Like kids on Christmas morning, crocus appear long before we expect them. In the Upper and Middle South, these bulbs naturalize in the garden. Translucent, tissue-paper blooms perch above the still-cold earth and stretch for warmth on sunny days. These early risers also take to containers, so you will find them coaxed into bloom in garden shops.
Nurseries produce blooming containers for immediate enjoyment. Find the best selection for your particular locale, take them home, add them to your collection of winter pots, and then plant them in the garden for future years. This perennial ground cover's profusion of flowers also signals that winter is winding down.
"Winter Whites" is from the January 2008 issue of Southern Living.