Bulbs for Mediterranean Gardens--TOW

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Wed, 19 Mar 2003 12:14:04 PST
Dear All,

Today I got a telephone call from a woman who lives near to me. She had a 
field of yellow flowers blooming in her garden and wanted to know what they 
were and when the local nursery couldn't help her a friend of mine who 
overheard the conversation suggested they knew someone who knows bulbs who 
might be able to help. So I drove over to her house for a look.

This woman is renting property that has 10 acres. Most of it is 
uncultivated but a lot of bulbs were planted many years ago by the original 
homesteaders and more by the current owners of the property. The garden has 
been neglected and this woman is in the process of uncovering it, pulling 
weeds, cutting back plants, making pathways, restoring rocks, etc. The 
owners told her not to dig because there were bulbs everywhere.

This garden is no doubt Zone 9, very wet winters, dry summers, moderate 
temperatures. Unlike my garden however it is very sunny as a lot of the 
trees were removed. Probably it is very windy at times as it is very 
exposed. There have to be deer and she said she had gophers. She has the 
most amazing views of the ocean in about three directions. There are some 
trees in the distance, but she says they are in pygmy soil so they are 
never going to get very tall and block her view.  The garden she is tending 
is a perfect example of what can be grown in the ground with no care 

The bulbs are extremely crowded. I was surprised when she said they bloomed 
well. The Narcissus are doing especially well. I am guessing on some of 
this that was not in bloom since I was judging by leaves alone and what she 
told me. This is what is growing well:
Amaryllis belladonna, Narcissus (many different ones, but most through 
blooming so I couldn't say which), Allium triquetrum, Watsonia (could be 
cultivars, not yet in bloom), Muscari (not many, but a few), Bearded Iris, 
some other Iris probably (not in bloom), Crocosmia (I'm guessing here-she 
said the plant was fall blooming), Oxalis pes-caprae (everywhere-ouch). 
There was probably more, but that's what I could tell. There was one lone 
Freesia, a yellow hybrid, but she said the deer ate the Freesias. And what 
was the yellow flower she asked me about that was blooming in mass: 
Narcissus bulbocodium. It was very pretty.

I will report on my garden, but won't some others join in?

Mary Sue

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