Tommies and friends.

At the moment the weather can’t make up its mind what it should do, one minute it is beautifully sunny, the next, raining again. During a spell of sunshine lately I managed to nip to the woodland to see if the Tommies were open in the sunshine, the Tommies I’m referring to are of course Crocus tommasinianus, a species crocus which is thinner and smaller than the Dutch Crocus and goes beautifully with all the snowdrops.

Crocus tommasinianus

Crocus tommasinianus

C. tommasinianus

This one has seeded itself in amongst the roots of a huge ash tree along with seedlings of primroses.

C. tommasinianus Whitewell purple

There are some darker ones, these are C.tommasinianus Whitewell Purple.

C tommasinianus

C. tommasinianus

Snowdrops and cardamine

Snowdrops and crocus

A few crocus amongst all the snowdrops, at the front are G. Cedric’s Prolific.

Snowdrops and crocus

Snowdrops and crocus

The crocus are seeding about, but I think next autumn I will buy a few more to add to what we already have, let’s hope the squirrels don’t discover them.

As soon as the sun comes out, my husband knows he will find me in the woodland, enjoying the snowdrops and their friends the Tommies.

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32 Responses to Tommies and friends.

  1. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    I love Tommies, and I really mean I love them. Probably more than any other Crocuses, plus of course they’re great at naturalising where most others seem to eventually die off the Tommies don’t. So that’s two ticks in my book for them, plus their purple is so beautiful. I got some of the Ruby Giants the other year and decided I don’t think I’ll get any more of them so I’ll stick to Whitewell purple and Barrs Purple.

    • Pauline says:

      Liz, I agree with everything you say, I think they look so natural in a woodland setting and don’t think the others would look so at home. I love the way they seed around, they are even coming up in the bark chipping path, they put themselves in places I would never think of putting them.

  2. Caro says:

    Your crocuses are stunning, Pauline – I can see why you’d want to be wandering around the woodland area at this time – the drifts of snowdrops are equally beautiful, a testament to both nature and your gardening skills. A perfect picture of spring!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Caro, the crocus look enchanting in the sunshine, the woodland is a very special place at this time of year. Seeing all the flowers I could be forgiven for thinking that spring is just around the corner!

  3. What a delightful little number and have never seen anything complement the timing of your huge snowdrop mounds. I wonder if that combo would work here in Kansas City?

    • Pauline says:

      I think Patrick, it depends how hot you get in the summer, snowdrops can’t take a lot of heat, even in the shade unfortunately. Crocus on the other hand like it hot, I’m lucky that when the sun shines, with the trees having bare branches, the crocus bask in the sunshine. Maybe it would be worth a try with just a few cheap bulbs, who knows, you may be lucky!

  4. rusty duck says:

    It’s all looking beautiful, and a lovely day again today! The birds were singing their socks off.

    • Pauline says:

      It was a wonderful day wasn’t it Jessica, the sun was really warm. The birds are convinced that spring has arrived, we have 3 male blackbirds chasing one poor female!

  5. Cathy says:

    I love the combination of your crocuses and snowdrops… if you put more in there will be a real carpet of white and purple in a few years. Gorgeous!

  6. Hi Pauline – what a cheering sight your great drifts of snowdrops and the Tommies are. I love that crocus too – I planted a few last autumn, but they are either late or disappeared (some tiny little spears in the grass, still unflowered, hold a little promise). Crocus speciosus is good value too, in the same way but for the autumn. Remembering your comment about leafmould on my blog, and looking at your snowdrops, will try to save and incorporate this year. Thanks for the springtime cheer!

    • Pauline says:

      Hopefully Cathy, your crocus will soon flower and you will have lots of spring flowers to enjoy. I’m always digging in lots of leaf mould when planting any woodland plants or bulbs, also I mulch with it whenever possible, they all seem to like it.

  7. Christina says:

    Each day that is sunny ans warm is appeciated so much at this time of year. Yesterday was glorious here with a gentle warmth that didn’t burn the eyes in the way that some winter sun days have done. During the night the wind was howling as it is now! I don’t have any Tommies but if they persist as you describe I think I will try some, my other purple crocus just dissapear after a very short time.

    • Pauline says:

      The sunshine Christina, was so welcome yesterday, we think this is now the beginning of the end of all our dreadful weather. Parts of the country are still under water and have been for 2 months now, but at last the level of the water is going down each day. What a mess it is leaving behind, my heart goes out to those who have been flooded, it will take so long to get back to normal.
      My Tommies have been in for about 10 years or even more, they are increasing, slowly for me in a woodland situation, I’m sure they would be much quicker for you.

  8. Simply glorious Pauline, your crocuses are clearly very happy in your woodland.

    • Pauline says:

      They do look happy don’t they Janet, fortunately they get a lot of sun where they are, when it shines that is! I must buy some more and start them off in different areas, to extend the interest. Maybe I ought to mark any bare spots so I don’t try to plant them on top of the snowdrops when autumn comes!

  9. Wendy says:

    The Crocuses are beautiful, I think I would be spending a lot of time in your woodland as well when the sun came out! I love to see the Crocuses opening up to the sun. The Snowdrops are still looking lovely, too.

    • Pauline says:

      Wendy, I’m so pleased that the tommies are happy in the woodland, most crocus don’t last in my heavy soil but as the woodland has had lots of leaf mould added, it must make it lighter for them. The early snowdrops that were out at New Year are now going over, some got blasted in the last storm and are looking a bit brown and some are still to come, so we will have them for a while yet.

  10. Chloris says:

    I’m not surprised you spend a lot of time in your woodland. What a paradise it it is with all your snowdrops and crocuses. I too love your ‘Tommies’, they are so generous in their seeding around into great floods of delicate colour. I am so glad you had some sun to enjoy them.

    • Pauline says:

      At this time of year Chloris, I love the woodland! Having seen the “Tommies” seeding everywhere in other gardens, I must try them in different places. We had a bit of sun this morning, but now it is very grey, at least it isn’t raining!!

  11. Anna says:

    Oh those tommies are simply singing out in your photos Pauline. It looks as if your squirrels can’t be that interested as otherwise they would not be spreading as well as that. I’m just so delighted that squirrels seem to turn their noses up at snowdrops 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Anna, I love them too! Luckily the squirrels can’t have discovered them when they have been burying their acorns and horse chestnuts. If they started eating my snowdrops, it would be all out war!

  12. Cathy says:

    You must look back on your old pictures Pauline and be amazed at how much your tommies and snowdrops have spread over the years – it doesn’t really take long in the scheme of things, and wonderful to have them doing it by themselves with no help from you! Such a lovely part of your garden and thanks for sharing it.

    • Pauline says:

      These last few years Cathy, the difference has been amazing, I suppose for 3 or 4 yrs, the seeds are busy growing and its only now that they are old enough to flower that we are seeing the difference. Hopefully from now on it will get better and better as more seedlings reach the flowering stage, they obviously like the leaf mould mixed with clay that they grow in. It’s a pleasure to share it, I feel I shouldn’t keep it all to myself, maybe one year I will feel up to having a Snowdrop Day once more, the last one was a great success and raised over £500 for charity.

  13. Annette says:

    Nobody can blame you for loving your beautiful woodland garden, Pauline. Even I dream about ! It’s heavenly. All these snowdrops and I think the Tommies goes very well with them. Cedric certainly lives up to his name 🙂 – thanks for the ramble!

    • Pauline says:

      Glad you like it Annette, it makes all the difference when the sun shines in there and everything opens up. G.Cedric’s Prolific has certainly been prolific, I really ought to spread them out a bit, another drift!

  14. I have foliage but no blooms yet on my Tommies. January’s extreme cold has everything running behind this year. Your woodland is a true inspiration. Not sure I could do the same. We are definitely on the cusp for snowdrops here. I planted a small handful last fall and my first is blooming now. Do you have other bulbs in your woodland?

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Marian, we have a few other bulbs in the woodland, Iris reticulata, Leucojum, Hyacinthoides non scripta, Narcissus, Tulipa sylvestris and for the autumn, Colchicum, cyclamen hederifolium, then c.coum and c.repandum. But non of them make the drifts that the snowdrops and Tommies make at this time of year. Hope your Tommies are soon flowering for you.

  15. Angie says:

    I can just see myself sitting on a wee tree stump in your woodland, soaking up all that beauty Pauline. It just screams springtime.

    • Pauline says:

      Angie, we just happen to have a wee tree stump at the left hand edge of the woodland, you are welcome to come and perch on it anytime! I agree, it does look as though spring is almost with us but you never know what surprises nature has up her sleeve!

  16. Helle (Helen) says:

    I can only hope that is what my Tommie patch will look like one day. I bought a big bunch rather late last year, sale and all that, so they went into the ground much later than normal, do they flower in their first year? It really does look lovely your woodland garden, I can’t wait to see your bluebells when they show up.

    • Pauline says:

      Helle, your bulbs should flower in their first year unless they were very tiny, sometimes when buying bulbs in a sale, it might be that they aren’t flowering size, only time will tell. I have to watch where the bluebells are as I don’t want them pushing the snowdrops out of the way, they could take over. We only have a few there in the woodland but also some in other parts of the garden.

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