Crocuses are the first real sign of spring. They open their goblet-shaped flowers at the first hint of warmth, sometimes braving late snow squalls to announce that warmer weather is on the way.
Crocuses are most effective when planted in bunches--along a flower bed, in a rock garden, at the foot of shrubs or trees. When possible, they can be planted thickly to form a carpet of early-spring color.
Crocuses can also be planted in a lawn to brighten a patch of winter-weary turf--provided they are not mowed until after the leaves turn yellow. If you mow then too soon, you prevent the bulbs from storing up the energy they will need to bloom the following spring.