Bulbs for...

Pat Colville Pat.Colville@jameshardie.com
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 11:11:27 PST
"Mediteranean Bulbs"? or what grows in the ground-
   I live in Pasadena, CA around 20 miles inland from the ocean in foothills
of San Gabriel Mountains (peaks to 10,000+ ft) with 19" average rain (last
year under five inches-comparable to the Mohave desert) Temperatures are
cool at night, warm days  going to hot (90-100F)in summer. Freezing is rare.
The soil I have is terrible decomposed sandstone, the yard a little too
shady. There are mean gophers or moles that eat anything tasty so I assume
only poisonous bulbs are surviving. Other animals, probably possums and
skunks take labels and turn over pots so names get lost. 
In the ground in order of abundance there are lots of agapanthus, daylilies,
narcissus, veltheimia, amaryllis belladona and clivia. There are
hippeastrum- papillio who especially like the shade. One oxalis, a pink
purpurea probably introduced as a hitch hiker has spread way too much but
looks nice with the yellow naturalized freezia spreading wildly. 
Less abundant are hymenocallis, rain lilies (Yes they bloom lots and are in
semi shade), Scilla peruviana, Canna, brunsvigia, dietes, ginger, ixia,
chasmanthe, some iris (douglasiana is a real survivor- gophers eat the showy
hybrids, wattii likes the shade- well maybe it isn't wattii since it came
from Les Hannibal, so I have to check that out), daffodils, hyacinths,
watsonia, kniphofia, zantedeschia, easter lilies-(I just dump them in the
ground rather than thrown them out after blooming and they like shade too.
In the ground they bloom in June.) Crinum-Moorea also likes the shade and
I guess alstromeria must taste bad because it has been seeding itself in the
ground from pot plants and spreading.  also a surprise the seeds falling off
potted cyclamen are growing in the ground.
Experimenting continues.  There are lots of potted plants all surviving
quite well outside, year round. Anything that doesn't like growing in a pot
gets one more chance in the ground.  So there may be some surprises coming
up. I am sure there are many more things that just require more sun or
better soil.

Pat Colville  

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