, but I now have a variety of daffodils at the edge of the lawn, scillas, grape hyacinths and snow drops – but it will be a while before the 2 feet of snow melts, and April arrives here on my Masachusetts hill.

    • Donna says:

      It sounds lovely all those bulbs. We have 3 feet of snow here on the ground and I am sure it will be quite a while as well for it to melt and absorb into the clay soil so I can get out and work in the garden. Seeing lots of bird activity around the birdhouses which is a surprise.

  22. Ginnie says:

    I’ve never heard of this delightful flower, Donna! Nor have I ever seen it in real life that I know of! Since Astrid grows hyacinths indoors throughout the winter, I wonder if they have such bulbs here in Dutchland? As a BTW, she has narciscus growing now (here in the living room) but a different flower than our normal daffodils. I’ve been taking pictures of them while they grow…just for you…and will post a collage one of these days. HA! This is fun. 🙂

  23. Rose says:

    I love these striped squill! I can’t remember now if I ordered and planted some last fall–I’ll have to keep my eye out for them this spring. If I didn’t, they are definitely going on my wish list for bulbs for next year!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Loredana….our house has a great purple front door and when we first moved here we were nicknamed “Purple Door”…so it just made sense to use the name. It is also a business name for me.

Leave a Reply