'Pickwick' crocus is loved by the bees too | Photos by Doug Oster

A Celebration of 'Pickwick' Crocus

You learn something every day. Somewhere down the line I heard that 'Pickwick' crocus was introduced in 1939, the same year my house was built. For that reason, I planted 'Pickwick' where ever I could find space. This morning while researching the plant for this story, I discovered it was actually introduced in 1925. For decades I've been telling anyone who will listen about why I grow the beautiful striped Dutch crocus.

The story changes today, now I'll have to tell everyone I grow 'Pickwick' because I've fell in love with the flowers (under false pretenses). But love is love and no matter how 'Pickwick' captured my heart, it's a variety that will always be treasured in the spring garden.

They come up about two weeks after the earliest crocus and sometimes don't last long if things heat up during an early spring warming trend. There's something about that luminescent orange anther against the purple striped petals that makes me swoon.

I've been treating all crocus bulbs with Bobbex at planting time. Putting the bulbs in a plastic container, spraying with the repellent and then letting them soak for an hour. I've had much better luck keeping them safe from the chipmunks and other critters. I spray again as they emerge to keep the deer away and other four legged pests. The strategy has been effective, I'm enjoying many more blooms.

'Pickwick' has been a favorite spring flower in my garden for decades. Now I have a better story to tell about how I fell in love with the blooms.

Where flowers bloom, so does hope.

Lady Bird Johnson

Former First Lady of the United States