ground cover plants

Jane McGary
Sun, 15 Apr 2012 17:30:11 PDT
Rodger wrote,
>Don Elick addressed the 1991 Western Winter Study Weekend here in 
>Victoria and
>spoke on bulbs.
>Among the many wise things he had to say was advice NOT to plant 
>ground covers
>over Mediterranean bulbs, as they kept the soil cool and interfered with the
>bulbs' summer ripening. As well, he felt that ground covers impoverished the

If he had ever BEEN to the Mediterranean, he would have known that 
many of its bulbs grow in a dense cover of herbs, especially annuals, 
and small woody plants. Indeed, some survive only by growing within 
very thorny dwarf shrubs, where the goats and sheep can't get at 
them. As for "keeping the soil cool," dryland bulbs usually grow so 
deep in the soil that the temperature there varies little. Many bulbs 
in California and other areas rich in geophytes grow in grassland. It 
is nonsense that bulbs need to "bake" in summer, although you will 
read this in many older books. There are, of course, bulbs that grow 
in scree or sand, but if you dig down to where they are (I have), 
you'll find the soil is rather cool there.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon

More information about the pbs mailing list