Why Some Gardeners Dislike Muscari

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It always surprises me when gardeners post on disliking a plant. I am not really sure this early bloomer deserves all the criticism or disdain.

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Deer don’t eat them and that is a plus. They are not heat tolerant. So that does not work in their favor in many places around the country. They have some very unattractive leaves, so I will give gardeners that one, but really it is a shame to disparage such a delightful and easy to grow plant. But that is another two reasons to draw ire from gardeners. Too many and too common. But if you were a bee, neither of these reasons would bother you.

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Other gardeners complain that once you have Muscari, it is there to stay. It naturalizes well and I consider that a plus. Sadly, not including Muscari in a spring garden, keeps it off the menu for the bees.

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Gathering nectar and pollen is what honeybees need to do early in the season. Cobalt blue flowers and sweet fragrance entice bees. Given that 90% of flowering plants need assistance for pollination, Muscari is a hard-working plant needing bees.

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Clump flowering plants like Muscari will have scores of bees foraging the plants at the same time. Muscari ‘Dark Eyes’ is shown below with Myosotis and in an above image, Phlox subulata. It also blooms with species tulips, my garden, Tulipa batalinii.

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We gardeners can help bee populations by watching what bees gravitate to in our gardens, and catering to their preferences by planting the flowers they visit. This charming little plant is one bees find early in the season. It’s a beautiful relationship gardeners have with bees. Just look at those bulging pollen baskets!

When the Muscari is blooming in 2015, you will see more, hopefully coinciding with tulips this year. Every spring is different in our area. Last post showed you four years running.

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So don’t miss my garden in yesterday’s post or  don’t miss my post on Allium, another bulb working hard in the garden. And yes it naturalizes too. For those of you that garden, gardening posts are here on GWGT.

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A beautiful relationship indeed.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
This entry was posted in Bees, garden, Macro Photography, Nature, photography, photos, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Why Some Gardeners Dislike Muscari

  1. aussiebirder says:

    What a beautiful post Donna, and those bee pics so amazing! Yes, we need these flowers to feed our wildlife. Thank you for displaying these wonderful macro shots.

  2. alesiablogs says:

    That purple on that last flower is probably one of my favorite colors known to mankind. Thx for sharing Donna…

  3. A.M.B. says:

    Awww, I love muscari. They are so cheerful. We had them all over our lawn when I was growing up (and my mother, the gardener, hated them!).

  4. Great bee captures.

  5. I really don’t know much about many garden flowers but your post is very informative – thanks! And the close-ups of the bees against the purple are fabulous!

  6. I love muscari for just the reasons you said- easy to grow, prolific, and the bees like it! Whats not to like?

  7. David says:

    Very interesting and with some very nice photos. Too many and too common at best is a lame excuse and at worst sounds like a bunch of pretentious gardening elitist. Maybe some creative arranging pairings could mitigate too common.

  8. I have a few Muscari and I like them! The foliage is kind of strange, but that makes it more interesting to me. Mine haven’t spread too much, but they’re in an area with Crocuses, Snowdrops, and Daffodils, which are all blooming, or just about to bloom, now. And, of course, I love Alliums, too. 😉

  9. Wonderful photos. Personally I love this plant and have some in my own garden although I’ve reffered to it for years as Grape Hyacinth.

  10. Your photos are just amazing! I know what you are saying. I try and add plants that attract pollinators. It’s worrisome that butterfly populations have decreased so dramatically.

  11. I like Muscari and Judy loves it. Sometimes a plant being very widely used puts me off, other times not. With Muscari and most others, I don’t care how common it is. For some reason, though, Hosta puts my teeth on edge. Our attitudes towards plants are not always rational. I used to disdain Epimedium, then decided it was appealing. Saw the first bees of the year today grazing on the crocuses.

  12. Annie says:

    I thought everyone loved Muscari. It may be common but it shouts SPRING! I was overwhelmed seeing it in planted in mass from pale blue to the darkest blue flowing like rivers in the Keukenhof Gardens. I planted, not a river, but a healthy stream of Muscari when I returned home. Bees love it.

  13. Is grape hyacinth the same as Muscari?

  14. You give a wonderful argument, Donna, for growing muscari (common name, grape hyacinth.) And your bee-pollinating photographs support your premise. I have a little patch in the shade garden, but it is being crowded out by lamium and it needs more sun I think. Now I feel I must give it some attention. BTW, I love your gardening articles! P. x

  15. I just purchased a few of these to put in a new garden bed. I haven’t even put them in the ground yet and the bees found them. They are such an amazing blue and their little flowers are so sweet.

  16. rose says:

    I didn’t know anybody could dislike muscari! I definitely like these little beauties, especially because of their color. And they complement tulips so well–when the tulips bloom at the same time:) I also didn’t know bees were attracted to them–all the more reason to keep them in my garden!

  17. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything other than the honeybee on Muscari…have you? Out of curiosity…

  18. I love grape hyacinths planted with yellow daffs. Didn’t know they were bee magnets. Love love love your photos Donna.

  19. Beautiful photographs! Your Muscari are beautiful too. I like the idea that they naturalise, mine are just starting but I need more. Amelia

  20. Jennifer says:

    I am guessing that gardeners dislike Muscari because the foliage is a bit messy looking. It certainly looks wonderful in your images. Bees certainly seem to appreciate it.

  21. I love Muscari and recently have acquired several different varieties and cultivars, all very different. They are so underrated.

  22. Great photos. Bees are so important to our gardens and to life in general. And the plants are there for a reason – each helps one another. Great info.

  23. Les says:

    Love Muscari! They bring back early memories of a neighbor who lined his sidewalk with them. They are one of those purple flowers that smells like grape soda.

  24. bittster says:

    Those bees look very happy!
    I do deadhead the muscari since I’m one of those people who wouldn’t be able to rip out the seedlings yet I want a neater look. The rabbits around here take care of the messy winter foliage for me. Nibble it right down and move on to other things by the time bloom come along. I took their lead and just trim the foliage off now if it bothers me at the end of winter, and they don’t skip a beat.

  25. I guess its one of those trend things again. I have always appreciated Muscari. In our new garden I have been concentrating on the Summer display and have decided to feature Dahlias, now how out of favour were they not so long ago. Once I get over my Summer thing, Muscari will find itself gracing our Spring garden. .

  26. I’m with you—I love muscari. There are many different colors and forms. I like M. latifolium with navy and pale blue flowers. Deer do eat my muscari though :-(.

  27. I have never consciously disliked “grape hyacinths”, but I have never looked at them that closely either!
    We have plenty in our garden now, so I must go and take a closer peek.
    I’m surprised and delighted that bees like these tiny bluebells…
    All the best 🙂

  28. Andrea says:

    I’ve seen muscari only 2x yet, and smitten immediately the first time i saw it. That was in the mountains of Turkey, they replied to me it is grape hyacinth. Maybe my feeling was due to my attraction to any blue flowers, and that is the best i found.

    Donna i miss that time when you produce a word and all of us linked in to interpret that word. It made my blogging days a bit worthy, hahaha!

  29. I adore this bulb and featured about it last year as I did a feature on favorite bulbs. I think it is gorgeous in bloom and yes the bees love it.

  30. Lula says:

    I love muscaris for many reasons, they are so photogenic and they bring color to grey days, but also they are great for bees and bees are our allies, so muscaris go!

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