Landscaping with Bulbs

Judy Glattstein
Wed, 08 Oct 2003 17:03:36 PDT
Hi All,

I've been away, off in Madison WI at Olbrich Botanic Garden and at Chicago
Botanic Garden (where Boyce and I had the most marvelous sunny morning
strolling the grounds and talking non-stop.) Hence my somewhat tardy reply.

I have almost 9 acres. It slopes, we're on a well, there are deer and
woodchucks and other critters - naturalistic is the only way that really
works for me. Planting large numbers of bulbs just to yank them out after
they flower (says she, blithely ignoring all the cannas that will need to be
dug and boxed for the winter), well, tulips for example, just not worth the
effort in large numbers.

Hyacinthoides hispanicus is a thug in smaller gardens, works well in mine
where it has room to romp around the woodland.

I like the plain old mauve-purple Corydalis solida that happily seeds about
and combines so nicely with Helleborus orientals. Sure I'd like the
cultivars, but at $10 each for 'George Baker' it isn't going to happen -
can't make drifts with one.

Fritillaria imperialis does well for me, on a slope in what passes for full
sun, in rather heavy soil. They get touched with frost, slump to the ground,
resurrects themselves, and bloom. Splitting up but still flowering.
Difficulty is finding it a partner as there's not much else that size except
shrubs. So I planted Spirea 'Gold Flame' in front, and the rusty new leaves
on the shrub make a nice complement to the orange bells.

I'm fond of arisaema and Arisarum probiscoideum and lots of others, like
snowdrops and snowflakes, Guinea hen flower and more. But I just got home
this afternoon, I need to finish unpacking, and I'll write more tomorrow or
the next day.

And the colchicum at C.B.G. were lovely.

regards from Judy, back home in the Garden State

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