Crocus laevigatus 'Fontenayi'

Jim McKenney
Sat, 19 Nov 2005 08:01:23 PST
Steve, Crocus laevigatus 'fontenayi' has foliage about an inch or two above
ground here just north of Washington, D.C.

My garden, too, is just west of the fall line, and on "clay" rather than the
coastal plain sands. I've found that the local soil needs to be amended in
order to grow many summer dormant bulbs. Two years ago I built a new raised
bulb bed. The bed is filled with the local clay/loam, un-amended. I had been
reading about the good bulbs which grow on the European terra rossa soils,
and thought I was replicating them; the surface of the bed is about eighteen
inches above the ground level. I thought that height would solve all of my
drainage problems. Not so: I lost several plants in this bed simply because
only the surface of the soil dries out much even when the bed is covered
with a glass pane from early June until October. Weeds thrive under the
glass without a drop of rain for months on end. 

Small particle soils/clays are great at retaining both nutrients and
moisture. Bulbs in general thrive on these soils, but it's hard to dry out
these soils.

If your old stock of Crocus laevigatus didn't make it, try amending the
soil. I agree, it's a great plant. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I can't match Steve
Burger's palm list, but Trachycarpus fortunei and Rhapidophyllum hystrix do
grow here and Sabal palmetto did for nearly thirty years. Ironically, when
it died, it died during the summer.   

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