Looking at Ground Level to Really See

You’ll never really know your garden if you just stand there leaning on a hoe, looking down at where the plants are.

To really know your garden, you’ve got to get down on your hands and knees and really look at it from the ground level.

The other day, while indulging my current obsession of taking pictures of crocus blooms, I was kneeling next to some crocuses and made several discoveries.

Look, it’s a snowdrop!

Years ago, I planted a dozen or so snowdrops in the grass around the lamp post, but thought maybe I had killed them off when I dug up that area for a new flower bed. I should have been more hopeful; snowdrops are tough little flowers. I’ll reward this one by planting some more snow drops around it next fall.

Look, it’s this flower that I can never remember the name of, hiding behind a beautiful clump of white crocus blooms!

It is more like the bud of the flower I can’t remember the name of. If I hadn’t been down on my knees examining the crocuses, I wouldn’t have spied these little buds and known to start watching for the blooms.

Because I have a blog, I was able to go to a post from last March to remember that these are Chionodoxa, Glory of the Snow. I knew it was “chio” something. I think I have a hard time remembering the name because I don’t know how to pronounce it. Chi-on-o-dox-a? Chi-no-dox-a? Or does it start with the “K” sound? I think I’ll stick with Glory of the Snow, I can remember that.

(By the way, the post of them last year was on March 21st, which confirms my suspicion that the garden is waking up a more slowly this year. Wake up, garden, it’s spring now!)

Look, it’s hyacinth planted in a straight line! It’s kind of embarrassing to show something like this. I didn’t even manage to get the line parallel to the edging. Really, if I am going to commit this kind of gardening faux pas by planting bulbs in straight lines instead of more pleasing-to-look-at groupings, I should have planted them more precisely.

My excuse is I was… really there is no excuse. But if you are going to plant bulbs in a soldierly fashion like that, hyacinths will look as good or bad as anything else.

Look, more crocuses!
The crocuses were why I was crawling around at ground level to begin with. I love the crocuses and I wanted to take more pictures of them. If anyone needs a picture of crocuses, feel free to use mine. I have a lot of them.

What are you finding down there at ground level in your garden?


Don't forget to enter the drawing to win a copy of Nightshade by Susan Wittig Albert, if you haven't done so already. But you’d better hurry! The drawing here at May Dreams Gardens closes at noon on March 27, 2008.


  1. The crocuses are stunning. Wish I'd planted them.

  2. I'm still waiting for some crocus blooms. Hopefully later this week.
    Very pretty pictures!

  3. Down on my hands and kneew I'm finding way too many dandelions! But I also found that peas, beets, lettuces and radishes have sprouted! Oh and there is the sorriest little cyclamen that has been languishing for 2 years and is finally blooming.

  4. Your crocuses are worthy of your current photography obsession :) Mine are at least showing themselves, but the blooms may be a while yet. Yay, for the lone snowdrop! Mine are still cowering, refusing to open their buds until Old Man Winter backs off.
    I don't know how to pronounce chionodoxa either, but I'll bet you'll find out soon from one of your commenters!
    I'm sure your hyacinth 'soldiers' will look very lovely, if a little formal :)
    I'll go out and get down on my knees a little later. Who knows what I might find?

  5. The old knees just aren't what they used to be, but they still get down and dirty in the garden.

  6. You're right, you may as well plant Hyacinths in straight rows. There's no way to plant them so that they don't look stiff & artificial. Here's my (current) pronounciation of Chionodoxa: key-O-no-docks-uh. Feel free to disregard it - I prounounce Hosta as HOE-stuh. (Although with your hoe obsession, you might want to adopt that pronounciation.) It's still too wet for me to get down on the ground & crawl around.

  7. I've been doing it wrong, saying K'eye-ahn-a-dox'-ah, but MMG's Daughter is right according to the Taunton Pronunciation site. Except they move the accent : kee-on-oh-DOKS-ah.

    Whatever you call it spring has sprung in your garden, Carol! Sure hope you can make the bunnies behave.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. Your crocuses have gorgeous color. What kind are they?

  9. Oooh, I can't wait to crawl around tomorrow and see what I can find! We're getting rain overnight so I will probably get wet & muddy knees but that's ok if I find a blooming treasure.

  10. Brenda Kula, You can plant some this fall!

    Karen, If you live where crocuses haven't bloomed yet, hopefully it won't be too long.

    Weed Whackin' Wenches, I haven't found dandelions yet, but it is just a matter of time.

    Kerri, Hopefully you'll find some of your crocuses and snowdrops blooming!

    Garden Girl, I am still grateful I can get down on my knees in the garden.

    Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I'm not sure I could pronounce hosta as "Hoe-sta" with a straight face.

    Annie in Austin, My attempts so far to get the bunnies to behave have not gone well, but we shall see. I am going to stick with Glory of the Snow for now.

    The Gardeness, I have not done a good job of keeping track of the varieties of crocus that I have so I can't give you a species or variety name. Sorry about that.

    Melanie, I think we are getting rain for the next two days!

    Thanks all for the comments and helpful suggestions.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  11. Carol, don't feel embarrassed by the line of hyacinths. A straight line is boring (according to my garden). I prefer clumps here and there, filled in with other clumps, at my heart's desire. Ahem. Doesn't always look the way I planned...

    What do I see at ground level? Frost-bitten hydrangeas, canna, and anything else the freeze ate up last night. Sigh...

  12. I just love crocus pictures! So cheerful and bright. I was showing someone the crocus pics on my computer from last spring and was embarassed to see that we had gone through about 30 crocus pictures before progressing onto the rest of spring. You can't get enough of those beauties, I say.

  13. Carol, I always use the excuse that the heaving by the frost moves my straight line. I don't do knees well, I usually sit on my...
    That I can do very well!

  14. I can't imagine your yard looking anything less than spectacular...I'm sure the "line" is fine when surrounded by the whole. You are too funny.

    Your little sister.

  15. I've been doing a bit of crawling around in my veg garden, taking out weeds and grass that planted themselves there during the winter.
    Love the crocuses! Natures sure knows how to put colors together, the violets and yellows just sing!

  16. Lovely crocuses! I have been seen of late bending down low...looking into my winter sown containers, checking for sprouts. :-)

  17. I liked crocuses before... I absolutely *love* them now! They're just about the only thing going on in a hoosier garden right now. I posted some pics of some big "King of the Striped" that just came up!

  18. Alright, Carol, I KNOW we were supposed to be looking at the snowdrops... but I have a weakness for succulents, so I was admiring that sedum! Beautiful--and how fun to have the snowdrops coming up through it.

  19. I love spring bulbs, especially the small early ones! I can't get down on my knees anymore. In fact, I'm having the left one replaced in June.

    Sunday afternoon I did wander the yard looking at what's sprouting and budding. My Virginia bluebells are up and the heucheras I planted out in the fall made it through the winter. Crocuses getting a little past their prime but the daffodils are in full, flaming bloom.


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