the first flowers.

Before I headed off to visit my mom a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I hoped my scilla wouldn’t bloom while I was gone.

I needn’t have worried, because it held out and I enjoyed it for the full week and half between that trip and leaving for Florida yesterday.

These are always the first flowers of the season in my garden.  Scilla siberica, or squill, is a bulb that blooms in late winter to early spring.  In my zone 4b garden they usually bloom anywhere from the middle to the end of April and I’m always so excited to see them after a long, cold winter.

I have two colors of scilla in my garden, white and blue.  The white ones were already in the garden when we purchased our house 30 years ago.

As you can see, up close they have a little bit of a blue streak to them.  From a distance they mainly look white though.

I prefer the blue ones, so I planted some of those myself a few years back.

They are such a gorgeous, vibrant shade of blue.

Scilla is perfect for naturalizing, ie. it will spread over time filling in the space where it’s planted.

  Some consider it to be invasive, so keep that in mind.  If you decide to plant it, be sure to put it somewhere that you won’t mind having lots of it.

Over time, mine has crept out into the lawn in some spots.

It also pops up randomly, rather far away from where it was originally planted.  I’m not at all sure how it does that.

The brilliant thing about scilla is that after it blooms it dies completely back to the ground.  In the garden, it starts dying back as the perennials around it start to fill in, so it’s perfect.  And in the lawn, by the end of May you won’t even know it was there.

Another huge plus to scilla is that it’s deer and squirrel resistant.

Speaking of which, I have decided to give up on tulips.  You’ll remember that I planted a bunch of new ones last fall, and here’s what I found out in the garden the other morning.

Not only have the deer munched them right down to the ground, they’ve literally pulled two of the bulbs right out of the dirt.  Argh!

I know I could do things to thwart the deer, like spray smelly deer repellant on the garden after every rain or enclose the tulips in chicken wire, but neither of those solutions are appealing to me.  I’d just as soon forgo the tulips and plant other bulbs that the deer won’t eat, like daffodils, alliums or more scilla.

How about you?  Do you have scilla in your garden?  Or are you able to grow tulips without deer eating them all for breakfast?  Leave a comment and let me know.


12 thoughts on “the first flowers.

  1. I always look forward to all the spring blooms. My favorites are daffodils and creeping phlox.
    Your blue and white scilla are lovely. Always enjoy your garden posts!


    1. Creeping phlox is one of my favorites as well. I don’t have a spot that is sunny enough for it in my own garden, but my neighbor across the street has some along the curb and it looks great from my house 😉


  2. I, too, am not familiar with scilla but they would be a nice addition to may gardens. I gave up on tulips years ago because of the deer. Your gardens are pretty even in early spring. Looking forward to more Sunday garden posts.


    1. I’m going to officially give up on them as well. I currently have chicken wire around several of my clumps of tulips, which isn’t exactly pretty to look at. But neither are the unprotected clumps which have now been nibbled right down to stubs. Ugh.


  3. Tulips won’t grow here in coastal NC. What the deer love in our yard are the lilies. We haven’t had a lily bloom since we got here about 9 years ago. We are glad that the deer don’t like daffodils. We probably have over 100 of those bulbs!


    1. The deer like my lilies too. Except the rather blah, plain orange day lilies. Those they leave alone, they just like the fancy ones 😉


    1. Back when we had a grape vine we used to get raccoons. They would climb right up the pergola and dine away on grapes. But since we got rid of that I haven’t seen a single one. We have plenty of squirrels though 😉


  4. I don’t have deer to contend with, but the rabbits have already pulled up a few of the new perennials I planted in my flower garden this year. At least they didn’t eat them yet-just pulled them right up and left them. I’m in zone 8-north Texas. Tulips sometimes don’t bloom for more than a week here because the weather goes back and forth from cold to warm in early Spring so I think they stay confused if they even come up at all. I gave up on them years ago. Have fun at Disney! Epcot is our favorite park.


    1. I have that problem more often with the peonies. They always seem to bloom right before a heat wave, and then that heat takes ’em right out. We’ll have to see how they do this year!


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