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Author Topic: My woodland garden  (Read 5560 times)

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2018, 01:02:31 PM »
Leena, I agree - Tommies are not the first, but very early. As I have them in thousands now, the effect is outstanding. All the gardens in vicinity are gray and brown while my is full of colour. That's the main reason why I have visitors every year - just people who are passing by. In my small town people have not discovered earliest flowers yet.

As to seed setting. During crocus flowering bees are already active here. But the number of seed pods is may be less than 5% of the number of individual flowers in case of Tommies - a rough estimation. But Tommies set seeds every year, while other crocuses almost never do so.

Flower opening ceremony:
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and more
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Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2018, 07:13:44 PM »
Crocus tommasinianus dominated the terraces completely. When I was planting - I mixed all sorts of commercial crocuses. Not many large Dutch ones, but a lot of different cultivars belonging to chrysanthus/biflorus group and to sieberi group. They appeared not only too small in height and flower size in competition with Tommies, but also most became extinct for whatever reason - mainly the winter 2012, but also possibly insufficient sun - this is the NW side of the house.

One can see a row of tulips below the terraces. They are growing in the lawn - against my own rules. The reason is - I'm running out of space and there are so many interesting plants I discover every year. While as a child I wanted to become a gardener, my professional life is not related to gardening and only now, in my 40s and 50s I can develop gardening as a hobby. So, this is tulipa kaufmanniana Early Harvest. Most commercial tulips (but not all) do poor in our garden - they fast dwindle away after the first season. Needless to say - I refuse them being lifted for summer and they don't like it. But this particular tulip is not only very early, but also multiplies and flowers well. This photo is of its second season in the garden. On the top - it gives viable seeds, a feature that I do not see in my other tulips.
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Back to Tommies, now in full bloom. I think I invented a new hybrid genus Crocodalis - for crocus and corydalis lovers. ;)
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And the bicolour ones fully opened
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There is nothing more lonely than a lonely Tommie. Companion plants are important - these tulip's leaves are too large and they will not flower.
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Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

kris

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2018, 10:36:10 PM »
Quote
Kris, all is relative. For European standards we are regarded being a cold place on the map. What about C. vernus cvs, do they survive? Do you have reliable snow cover? - we don't.


Jacek you will understand what I am saying . Please take a look at the Crocus picture attached. That is the only variety survived last year.  Crocus tommasinianus is not hardy here. In good years only Crocus chrysanthus survive here.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 12:25:18 PM by Maggi Young »
Saskatoon,Canada
-35C to +30C

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2018, 01:32:35 PM »
Kris, interesting that you find Crocus chrysanthus the easiest. In my hands it is not doing well and I blame the frost. But may be there are other factors.

I have only poor imagination of your climate. I believe it is very continental, with very cold, long and fairly dry (snowless) winter, hot summer and lacking cool spring. I checked your average temp and it is +2 C. Here it is almost +8 C. So you cannot easily protect your plants (by deep planting or thick cover) because they are already close to freezing. It is much easier here. I managed to save Cyclamen hederifolium and coum (not reliably hardy here) by deep planting AND covering the bed each year in summer with new thick layer of loose organic material: cones, pine needles, leaves - a material that does not decompose or rot easily. All this is possible in case of cyclamen, because their tubers are unable to travel upwards in the soil and their leaves tolerate contact with organic material. The last feature is not necessarily the case in crocus. I noticed that geophytes with sharp straight ending of the shoot (sprout?) are adjusted to grow in dense/hard medium (IE soil, stony soil) but are fooled by loose organic matter and either develop leaves/flowers within this layer or are unable to cast the overhead leaves aside. Instead, they try to pierce the leaves and as this is not really possible - they lift the leaves on their "heads". Crocuses belong to this group and do not do well in such a bed. Especially the smaller ones do badly.

The plants that are adapted to thick mulch have the end of shoot not sharp, but bent like a crosier or a crook (cyclamen, anemone nemorosa, eranthis), or just thick and blunt (like corydalis solida) - they do not pierce the leaves, rather throw them aside and unfurl when fully on the surface.

Below one can see the unpleasant effect of growing crocus in such a bed:
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Or here the crocus flower cannot open because it unsuccessfully tried to grow through a birch leaf.
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Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

kris

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2018, 04:01:38 PM »
Jacek one correction. We get fair amount of snow every year. Last year we had strange weather and not much snow on the ground till December and in January  there were days with plus temperature which was lethal to many plants.
This year also we had very little snow till December. Fortunately no warming up in January this year and now fair amount of snow on the ground. We are expecting another winter storm today or tomorrow.

Cyclamen hederifolium  or coum is not hardy here but Cyclamen purpurasense is hardy. They flower nicely in summer. But after 3 or 4 years once the tuber is big it dies and I believe the reason being the big tuber can't tolerate the freezing weather like the younger tubers. But I always get some seedlings.
Saskatoon,Canada
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Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2018, 10:08:45 PM »
Kris, cyclamen purpurascens is our native plant. OK, one stand only, in the mountains, but we are not a huge country and climate does not differ so much. This is the only cyclamen easily growable in the garden.

Let's move to another successful crocus - Crocus etruscus. After 2012 I was left with partly emptied garden. This largely applied to crocuses. I was also more mature gardener and already indoctrinated by Ian as to the value of diversity, mixed planting, seed propagation and natural selection of locally hardy plants. This disaster was the beginning of my (relatively) diverse collection of plants. The idea was not to collect rare, fancy or expensive - rather give a chance to naturalize in my local garden. As to crocuses - I was already equipped with the previous Janis book. His comments about hardiness were the guide for me which idea to accept and which to reject (Janis has a colder climate than I do). Cost of the risk was also taken into account.

One of my choices was crocus etruscus - not available in Poland either then or now. But we are in EU. My first purchase was clone Zwanenburg - quite cheap, from The Pottertons as far as I remember. And this was a GREAT decision. It is as early (or even slightly earlier) and as tall as Tommies. But its flowers are more substantial, more goblet shape, but most important - have a nicer, warmer shade of purple inside and nice pattern outside.
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Again, the morning opening ceremony is fantastic. It increases vegetatively very well, tolerates some shade (may be less than Tommies, but this was not tested).
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Unfortunately, I have not noticed any seed pods. Is it a sterile clone or conditions are not appropriate - I do not know. Here you can compare the height of C. etruscus and other crocuses:
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And fully opened flowers
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Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2018, 11:17:22 AM »
Unfortunately some plants show signs of virus infection. I am not good in determining virus presence in plants that do not show distorted flowers, so I do not know if all or only part of plants are infected. The tips of the leaves seem to be frostbitten.


In order to get seeds I bought another clone, Rosalind, 2 years ago. The source was not in Western Europe, so I hope it is truly different. I do not have good picture, though only from outside and out of focus. It seems to be even earlier than Zwanenburg.
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As to hardiness no guarantee. We have not had a real test since 2012. Recent two winters minimum temps were in the range -10 C to -15 C short time only, just nothing here. And this year the test was not hard enough I believe.
Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

Leena

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2018, 12:47:01 PM »
I managed to save Cyclamen hederifolium and coum (not reliably hardy here) by deep planting AND covering the bed each year in summer with new thick layer of loose organic material: cones, pine needles, leaves - a material that does not decompose or rot easily. ... I noticed that geophytes with sharp straight ending of the shoot (sprout?) are adjusted to grow in dense/hard medium (IE soil, stony soil) but are fooled by loose organic matter and either develop leaves/flowers within this layer or are unable to cast the overhead leaves aside. Instead, they try to pierce the leaves and as this is not really possible - they lift the leaves on their "heads". Crocuses belong to this group and do not do well in such a bed. Especially the smaller ones do badly.

The plants that are adapted to thick mulch have the end of shoot not sharp, but bent like a crosier or a crook (cyclamen, anemone nemorosa, eranthis), or just thick and blunt (like corydalis solida) - they do not pierce the leaves, rather throw them aside and unfurl when fully on the surface.

This was useful information for me, it is clear when you think about it. I have some small Cyclamen coum seedlings waiting to be planted out and i will follow your advise.
Leena from south of Finland

kris

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2018, 04:10:41 PM »
Really fetching flowers ( Crocus Zwanenburg) Jacek. Impossible to buy here.  Sorry I did not know Cyclamen purpurasense is from your neck of the woods.
I try to grow lot of plants from seeds.  Trying to establish Cyclamen hederifolium outside  by distributing my own seeds got from the potted plants. This is going on for the last three years but no success.  Sometimes I buy plants for instant gratification . Saskatoon growing season is very short and it takes double the amount of time compared to many other places.
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Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2018, 07:30:31 PM »
Kris, according to my observations, you should have no chance to grow C. hederifolium or coum in your climate. These are mediterranean plants and have reverted growth cycle: from autumn to spring (instead of usual for us spring to autumn). They may have some break in the coldest part of the winter, but this is all they can stand. If the winter is too long - they just do not have time for photosynthesis. They probably like long, moist and cool spring and autumn. I suppose these are not long enough in your area. I know, your place is not Siberia. We have a joke in Poland:

Climate in Siberia is not so bad. That's true, winter lasts for 10 months, but the rest is SUMMER.

If this is true - where is the time for spring and autumn? Even here autumn seems to be too short for C. hederifoliun or coum. I create an artificial autumn by watering the cyclamen bed in mid August to stimulate early growth.

Leena, you want to plant outside cyclamen seedlings. I have no experience, but if the tubers were small, they may have difficulties when planted deep.

I started with adult dry tubers bought in bags rather cheaply. The bags looked more like dirty potatoes in local grocery ;) I know, old, dry tubers do not do well, but they have power to grow up from the depth. I planted them 10-15 cm deep in the sandy soil ant this was covered with additional 10-20 cm of organic material. This was about 8 years ago. Most tubers died the first season. This was a pain, but cheap at least. Until now 5 tubers of cyclamen hederifolium survived and they don't flower every year. C. coum - far more tubers survived and they flower every year, but not profusely. I also have C. cilicium and this one is doing quite well, but is least decorative. What is important, their seeds are able to germinate in my deep mulch. So I have quite a lot of seedlings. I don't know how deep is the tuber of those seedlings. I do not touch them and wait and cross fingers - hopefully they will spread.

On the contrary, I failed all trials to plant potted cyclamen seedlings.

My suggestion is to stick to C. purpurascens - this makes the life easier.
Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

Leena

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2018, 07:48:07 AM »
C.coum and C.purpurascens are yet another plants which are impossible to buy here, C.hederifolium is for sale many times but I know it does not do well here, winters are too long like your wrote.
That's why I have grown seedlings from seed ex. :)
Leena from south of Finland

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2018, 08:58:28 AM »
Leena, in order to have some guarantee to buy fresh tubers (cilicium, coum and hederifolium), I bought them in a big semi-wholesale internet based store located in UK. They are sometimes available in Poland, both dry and potted (seedlings)

C. purpurascens was tricky at the beginning. Only potted, of course. First I found a gardener in Poland, probably a hobbyist, with a good collection of surplus plants for sale. They did not have C. purpurascens in their offer, but I asked for and they sent to me 5 plants. That was the beginning. Later I visited Jan Bravenboer on my way to France and bought some more. This was the beginning and now I propagate them myself by helping to disperse the seeds in the garden. I don't sow in pots - I would kill any potted plant. So all the seeds I get are sown in the garden with some success.

Now the situation is easier. Recently I spotted C. purpurascens offered by one vendor in Poland. While they specialize in water and wet garden plants, they also have "native protected plants" section. I ordered something else, but also asked about details, origin, etc of C. purpurascens they offer. No response yet, but they should be reasonable vendor. You can try to buy there (they are shipping to EU), but the site is only in Polish. But - if I could successfully buy in Latvian shop - you can in Polish one, for sure. Price is reasonable - 3,5 Euro. But the shipping costs...

Here is the link: https://sadzawka.pl/pl/p/Cyclamen-purpurascens-cyklamen-purpurowy/1260
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 09:22:04 AM by Jacek »
Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2018, 09:36:36 PM »
Let's take a short brake in crocuses.

Oxalis acetosella It's our native, but does not grow in forests nearby. I actively brought a small piece from a forest somewhere else. I like both its fresh spring leaves and the flowers. And now I have it everywhere! I'm weeding hundreds of seedlings every year. Only three witches working together: summer, sun and drought are able to kill it - so in my garden impossible.

Despite its weedy potential - I like it so much, I don't want to weed it completely. I assigned the worst shaded areas in my beds (like below dwarf evergreens) where I let it to grow freely. Everywhere else in the beds I weed it. I also let it grow freely in the lawn - I have so many shaded places where grass does not want to grow.

It's such a pity, its blooming period is so short. Look:
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I would wish someone crossed it with some other beautiful oxalis species that are difficult to grow in my conditions and obtain a sterile plant.

I tried several other hardy oxalis: adenophylla (gradually dwindled away), magellanica (not hardy here), Ione Hecker and others similar (too small to compete with other plants or whatever - never seen a flower).

The only successful is South African O. depressa (from The Pottertons). Perfectly hardy so far. Starts growth very late - in June. Flowers till the end of summer, but the flowers are not numerous. Nice velvet leaves. I'm pretty sure it doesn't set seeds here. It is bulbous, but not clump forming. It spreads as individual plants - it must form stolons underground. Not invasive at all. I think it feels cold and depressive here (shortage of sun). Drought tolerant, but prefers somewhat better places. In barren and arid places growth is suboptimal. I'm happy to have the plant, but I have no photo.
Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2018, 09:32:46 PM »
Now about Crocus chrysanthus/biflorus group. I planted them only once at the very beginning and later, disappointed, gave up. I bought one cultivar of every available colour type, but I did not buy EVERY cultivar available. So bought: white, cream, soft yellow, yellow, "blue", etc - each a good number of cheap corms. This was a mistake - I should buy EVERY available cultivar - may be more would survive till now. Clearly, there are differences in hardiness, as some cultivars survived many years, while others were decimated or became extinct. The turning point was again winter 2012, though I have a feeling some of them disappear independent of frost. At the beginning they were flowering and increasing quite well - see the second post in this thread. Now I do not even remember most of cultivar names I used to have.

On the other hand - the palette of colours is enormous, worth having all. Except Advance, which is invisible in garden conditions (extinct anyway). And nice goblet shape.

Here is the one I like most, Romance. It is cream outside and lemon yellow inside - different than anything else. Unfortunately, the flowers are small. It was decimated but not killed.
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Successful cultivar is Beauty Cream, no loss, slow increase. Flowers reasonably big. The colour OK, but not my favourite one.
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Here one of the survivors of the former glory - one of the "blue" group (?) - on the left side. Very few are still with me.
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Pity, they are nice and cheap. But they have more negative features. Flowers of some cultivars are surprisingly small. Leaves are upright and generally taller than flowers. They are also much lower than Crocus tommasinianus and confronted with this rampant grower in the same bed - lose the competition.

I'm blue and lost in the green jungle!
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Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

Jacek

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Re: My woodland garden
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2018, 11:04:40 PM »
The end of sad and unsuccessful story of Crocus chrysanthus in my garden is absolute lack of seeds - never seen them or the seedlings. May be, if I had more cultivars...

Last but not least in garden conditions - illustration how small and insignificant can they be - here comparison of Romance in the middle with two clumps of Yellow Mammoth. But with Tommies is even worse - they are taller and all flower exactly at the same time here.

Jacek, Poland, USDA zone 6, lowland borderline continental/maritime climate.
Hobby woodland gardening

 


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