Bulbs that hold up to stormy weather

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 03 Apr 2006 12:16:11 PDT

Between storms for a few minutes at the moment as it seems to have stopped 
raining so we are probably in the scattered showers period for the rest of 
the day. So I went out to look at my soggy garden to see what looked the 
best. My experience with Tulipa is that it does fine with rain until it 
starts to bloom and after that the flowers fall over and sometimes some of 
the petals fall off and hail pock marks them. Perhaps it is dry for Angela 
when they bloom or they just behave differently. The new Anemone from Jane 
that she says should be in every California garden, A. palmata, looks great 
and so do a couple of Fritillaria. Gladiolus tristis is doing better that I 
would have expected although some of the flowers are no longer erect. 
Chasmanthe bicolor looks all right, at least from a distance. It is still 
standing. Allium hyalinum (one pot blooming since December) still looks 
fine. Narcissus bulbocodium is presentable and a tall Triteleia ixioides 
looks good from a distance. Not all the flowers look good close up. Some 
Muscari doesn't look too bad but the flowering stalks that have been 
blooming for awhile are not as attractive. Perhaps that would be the same 
without the rain by now. I find some of my Romuleas will look good between 
storms if we have a sunny day, but not all. Since my Moraea  (Homeria sub 
group) flowers sometimes for a couple months with each flower lasting a 
couple of days, it will be fine on those days we don't have rain. Many of 
my South African bulbs that normally bloom in March and April will be 
pretty much a miss--Sparaxis, Ixia, Freesia, some Lachenalias, some 
Moraeas. Even though the Tritonias usually come later they are not looking 
good and my Ferraria is a bit sad too. I had some nice blooms of Babiana 
when we had a dry period in February, but the ones trying to bloom now are 
ruined. Some of my Delphinums are holding their own and some of the 
Cyclamen although other Cyclamen have sick leaves.

I can at least be glad that we haven't had as much rain as Kathy (YET). I 
remember those years when we got 90-100+ inches of rain and it wasn't fun. 
Wish we could share with some of you in drought conditions.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers  

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