Why insist

totototo@telus.net totototo@telus.net
Sat, 07 Nov 2009 11:48:12 PST
On 7 Nov 2009, at 8:55, brown.mark wrote:

> it IS amazing what you can get away with when exploiting micro climates in
> your garden! 

Make that "micro-situation".

My property is largely an ex-marsh that 50 years ago had in it enough water for 
Boy Scouts from a then-nearby camp to canoe in it. Development of the area in 
the early and mid 1960s included installation of storm and perimeter drains, 
curbs and gutters in the street, so the entire neighborhood has gotten less 

Still, much of my place is a low area where water accumulates during wet 
spells. However, this has an advantage that during the summer the soil in the 
lower areas never completely dries out, presumably thanks to a relatively high, 
well-replenished water table.

Thus, my property varies not only in terms of climate, but in terms of 
drainage, all important for many bulbs. The north edge of the lot is high 
enough not to get standing water in winter, and close around the house, 
perimeter drains keep even the lower areas fairly well drained. Along one lot 
line, a neighbor's swimming pool with a slightly leaky vinyl liner keeps the 
soil nicely moist even in the height of summer, something that my big double 
thimble berry likes. (The thimble berry is a plant found along drainage ditches 
where I've seen it growing wild.)

Over the years I've planted a couple of hundred bulbs of Leucojum vernum, all 
lovingly brought back from a state of near-death before being planted out, by 
potting in damp sand for a couple of years. Only in one small area have they 
survived. Crocuses do not do very well, except just under the dripline of a 
large deodar cedar. Trilliums thrive in the lower, damper areas. Lycoris and 
amaryllis do well planted right up against the east side of the house. Cyclamen 
like being in the deep deposits of litter under a couple of big conifers.

So there's more to it than just sunshine and temperature. Think drainage, soil, 
and other factors as well as climatic ones.
Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island


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