Colchicum and companions

Jane McGary
Fri, 16 Oct 2009 15:02:26 PDT
Boyce Tankersley recommended colored-leaf heucheras with COlchicum, 
and this is pretty -- I have several such combinations in the garden. 
However, you have to propagate a lot of the heuchera (or spend a lot 
at the garden center) to get an effective ground cover out of it. I 
think the sedum and also the Phlox subulata that Boyce recommends 
might suffer from the dying colchicum foliage flopping over on their 
mats, though. Phlox subulata does not die back in winter here as it 
apparently does for Boyce in Chicago; in the Northwest it is 
evergreen. Here we mostly grow the smaller selections, suitable for 
rock gardens.

If you can find a medium-sized sort of geranium that is sterile, such 
as G. x cantabrigense 'Biokovo', this works well with colchicums 
also. Some of the G. renardii selections and hybrids are not invasive 
and have pretty, soft grayish foliage; they do not seed here. Their 
full growth tends to arrive just as the colchicum leaves are falling over.

Of course, most of you probably cut off the colchicum leaves as soon 
as possible to keep your gardens neat, but I rarely get to it, except 
in the most noticeable positions!

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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