Fall bloom

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Tue, 09 Sep 2003 10:15:27 PDT
I was surprised to find, among the many e-mails waiting when I returned 
from a long weekend in California, mention by Russell Stafford in Michigan 
of certain Colchicum cultivars blooming in early August. They never do that 
here in Oregon. Some of those Russell named are just beginning to flower 
now in mid-September, and others I don't expect to see until October. 
Perhaps his are responding to summer water? Yet even in a border that gets 
sprinkled weekly here, 'Nancy Lindsay' ("C. pannonicum") is just opening 
now, and C. speciosum 'Album' is not yet apparent.

After an unusually hot, dry summer, the colchicums in flower look as usual, 
but Cyclamen hederifolium looks a bit unhappy; it is flowering as usual, 
but the flowers are not as "plump"
as I'd expect. The first rain since the beginning of July fell yesterday, 
though, so I hope they will fatten up, and the fall crocuses will start 
soon. Scilla autumnalis is already done in the bulb frame.

While in California I inspected the bulb plantings I made last fall in my 
brother's garden in the coastal hills near Monterey. The colchicums there 
look wonderful, vividly colored and larger-flowered than the same clones 
here. I added some Sternbergia bulbs and some tender bulbs I'd been keeping 
in my solarium. They're putting night-scented Gladiolus tristis in a large 
pot to place on their pool deck while it's in flower, for the enjoyment of 
evening visitors (which anyone with a pool gets plenty of). I also planted 
some Cyclamen graecum, and tucked Ornithogalum reverchonii into the side of 
a steep berm inhabited by a grand Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia). I forgot 
to bring Anemone palmata (I still have some rhizomes available) but did 
install Hyacinthoides reverchonii, a Spanish "bluebell" that should romp 
away in that climate.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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