I have a much beloved dahlia bed that is my summertime pride and joy. However, I am a lazy gardener: I don’t dig up the bulbs. It’s mild enough here in Western Washington that the risk of them freezing is low. The greater risk is rot due to rain. So, every fall when the maple trees in the back yard shake themselves bare I take a few wheelbarrows full of leaves over to the dahlia bed and cover it with a good 8-10 inches.
And every spring a few intrepid crocus (always white) poke themselves up through the winter-worn maple leaves. I did not plant the crocus in that bed, so I’m not sure how they got there. Every year the sight of them strikes me as somewhat otherworldly. Crocus is most often seen pushing up through rich, dark soil. The juxtaposition of those very spring flowers against very fall leaves is just…out of this world.