BULB LOG 25 --- 21st June 2006
Not among the showiest of this genus but an interesting selection of Corydalis can be seen here. I showed a purple one last week and there are another two still to come.
The outside two blue spikes, (main picture) are the familiar Corydalis flexuosa, the small dark purple one with the white flash is a late flower on the one from last week and the two lavender spikes are the one that is currently in full bloom. It is too early to say if it will be so obliging and set copious seed like the purple one has but they appear to increase by the same funny wee stolon thingies ( a technical term!!) as flexuosa does so we shall have plenty of it any way. I still prefer to increase by seed whenever I can and not be reliant on a single clone.
Trillium hibbersonii seed pod
There are nice fat seed pods developing on Trillium hibbersonii. I must make sure that I do not miss them when they are ripe as I want to grow them on in pots this year. We used to have a lot of Trillium hibbersonii in pots but a few years ago we lost a lot for some unknown reason, just as well we have plenty in the garden that have survived and self sown.
Fritillaria pallidiflora seed pods
Also in the garden the seed pods on Fritillaria pallidiflora are very attractive as they catch the light. Never dead head your bulbs, let them set seed and you will not only enjoy this attractive feature but get the advantage of a fine seed crop to increase your stock or send into the seed exchange.
The disgusting smell of something that has died and is rotting outside our back door is coming from this stunning Arum dioscoridis. The dark purple spots appear to have a velvety texture set off by an almost lime green background and it probably was not the best idea I had to plant it outside our kitchen window - but it does grow well there. For many years I grew it in a pot where it increased well enough but never flowered so I decided that it did not warrant the amount of valuable space it took up in the bulb house. I planted it in a few sites out side where I thought the conditions might suit it, hot, sunny and well drained, and now we get flowers every year.
Talking of smells or scents, Maggi and I both agree that the Arum has a foul scent but we do not agree on some other scents. She cannot stand the scent of Lilium pyrenaicum but I quite enjoy it as it wafts around the garden - different people obviously have different views of what is an attractive scent.
Narcissus bulbs test sample
Now some of you, I hope, will remember that last year, because of the diminishing supply of loam that we have left, I started a trial of a sand-based potting compost. I potted an equal selection of bulbs, varying in size from flowering size down, in both composts and this is the result. Both potfuls have grown and kept the same number of bulbs but the ones on the left, which were grown in the loam based compost, have grown bigger. This does not surprise me as loam does hold on to nutrients for longer meaning the bulbs have been better fed. What I have to do now is grow them on in the same composts for another year to see how they perform next spring. Bigger bulbs do not necessarily mean more flowers, although I have a strong suspicion that in this case it does. It may just mean that I have to add more feeding to the sand based compost in the form of extra bone meal in the mix and an extra supply of potash later when they are in growth - the trial will continue.
I love my Rhodohypoxis troughs, they are such a splash of colour in the summer and as long as I keep them well watered and give them an occasional feed they will flower for 2 months or more. I know I should have them all cloned out but I like the troughs with the mixed colours the best.
Rhodohypoxis with rain drops
After it has rained the flowers hold on to the rain drops like diamonds on their flowers.
The Dactylorhizas are later this year but a few are out now with D. elata on the left and one of the many hybrids on the right.
Lilium macklinae is always so graceful and beautiful; it is one of the finest of the lilies we grow. It seems to enjoy our cool moist summer weather as it flowers and sets masses of seeds every year.
Not a bulb but I could not resist finishing off this weeks log by showing you this detail of one of Maggi's tree paeonies.
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