TOW- Bulbs for Shade

Mon, 19 May 2003 10:23:19 PDT
Jamie Vande    Cologne    Germany    Zone 8

Probably my favorites are the Cyclamens, especially C. hederafolium selections, the leaves are always refreshingly shaped and the variegation ranges from almost none to almost pure metalic silver.  The current rage in the UK is still C. coum, which is a bit too plain shaped for me and doesn't do as well in my garden (real reason).  

A native, Arum maculatum, is another fun favourite, no two plants are quite alike and it makes a beautiful clump when established.  I appreciate it dying down early, leaving room for later plants, just it's fruiting stalks left standing.

Spanish Bluebells, Hyacynthoides hispanica, are another fav.  I'm partial to blue.  They are not invasive as the English Bluebell oft is.

I really love Crinum, but they have always languished for me, until the last couple of weeks, that is!  This year they are growing at an astonishing rate and I now harbour great hopes.  Perhaps the unusually cold winter helps them?  I've noticed many plants really taking off this Spring after our long freeze (6 weeks), perhaps many pathogens were checked by the cold and the plants take advantage.  Interestingly, my Nerines, Amaryllis and Hymenocallis are doing things again.

My last favourite is very special, as I am so careless with it, but it forgives and comes back every year.  Begonia grandis (or is it evansiana?) is a real joy, bulbil-ing itself all around, lending an exotic air with it's wing-like leaves.  Does well in my clay and equally well in loose woodland soil.  Handles sun, but seems to prefer shade and ambient moisture.  Although said to only reach 30-45 cm (12-18"), mine reaches almost 100 cm.

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