Spring Anemones (A. blanda)

totototo@telus.net totototo@telus.net
Wed, 08 Apr 2009 12:55:22 PDT
On 8 Apr 2009, at 12:43, Jim McKenney wrote:

> We are now approaching the 400th anniversary of the first permanent
> European settlements in what is now the State of Maryland. I can’t cite a
> date, but I would not be surprised to learn that tulips of some sort have
> been grown in this state for at least three-hundred of those years.
> By now our gardens should be stuffed with bulbs, bursting at the seams
> with bulbs; they should be so common that they can’t be given away. But
> they are not.

Victoria is pretty good bulb growing territory but the only three bulbs the 
gardens here are bursting with are bluebells (the grossly weedy Hyacinthoides, 
formerly Endymion) the dreadfully weedy grape hyacinth, the proper name of 
which I cannot be bothered to learn, and chionodoxa. Chiondoxa is a champ, 
however, with its brilliant green-tinged blue.

Feral daffodils (many ancient cultivars otherwise found only in history books) 
abound in neglected places and pump out quantities of hungry narcissus flies 
come warm weather. As a result, the finer, more delicate narcissus cultivars 
are eaten alive and cannot be expected to last into a second season. 
Cyclamineus hybrids seem to do well, as do trumpet cultivars.

*Some* tulips persist in *some* gardens, but casual observation while driving 
suggests that this depends on details of the site. The long term survivors seem 
to be those cultivars derived from the smaller, earlier-flowering species.

Pinellia does not spread. Pinellia cordata dies within a few years in the open 
garden, unable to cope with the incessant winter rain while dormant.

I rather doubt there is anyplace on the entire earth where the gardens are 
bursting with bulbs as you describe. A lot of bulbous plants are delicately 
dependent on details of the environment, and not all respond in the same way to 
the same conditions. What is ideal for one is far from ideal for another.

However, I would be delighted to hear that I am wrong and that somewhere the 
gardens are in fact bulb-bursting.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island


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