Slow time on the bulb scene

Jim McKenney
Tue, 07 Jul 2009 12:43:46 PDT
I still have a few tender bulbs to plant, but by now most of that is behind
me. It’s always surprising to see how some plants such as the Hymenocallis
hybrids of the Ismene group pop into above ground growth seemingly over
night. So do the Mexican Oxalis: I’ve known some of these to come into bloom
only a few days after being planted, as fast or faster than some autumn


I’ve still got glads to plant, but most are in the ground. I gave up on
glads years ago because of the thrips. But if you don’t grow them yearly and
skip a few years between trials, the thrips are not a problem unless you
have glad growing neighbors. 


One reason the summer-flowering tender bulbs were so late getting planted is
that I was slow in getting the tulips out of the ground this year. In fact,
lots of them remain to be dug. The rain has kept me out of the garden a lot,
but it has also kept temperatures down. 


The lily season is at one of its peaks right now. There are roughly four
lily peaks in this garden: first, there are a few species which bloom very
early in early June (or even late May); then around the summer solstice,
there is the huge peak of the Asiatic hybrids; in latest June and spilling
over into the first half of  July there are the trumpets and the
oriental-trumpet hybrids; and finally, there are a few very late blooming
forms which bloom in late July and earliest August. And of course there are
also lilies which bloom when they feel like it – Lilium formosanum is the
one most of us grow. 


Right now we’re at the oriental-trumpet hybrid peak, and it’s really
something. When these plants are growing well, they are typically over six
feet high with a massive inflorescence. Imagine a lily inflorescence three
or more feet long and a couple of feet in diameter: they are an amazing
sight.  I do like lilies one can stand under and look up into!


The stringy-tepaled form of Crinum x powellii is blooming too. 


I’ve seen more Zantedeschia blooming in gardens this year than ever before.
The pot of Scadoxus multiflorus produced several inflorescences over a
period of weeks – now it’s doing foliage. 


Summer here is bountiful!    


Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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