By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – All of a sudden, it seems, in late winter come the first signs of spring – lawns loaded with pretty purple, light lavender or sometimes yellow or white crocuses. Crocus bulbs are so tiny and easy to plant in the fall, you can plop down, poke a screwdriver a few inches into the soil and drop in a bulb – planting a hundred only takes a few minutes.

You can scatter them, border a bed, or place them in patterns – have you ever seen where a clever gardener spells out ‘IT’S SPRING’ with crocuses to announce the season? Since they multiply over time, some lawns are a sea of lavender this time of year from bulbs planted decades ago.

Crocus leaves are very thin, and look almost like grass, so they blend in beautifully – and you want to leave the leaves until they die back. As the foliage browns, it shows you that the bulbs have absorbed the fuel they’ll need to flower next year.

Since crocuses flower before the grass really gets growing, by the time you need to mow, the leaves should be finished feeding the bulbs and you’ll be good to go. (If not, just mow around them the first time or two until the bulb leaves are through.)