Marguerite English
Fri, 20 Sep 2002 11:07:53 PDT
      It was a wonderful treat to walk out to the bulb garden yesterday and 
find a vivid flag-red Rhodolphiala blooming right at my eye level.  It is 
planted in a bed which is about 30 inches tall and is right by my 
greenhouse door, so was at a perfect spot!  I love treats like this!   It 
only lasted a few days, but was wonderful.
      Also blooming are the light purple Colchicums, which have been 
planted in a similar bed.  We seem to be moving into autumn, even though 
the summer heat has barely ended.  One of the great sights in my cottage 
garden area is all the Cosmos.  I have the red and pink and purple shades 
with an occasional white one, and they bloom prodigiously from mid-summer 
to the end of fall.  I have some reblooming bearded Iris, now and they are 
nice just at the end of summer when most things are dry and sere.   The 
echevarias and sedums are opening bloom, and the Salvia leucantha is a 
study with dramatic purple tips.  It is hiding other things in the border, 
though, so has to be moved early next spring.
     Most of the bulbs are in hiding.  Most are just beginning to stick out 
green shoots.   The Rain-lilies have not bloomed as well this year as 
last,.    I'll pay more attention to a little fert. for them next 
year.  Habranthus robustus is the exception and has been sending out its 
vivid blooms since July with still more to come.   I have some of those 
planted outside in raised planters.  They made it through my winter and 
have bloomed well, so I'll try more of the rain lilies in a new planter bed 
I've been puttering at.  Has anyone found a nice companion for those, other 
than Alyssum, which reseeds everywhere?   It's a handy little thing, I 
transplant it into new garden areas, and its fragrance is one of the 
wonderful early treats every spring.
      I've been digging up the various bulbs which have spent the summer 
outdoors, and am getting them potted and into a protected area.  This is 
always a busy time of the year, but they do so well when they get a little 
time in some real earth and garden conditions.

Marguerite, 3700 feet, zone 7B, mountains east of San Diego, California

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