Introduction and...

Cathy Craig
Thu, 25 Jul 2002 21:07:50 PDT
Hi all,

I live in San Clemente in So. CA, about 750 ft above sea level overlooking
the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We are close enough to derive the benefit of
cooling from the fog but are just above the normal fog level (which is at
around 500 ft hereabouts). While San Clemente only gets about 10 inches of
rain a year, we likely get another 5-10 inches of moisture from the fog and
marine air. Our temperatures therefore remain pretty stable and the
summertime day temps are 12-15 F below what they are even just a half mile
inland off the ocean. We are on a lot that is about 1/4 acre with perhaps
two thirds of that on a wooded slope of about 45 degrees.

My husband and I have been here about 5 years, having moved from Costa Mesa,
and so far I only have the back yard finished but am making some real
progress at last out front. I grow mostly perennials and bulbs. Most of the
bulbs are in pots. It is my mission to get all the bulbs out of pots and
growing permanently in the beds sometime before I'm dead of old age.

I used to grow hippeastrum (commonly called amaryllis) but they are way too
temperamental. If it's not the mealy bugs - and it always is - then it's
that red fungus. Nuts to that. I grow H. papilio only which seems happy and
remains healthy. Also grow some Clivias and X Cyrtanthiaflora, which I put
into a shade bed just recently and they are a lot happier than they ever
were in pots. In fact the X Cyrtanthiflora is blooming now. Gorgeous. Got a
photo and will try to post it. Lately I've been going nuts with lilies.
Trumpets, asiatics, orientals, and all the crosses in between. These are
mostly in the beds with daylilies, foxgloves, delphiniums, chocolate cosmos,
alstroemerias, coreopsis, campanulas, cannas, and vegetables too. After two
separate failures I have managed to sucessfully grow Madonna Lilies. Very
pretty, but on the wimpy side. Will see how they do next year, but at least
they bloomed this year.

There are a flat of 4 in pots of Nerines, just divided and repotted. These
do quite well; no bugs and no diseases. Bloom pretty reliably each year. We
did rescue a few hundred Amaryllis belladonna bulbs from up north and
planted them out on the slope. So far they are alive and well and I
hope/expect they will bloom this fall. The South African bulbs live out in
the hot beds with the hollyhocks. Can't call yourself a gardener without
hollyhocks. And I broke down and finally started growing roses too. Not HTs,
but climbers, shrubs, and old-fashioned ones too.

I finally saw my first Lycoris bloom a few days ago. Thing has been in the
ground for years and at last bloomed. I goofed up and planted it about a
foot deep. You have to give bulbs credit, they are tenacious devils! I also
grow tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils. T. Ollioules has come back each year
and increased some for 4 years now. At last Urgineas are blooming. This is
an interesting plant.

Enough of that. I am interested to hear what you all grow with your bulbs.
This is a challenge; trying to figure out how to pair perennials and bulbs.

BTW, anyone and everyone is always welcome to stop by. Our door is always
open to plant nuts. Just call or email first to make sure I am here. It's
nice to talk plants in person too. And you can always have some to take home
with you.

Cathy Craig San Clemente CA Zone 9b

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