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 the edge of a flower bed, in the rock garden, at the foot of deciduous shrubs or trees. Where space permits, 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 mowing is postponed until the crocus leaves begin to yellow. If you mow too soon, you prevent the bulbs from storing up the energy they will need to bloom the following spring.