The garden lies
Asleeping in the wet
But underneath that cold damp soil
Hides a miracle, I bet!
miracle, to me, is spring with all the spring-blooming bulbs.
Bulbs have been cultivated since before the 1300’s
and of course, growing in the wild since long before that.
I was only mildly insulted to learn that a bulb is considered “heirloom” if
it has been growing fifty years – then what about people
Butterfield Cottage garden, the very first bulbs to bloom
are the snowdrops (Galanthus) (also called Candlemas
bell, Mary’s tapers, February fair-maids). They grow
on each side of the entrance gate and in our mild winters often
bloom in January. Take a minute to peek around the gate posts
and marvel at those perfect little white bells on the end of
thin green stems – they will perk up your day.
are next. The original crocus was the autumn-blooming saffron
crocus grown in Palestine during Solomon’s time.
We have the spring-flowering ornamental introduced in Europe
at the end of the 16th century and brought to North America
with the earliest settlers.
garden also has a few hyacinths. These fragrant bloomers
were once worn as headdresses by bridesmaids in Greek
weddings and were mentioned in Homer’s Iliad. Related
to hyacinths, the English and Spanish bluebells are also known
as Scilla. They grow everywhere on the north coast and their
blue blooms brighten many drab garden corners in the spring.
We have them growing in front of the porch where they expire
just as the nasturtiums are starting to appear.
there we have daffodils (Narcissus) (also called daffodowndilly,
daffodily, Lent lily). Having tried to plant
only the ones we know to be heirloom, we have “King Alfred” which
first appeared in 1899 and hope to someday add the old double
yellow, “Butter and Eggs.”
are only a few tulips in the garden so they are on our list
of “someday” plants. They are definitely
an old garden bulb, but looking at the roadsides and fields
of Clatsop County, we can see they historically took second
place to daffodils.
last garden club meeting, Yolanda Vanveen Wilson of Vanveen
Bulbs shared a wonderful tip with us, “If you
are bothered with critters digging up or eating your bulbs,
sprinkle them with Cayenne pepper when you plant them.” If
you do that, not only will it protect your bulbs, but that
odd sound you hear in the night may well be the sneeze of a