Stormproof bulbs

Sun, 15 Mar 2015 14:17:16 PDT


On 3/15/2015 5:01 PM, Jane McGary wrote:
> After a remarkably dry, warm winter (the jet stream stole our weather 
> and took it to the other side of the Rocky Mountains), this weekend we 
> in western Oregon have seen heavy rain and high wind. (It's still 
> warm.) I went out to see how the front garden is doing just now, 
> before hastening indoors for fear a large Douglas fir would fall over 
> on me, and noticed how well the flowering bulbs are standing up to it.
> The first that caught my eye was Iris bucharica, bright yellow flowers 
> cheerfully upright and open atop a gravelly berm. In the same area I 
> noticed Narcissus rupicola, Narcissus alpestris (I think; it came as 
> N. moschatus), and a couple of taller Narcissus species. Erythronium 
> grandiflorum and a neighboring geophyte, Dodecatheon clevelandii, 
> stood up too. Muscari species are completely stormproof with their 
> stout stems and little nodding florets, and not all of them are 
> aggressive. In the flat part of the garden Erythronium hendersonii 
> looks good, as do the delicate-appearing flowers of Corydalis 'Beth 
> Evans'. Early Ranunculus and Anemone species close up a little in the 
> dim light but seem undamaged, including Anemone blanda, Anemone 
> nemorosa, Anemone palmata, Anemone appenina, and a couple of the 
> mild-mannered Ranunculus ficaria double forms. Still in bud but well 
> supported by their tall stems are Notholirion thomsonianum, 
> Fritillaria amana, and Fritillaria acmopetala. Over in the bulb lawn 
> the grass is helping support its later bloomers, such as Narcissus 
> calcicola (don't be shocked; it got there as random seedlings) and 
> low-growing Ornithogalum species that flower close to the ground. A 
> little berm above that feature is displaying several Dodecatheon 
> species from the Pacific Northwest. In the border many Fritillaria 
> meleagris are up far enough to be raising their opening flowers; you 
> will see that many Fritillaria species keep their stems bent over near 
> ground level until on the point of opening, which may be a way of 
> avoiding grazing animals. And across the road frontage,  a lot of 
> cheap daffodils are still standing, except for 'Cheerfulness', a 
> double that I had to cut for the house.
> It's nice to know that however refined our plants may look, they have 
> evolved resistance to the storms of spring.
> Jane McGary
> Portland, Oregon, USA
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