Favorite Orange Flowered Bulbs--TOW

Rodger Whitlock totototo@pacificcoast.net
Mon, 22 Mar 2004 14:57:34 PST
On 18 Mar 04 at 21:24, Mary Sue Ittner wrote:

> There hasn't been much participation in this week's topic of the
> week. Does this mean there aren't many orange flowered bulbs or they
> just aren't favorites of anyone?

At a guess, the numero-uno orange geophyte is crocosmia, in a broad 
sense. And being a summer flowering thing, it's out of mind right 

In my own garden, the only things with orange(-ish) flowers right now 
are Ranunculus ficaria 'Cuprea' and Narcissus 'Jet Trail'. The 
ranunculus is not bad, but I have my doubts about the concept of an 
orange flower at this time of year: somehow it just doesn't seem to 
go with the soft blues, pinks, and yellows of early spring.

> I thought we might hear from David Fenwick with some of his favorite
> Crocosmias especially after Jane's comments.

Among the orange crocosmias, I prefer C. masonorum as being not
quite as garish as some of the big hybrid cultivars. But taken as a
whole, I value the crocosmias for the bright color they bring to the
late-summer perennial garden, during the infamous "August gap" when
about the only other perennials in flower are campanulas.

Hot weather: hot colored plants.

Among the dahlias, there are some pretty garish orange cultivars 
also. Any garden centre worth its salt can sell you these right now.

Another favorite orange flower is Gladiolus dalenii. It's a
beautiful soft glowing orange. (The yellow form is even more
beautiful, though.) Regrettably, it's a little tender here and I'm
none too certain I still have it.

And homeria, which someone else mentioned, is also a good orange with 
some subtlety to its color instead of a bright aggressive splash.

These bright colors are in some disrepute among the more ethereally 
minded garden crowd, but I wouldn't want to be without them. After 
all, as the prophet said, pastel gardens for pastel people.

For a truly eye-catching display, nothing beats brilliant crocosmias 
coming up through a tangle of Geranium 'Ann Folkard' with its 
yellowly-green foliage and intense magenta flowers. But this kind of 
color combination is not for the timid or faint of heart.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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