There are certain pockets of my garden which ground me with normalcy and the beckoning of spring, despite our ongoing home remodel. With all of the mess, upheaval, and chaos, my "Gravetye Giant" have managed to come up and bloom in dainty spring glory, reassuring me that all is well, and everything will once again be fine in the garden.
Maybe our persistent intervals of somewhat light rains, have stoked the feverish blooming of these beauties this year. I had half forgotten about them until their dainty white bells caught my eye one day. I can almost imagine "Tinkerbell" from Peter Pan, magically dancing amongst these blooms. Perhaps, that is why my favorite gnome is not too far away.
A sure sign of spring, Leucojum aestivum Gravetye Giant, also known as Giant Snowflake and Summer Snowflake, is a winter-to-spring blooming bulb. When blooming, Gravetye Giant can reach 2' -3' tall. They have a clump-forming habit, with vivid green foliage and delicate pendulous white bell flowers punctuated with an emerald green dot at the tip of each petal.
It is best to plant Gravetye Giant bulbs initially in the fall, in a part-shade to sunny location. Gravetye Giant are ideal for flower beds, borders, naturalizing, woodland shade gardens, and even water features. They are extremely showy and elegant in mass plantings. You can enjoy them inside as beautiful cutting flowers.
Gravetye Giant is a very forgiving bulb, with the ability to tolerate extremes like frost, and excess moisture. They require little maintenance by dead-heading blooms when finished, and cutting back foliage only when it yellows. Clumps can be divided, if necessary. They are relatively pest free, even rodent and deer resistant.
Gravetye Giant bulbs can be found through most bulb companies. My friends at Easy To Grow Bulbs offer reasonable Gravetye Giant 25, 50, and 100 bulk bulb pricing, shipping these bulbs August through December.
Please share if you have Gravetye Giant in your garden? Please comment on what in your garden is first to bloom, and suggests your spring is here.
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San Diego Horticultural Society announces its Spring Garden Tour, Saturday March 13, 2010. Tickets are $15/members, $20/non-members. To purchase tickets and more detailed information, please go to www.SanDiegoHorticulturalSociety.org