ground cover plants

Rodger Whitlock
Sun, 15 Apr 2012 10:31:37 PDT
Don Elick addressed the 1991 Western Winter Study Weekend here in Victoria and 
spoke on bulbs. He lived at that time in Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan:…

This is about half way between Tokyo and Osaka.

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 

To handle the esthetic disaster of dead and dying foliage on bulbs, he 
recommended planting very brightly colored summer-flowering bulbs such as 
dahlias, to distract the viewer's eye.

Though Don completely fell off the radar screen some years ago (and I suspect 
is dead now, alas), he was unquestionably a notable bulb expert. In his well-
known books on bulbs, Brian Mathew repeatedly mentions Don as his source of 
various rarities. Some of you may be familiar with his folio-sized book, 
"Japonica Magnifica".

You can see a month-by-month climatic graph for Shizuoka here:…

Due to severe winter waterlogging and generally very poor drainage, I grow my 
Med bulbs in a south-facing raised bed. Only a few summer growing plants are 
included in the plant mix: Satureia spinosa, Nepeta phyllochlamys, Mandragora 
officinarum, Arum dioscoridis, a few tuberous Oxalis, Iris cretica, perhaps a 
few others that have escaped my memory.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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