Gardening Nana – Cheerful Anticipation
Writer / Nancy Craig
Anticipation: “wishing with confidence of fulfillment” or “hopeful waiting”
My great nieces, Lindsey and Lauren, are three-year-old twins, and they love to learn new big words as they help me in our flower gardens.
Anticipation is our big word while we plant crocuses. The twins will learn about anticipation, as we wait for those corms (bulbs) we plant this fall to become delightful colorful flowers in the early spring. In addition, since crocus means cheerfulness in the language of flowers, we will have cheerful anticipation.
We love the tulips, but the crocuses are the first flowers to bloom in the spring and they do bring a lot of cheer as they pop up through the snow. There are several varieties of crocuses and I like the Dutch crocuses, which have bigger flowers. The girls can pick out an assortment of crocuses by color on the bulb package and I will also pick some that will bloom at different times throughout the spring.
With three-year-old twins, you have to work fast and employ extra help to garden. So, we will have their Nannie (Grandmother Melody) and Great Uncle Ken help me, Nana.
First, we will have the twins toss the crocus corms in the grass of their front yard and then guide each twin in digging a hole and planting the crocus. Sounds easy, right? (we should take a video of that!) For easy planting directions from The Old Farmer’s Almanac, visit almanac.com/plant/crocuses.
Squirrels, voles, mice, chipmunks and deer all love to munch on all parts of the crocuses, so these flowers do not have a chance in my yard or gardens. We could try many things to deter the pests, from cayenne pepper to coyote urine to wire cages (for the bulbs), but I will stick with my daffodils and narcissus, which these critters leave alone.
We planted tulips last fall and I have found a storybook, Boxes for Katje, by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Stacey Dressen-McQueen, to read to the twins that has a great illustration of the stages of the tulip from bulb to flower. The story takes place just after WWII and is about two young girls, Katje from Holland and Rosie from Indiana. It ends with Katje sending Rosie tulips bulbs from Holland. The best bulbs still come from Holland whether tulips or crocuses.
We will be cheerfully anticipating those colorful crocuses all winter long.