Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Crocus and Bee

(bee and crocus)

I am so happy! We have crocuses blooming and the first bee of the season....Time to get the bee house out/made. I decided to take a tour of the yard now that all the snow is gone and found this surprise. The first crocus bloom was actually on April 9th, which seems fairly average here. But the pictures with the bee are so much better!

(bee and crocus)

Finally we have a few days in the 60s F. Many shoots can be spotted like this hyacinth.


Chives are starting to shoot up as well.


We added rhubarb to our garden last is a shoot just starting to rise above the leaves.

(rhubarb sprouting)

Our only flowers right now are the crocuses. This is a new addition last fall. I like the effect of the purple striping.

(purple painted crocus)

Here are more purple with some pure white as well...

(purple and white crocus)

Here's the first group that started to bloom - on the west side of the house. I think next year the new additions (above) on the south side might take over the honor.

(light yellow crocus)

I have been reading up on that resources we might have right in our yard. I already knew a few things like dandelions are available, but here is the first prize for a "wild edible" this year: day-lily shoots.

(garden bed with common day-lily shoots)

[Please note aka disclaimer, eating things - especially wild plants is at your own risk. Be sure to correctly identify the plants. Also, individuals can have reactions to plants others can safely eat, so go easy at first.]

I have read in many sources that day-lilies are edible. After checking the blooms from last year (4th of July) it looks like ours are the common day-lily Hemerocallis fulva. I guess a typical urban yard fits the profile of a waste ground or disturbed land. According to my Peterson Field Guild there are many stages at which this plant can be used:

Early Spring: Small, tender shoots in salads
Early Spring: Small shoots cooked like asparagus
Early Spring: Young tubers in salad or cooked like corn
Summer: Buds as green beans or fritters
Summer: Flowers as fritters and seasoning
Fall: Older tubers can be cooked like corn

(harvested day-lily shoot and tuber part)

I have to say, the raw tubers and shoots were not bad at all and quite mild. I prefer the salad option to the cooked. I can't wait to try out the flowers...for now the next edible may be dandelion greens...


Connie said...

Your crocus's are beautiful, and that first photo with the bee is especially good. Glad to see things are popping out of the ground for you.
Dandelion greens are pretty bitter, best when young....but tossed in with salad greens you might not notice so much. Lots of minerals in those!

Anonymous said...

Crocus are a true sign of spring! I love the purple striped one too. Thanks for the info about the Daylillies being edible, I'll just have to take your word for it about them being tasty. ;)

Roses and Lilacs said...

I've never eaten daylilies but have always wanted to add the flowers to a salad. I do add dandelions. Many of these weeds are more nutritious than produce bought in the stores. Never tried cooking them.

Beth said...

A bee?!?!?!? Unbelievable - already!
I've never grown crocus but from what I see here - they are quite pretty.
My chives are coming up too - they are very hardy ... haven't seen any daylilies yet and can't imagine eating them!

Cheryl said...

Hi Chris.....I am now filled with complete crocus envy, as they are one plant I cannot grow (rabbits love them).....and how delightful to see a bee.....always a joy for me.....

Interesting info on the daylily....I did not know that they were edible.....take your writings on board and will try adding to salad.....this will be an interesting summer......

ChrisND said...

Connie. Crocus is our first flower of the season! I tried a dandelion leaf the other day -- it was tolerable, but still bitter even young. I know I had them once in a "fancy" salad.

ChrisND said...

Perennial Gardener. Yes, I feel spring is now here. Once I can do that first vegetable planting it will be complete! This year I am thinking that eating the weeds is a good idea (well you wouldn't call the day-lily a weed exactly).

ChrisND said...

Marnie: I look forward to trying the flowers...This began last year when I learned I could eat some of our weeds. This year I will have some weed salads :-)

ChrisND said...

Beth: I know, a bee! It seems too early...Then today I spotted a bumble bee. I am always happy with the chives...they survive the winter and have nice purple blossoms.

ChrisND said...

Hi Cheryl. I think our rabbits don't run in those areas...maybe we have an arrangement...I provide them shelter under my shed and they don't eat my flowers! Then again they do eat some things.

I was surprised some at the day-lilies...but after learning I could eat my purslane -- I figured there must be a lot of things I could eat. You just need to be sure you have the's not so certain how edible the hybrids are. I will have some fun eating wild edibles this season.