Continetal climes pt. I

Floral Artistry
Fri, 25 Apr 2003 17:44:38 PDT
Well, with our severely cold (stayed at 0 for 2 months
straight with out defrosting), I can report the
following successes:

Agapanthus - common CA blue form survived for sure in
2 separate locations without any protect or benefit of
micro-climes. They are in raised beds of topsoil that
drain fairly quickly. The first one is located on the
SW (windward) side of a bed in the front yard and the
second is in the rose garden and not raised much but
the soil is basically 5 years of decomposed mulch. The
soil is nearly black and very rich. This bed stays
pretty moist year-round even during the toughest
droughts. Both beds are under a sprkinler system.

Dahlias - 'Cafe au Lait', 'Bishop of Llandoff', 'Karma
Fuschiana', and another cv from Van Bourgondien. All
of them made it through the winter just fine. These
are on the S. wall of the bedroom and the bed stays
pretty dry close to the house all summer but I will be
changing the sprinklers to make sure they get more
water this year.

Crinum - 'Olene', 'Regina's Disco Lounge' (both from
Plant Delights) and of course powellii. The powellii
is is more of a protected area and is already 6" tall.
The others I found by planting around them and finding
the new sprouts just coming out of the soil. The first
two are in a raised moist bed by the drive (I call it
"Regina's bed". She is my niece and she was there when
I started it and told her she had to take care of it
but she is only 3 so, a heavy weeding and
fertilization regime is not in the near future from
her lol.). It stays pretty moist in the summer also
since it is right next to a sprinkler and I try to
keep the large plants to the back away from the
sprinkler so as to keep it all wet as possible. 

Canna - I left a few in the eh ground just to see.
Well, they are all mush. I have heard from people that
they overwinter in their yards here but I have not had
such luck.

Crocosmia - 'Emily McKinzie' has most really done too
well but they are planted in an area next to the barn
that gets blocked in late summer from spray from the
sprinklers and the soil is pretty heavy clay and may
not drain as much as necessary.
'Lucifer' is going just fine.
'Norwich Canary' is planted in several soil types from
pure sand, pure clay, and good loam from composted
mulch over the years. It really has not put out a big
show since planted 2 years ago. There are a few
sprouts coming out but it is less than what they came
as in the 1 gallon containers. 
'George Davidson' same as 'Norwich Canary'

Crocus sativus seems to be increasing nicely and
growth is really nice right now.

Frittilaria 'Prolifera' did not come back. It is in
the same bed as Crinums from Tony.

Glads - none have sprouted as yet and I have not dug
in the areas they are at just yet but I am sure they
will come back.

Iris bucheriana - a nice clump has come up. I planted
one packet from a local nursery last fall and I don't
think there was more than 5 or 6 bulbs but the whole
mass is about 1' across. I am very happy about this. I
guess it likes the loam it is on. Mulching every
spring really is paying off. I have a hair brain idea
that I will mulch the beds with peat moss and mix it
into the mulch from last year before the crew puts
down this years. I really want to replenish the
nutrients that the mulch removes each year. And I
really don't fertilize that much so I need to get on
to that. I might also top everything in the fall with
a light layer of composted manure too.

Iris Louisiana mix from Wayside has taken over and I
am not sure if they even bloom any more. My uncle
can't tell me what they look like. All I know is that
there are a heck of a lot of rhizomes out there that
need to be thinned. Anyone in the Akron/Canton area
that would like some, feel free to contact me. I am
open to trades if you have extras but a good home is
all they need. Otherwise, they will be distributed to
the rest of the family and then go out to the field as
compost/naturalization material. 

Iris pallida (both aurea- and albo-variegata are
there). They are slowly increasing and doing well. I
just can't get enough of these. I'm a sucker for
variegated leaves and the light blue really fragrant
flowers are just great. They are planted everywhere (I
probably have well over 40 of them) but the best
location is right next to the back patio. They can
fill the area with their fragrance on a warm day,
perfect for sitting out there and reading or chatting.

Iris ensata variegata - another beautiful leaf. I
don't know what color these are as they bloom after I
leave each spring. But again, LOVE IT!

Ipheion uniflora - blooming as we speak. I will
distribute the bulbs around to fill other areas of the
bed. I know they are "prolific" but they are so cute.
I have brought a few nice clumps of 'Alberto Castillo'
to try here also. I'll put these in the bed around the
back patio. I hope they increase as well here as they
do in LA. 

Iris spuria - I have a few of these around the main
perennial bed in the back. They seem to be splitting
and producing an extra fan each (after 2 years). I
don't know if they have flowered yet or not. I hope
they will flower soon. I shipped one to myself in LA
to test it there. Someone on the iris list suggested
that they love the dry heat of So. Cal. So, I'll try
anything once (or twice, or thrice).

Iris ensata cvs. are all increasing nicely. I don't
know how often to divide them but they seem to be
happy so I will leave them. I have found a few stray
seedlings that have volunteered. Since I love all the
varieties I have (or rather my aunt and uncle rave
about them), I will leave them go to see what happens.
I ordered more Japanese and Sib. from Ensata Gardens
this year to increase the areas they are growing in.

Sib. iris - they are finally coming back after my
major %#*@-up a few years ago. I put a good handful of
lime on all my iris except the Jap. So, the sibs
shrunk but seem to be increasing slightly this year. I
will be adding a little leaf mold mulch on them to
help them back. 

Lilies - I just can't get enough of lilies. I get more
every year. I have nice growth so far on the regals,
'Leslie Woodruff' (both planted last fall), and a few
of the formossanum. Just starting to emerge are all
the 'Stargazer's and not a sign of my beautiful pride
and joy - 'Casablanca'. I counted 18 flowers on one
stem last year. They are mixed in with some
'Stargazer's and a few nice perennials (Hosta
'Patriot', Peony 'Karl Rosenfelt', Penstemmon 'Huskers
Red', variegated strawberry, and all near a small
'Tricolor' purple beech which has a beautiful neon
pink edge to the new leaves). 
'African Queen' is finally putting out nice growth.
They have been rather dumpy the last 2 years and don't
really flower well. I'm not sure but I think it is the
fact that it is in really bad clay soil with no food.

Lilies I added this year include: 'Copper Crown',
'Reverie', 'Peach Butterflies', 'White Butterflies',
leucanthemum, 'Allegretto', 'Angela North', 'Claude
Shride', 'Golden Stargazers', and more 'Stargazer'
(just can't get enough).

Lycoris are all up and doing well except radiata. They
are just starting to emerge for some reason. I have
brought more from home and will be adding another
species as a test - aurea. The others I have right now
chinensis, squamigera, longituba, and sprengerii.

Peonies are all doing well. The only doubt I have is
the one in the area where my uncle put down the
pre-emergent for the thistles. The growth goes off at
a 90 degree angle at a 1' off the ground. This really
has ne wondering how safe those things are that are
labeled safe for perennial beds. 

To be continued

John Ingram…

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