March 2012 Blooms in Connecticut

What a glorious few days … warm temperatures, strong sunshine, and blooms popping out all over. Time for spring bulbs to shine if they can escape the creatures so active in my Connecticut gardens.

Voles have managed to find most of the crocus I’ve planted. I imagine them gorging on crocus bulbs till full then happily transporting any unconsumed bulbs for storage elsewhere along their tunnels.  I’m sure they giggle at me under their vole breadth as they rearrange my crocus. I now have single bulbs  blooming here and there in places I never intended them to be. So much for planting in groups! I once had a beautiful stand of crocus planted on either side of my front steps right where they were most noticeable from the front door. Used to, until the voles ate their share and rearranged the rest.

Last autumn – on the promise of vole-resistance – I purchased Tommies, Crocus tommasinianus. I don’t yet know if they are truly vole-deterring or if my vole population declined because of no snow or the fox that found my front yard so appealing last summer, but the Tommies are blooming exactly where I planted them. These are ‘Ruby Giant.’



For many of the previous years my Tete-a-Tetes, one of the earliest blooming narcissi, were visited by a hungry deer just as they began to poke their fresh green shoots out of the ground. I’m sure the deer, who are not supposed to like narcissi/daffodils, were just as anxious to see greenery as I. Nonetheless, when I found my emerging Tete-a-Tetes with their tops chomped off, I hoped they caused the four-hooved forager to have an upset tummy.

Here’s what they looked like exactly one year ago.



This year, the garden idea fairy bonked me in the head with the old, rusty pitch fork remnants I have here and there. The head bonk worked. I came up with this method of protecting the Tete-a-Tetes and so far, so good.

These Tete-a-Tetes may be blooming in a pitch fork jail, but they are doing so with all leaves intact.



Today is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, a celebration of shared blossoms from across the globe, a garden party hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. You can visit there to see what’s going on in Carol’s garden and find links to all the garden bloggers who share their gardens with the world today. If you need a pick-me-up this is the place to find one.

Garden thoughtfully,


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10 comments for “March 2012 Blooms in Connecticut

  1. March 15, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I like the artistic effect of the sunny yellow daffodils blooming under the rusty pitchforks. Very fun look!

    • joenesgarden
      March 15, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Thanks, Laurrie. This is a happy side-benefit of the protective effect of the pitch forks, and a much better solution than in prior years. I used to cover these blubs each night with an overturned apple basket. Now I don’t have to remember to cover and uncover each night/morning.

  2. March 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Seeing your pitch-fork solution really does inspire, Joene. Also, I like the way it looks – appropriately menacing in an artistic way. Beautiful solution.

    • joenesgarden
      March 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Thank you, Lee. It’s always rewarding to find a plant-protecting solution that is also attractive. I’m tired of looking out at plants protected with welded wire fencing and chicken wire cages. Rusty old pitch forks … shall I say ‘vintage’ pitch forks … are so much easier on the eyes.

  3. March 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Joene, Love the pitchfork daffs – so much more interesting with the rusty cage! I planted tommies here in NC for the first time last fall and they have really performed well – judging by the hawks in the ‘hood, I’d guess there are voles and other rodents here too. Happy GBBD!

    • joenesgarden
      March 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Cyndy, I hope you don’t end up with a vole problem the size of mine. So far I’m very happy with my tommies. Let’s be sure to continue to compare notes.

  4. March 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Tommies and a pitchfork jail. It doesn’t get any more spring-like.

    • joenesgarden
      March 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Nell Jean, I think I owe you a thanks for guiding me to tommies. If I remember correctly, you suggested them to me in a comment to a previous whine of mine about voles eating my crocus. So far, the tommies are still growing … keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. Margaret Waage
    March 23, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Joene – This time of year every day is great… so much to see happening in the garden! I’m glad I found your blog. I sometimes need help in identifying flowers! I believe I’d find the answer here!

    • joenesgarden
      March 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Stop back any time, Margaret.

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