A few Winter aconites remain


As is too often the case, a few years ago I planted too few Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis, below) for them to make a proper show. The bulbs could not have been too costly, but for whatever reason I purchased only a dozen or two when I should have planted no less than a hundred of the small bulbs. Some bulbs multiply rapidly enough to make up for the gardener’s frugality, but aconites have gone in the wrong direction, though through no fault of their own.Winter aconite

I’m afraid that I’m a fiddler, and no part of this garden is ever left completely alone. In the case of the Winter aconites, they are planted near the entry of the walk that goes from the driveway to the front door, and here I am incessantly meddling to plant one thing and another, or to move this or that to someplace else. The end result is that aconites and crocuses are constantly being dug up after flowers and foliage fade. Some are replanted, and inevitably, some are lost.

Only a few Winter aconites remain from the original planting
Only a few Winter aconites remain from the original planting

This is, of course, the time to chide that you must not follow my lead, and it is my hope that I am the only gardener idiotic enough not to promptly replant displaced bulbs. In fact, often they do go back in the ground, but almost certainly without any care being taken to assure that the bulbs are planted to a proper depth. Most aconites, I fear, have been buried too deeply, probably beneath densely rooted hostas and hellebores where they have no hope of reaching the surface again.

There are now three flowers remaining, and as you would guess these look a bit lonesome. If I was a gardener able to make notes and find them months later, I would note that in September I should purchase a hundred and possibly a second hundred Winter aconites to plant alongside these lonely three. This would make them feel much less lonely next spring, but there’s little hope without prompting that I will recall to order these.

Several small groups of crocus remain that have not been dug up by the gardener or by squirrels.
Several small groups of crocus remain that have not been dug up by the gardener or by squirrels.

A usual, I have forgotten what bulbs were planted in October other than the snowdrops that began appearing late in January. After an interlude when they were buried in snow, the snowdrops resumed flowering a week ago. Near one of the groupings of snowdrops, sprigs of something are popping up that look somewhat like crocus, though it’s unlikely that I would plant them in this spot. So, they could be something else, though I haven’t a clue what. I suppose I’ll find out in another week or two. Spring is full of surprises, and many of them are good.

Snowdrops in mid March
Snowdrops in mid March

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