Jane McGary
Sun, 26 Jun 2011 11:16:30 PDT
I recently bought a number of Crocosmia selections from Far Reaches 
Farm, the nursery Diane Whitehead mentioned. They all look healthy 
but I'll keep a close eye on them for signs of virus, following 
Alberto's advice. In my former garden the only cultivar that survived 
was 'Lucifer', but now that I'm in a warmer place I'll try more. I 
have them in my just--installed cutting garden, up above the winter 
"soggy" line. I must get some 'Lucifer' from the old garden this 
fall. It is the site of wars there among the hummingbirds.

  I just saw the first hummingbird in this new garden this morning, 
feeding on the flowers of Eccremocarpus scaber,. a Chilean climber. 
I'm not sure if it has a tuberous storage root, but it's not nearly 
as tender as British books will tell you: plants set out in October 
survived, green, through a colder than average winter and have now 
climbed up to the gutters of the bulb house -- well over 2 meters -- 
and are decorating it with their tubular scarlet flowers. It is very 
easy to grow from seed; in fact, I think the plants here were 
self-sown into pots in the solarium. Many people in this area put out 
hummingbird feeders, but I think it's much better to grow flowers for 
them to feed on, so they'll get better nutrition and be less exposed 
to disease. Among bulbs, they especially love Dichelostemma ida-maia, 
which is an open garden plant for us.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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