I consider the time when the March Bank is in its full blue regalia to be the calm before the storm; the storm being the flowering flurry of April. There is a quiet composure to the vast blue display and when viewed from a distance, it is one in which you can get visually lost. That tranquility is subtly interrupted by the punctuation of early yellow daffodils near the house and by the Japanese cornel dogwood (Cornus officinalis) by Magnolia Bend. Pools of blue gather in pockets of the landscape, emphasizing the gentle rolls and folds of the hillside. Foliage from earlier flowering and newly emerging bulbs add various shades of green to further accentuate the blue blossoms of the glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) and the Siberian squill (Scilla sibirica). The cooler temperatures in the upcoming days should help keep the display going strong and if your schedule allows, visit often and at varying times. The flower color is saturated with almost an electric feel in both the morning and evening light yet takes on the look of a faded pair of blue jeans in the midday sun.
This is a time when the horticulturist who cares for the March Bank takes a deep breath from all of the hard work in preparation for this moment (she does not “tip toe through the tulips”). However, in sections where bulbs such as snowdrops are not part of a successional planting we will divide and transplant the clumps to increase their presence in the garden. Snowdrops (Galanthus) and snowflake (Leucojum) can be divided “in the green” meaning after flower when the foliage is still present. It is recommended with most others bulbs to divide as the foliage is going dormant or in the fall. This may be the best practice but I find that I tend to divide all of my bulbs after flower as it allows me to better visualize their placement. The hastiness on my part may result in a reduction of flower the following year but it is a system that works best for me—otherwise the job may never get done. With gardening tasks we must know thyself!