Friday, April 25, 2008

Squill Dreams vs. Squill Reality

Guest photo courtesy of Olivia in Ottawa.

The other night, my friend Olivia emailed me a shot she had taken earlier that day in one of the Public Gardens in Ottawa (where she captures a lot of great shots of flowers). She was pretty sure that it was a patch of the Squill she had seen recently in one of my posts. Sure enough, she had indeed discovered a lovely naturalized drift of this beautiful, yet ephemeral Spring Flower.

I think it's now safe to say that Spring has now (finally!) arrived in Ottawa, after a particularly snowy and brutal winter this year.
Yay! Let's hear it for Ottawa and for Olivia, who's been anxiously awaiting the banishment of the snow and the arrival of this year's flowers! And most gracious thanks for allowing me to use this photo on Urban Oasis.

It occurred to me that it might be fun to do a post contrasting what an obviously long established drift of Squill looks like compared to one of our (still) relatively young patches in our front parking grass. Obviously, Olivia's shot is what we dream of our parking looking like one day, but as you can see in the second shot, we've got a long way to go! Though, as I mentioned last night, since we're going to have to put in more bulbs this fall, we might as well get a large quantity of Squill to help "pad" our own drifts. I still suspect we will be waiting a few years for ours to even begin to rival that one Olivia captured so exquisitely ...

I mentioned last night that we are now sure that we lost some bulbs over the winter. With further observation around the neighborhood, as well as some anecdotal accounts, we don't appear to be the only ones who've had some bulbular losses in the garden. An avid gardener who works with Fernymoss told him the other day that she lost lots of daffodils planted on the south side of her house ... they just disappeared and not a one bloomed this year, or even came up. That got us to thinking about one of our neighbors who used to have daffodils and tulips planted on the south side of their house. Go figure, we haven't seen a single daffodil over there this year, and theirs always used to precede ours by a week or two. Nothing this year, and their tulips look pretty spotty as well. It will be interesting to see if this has happened to other gardeners in the area ... but I think it's safe to theorize that that horrible freezing spell we had last year must have had something to do with it. It's a sad reality every gardener faces with all sorts of plants, but losing bulbs has a particular sting to it. Not only are they not particularly "cheap," but they also demand some deep digging for the larger ones, such as tulips and daffodils, which can be challenging when the weather puts you under the proverbial gun in the fall when they need to be planted. Oddly enough, the bulbs that don't require deep digging seem to have really prospered since last year, namely the Squill and Crocus. I have no idea why that would be, given that we lost quite a few of our larger ones, but it does set one to wondering about possible causes ...


katiebird said...

And with spring, katiebird peeks her head out to say, "Hi"

FARfetched said...

"Bulbular losses." LOL, good one! Odd that the deep bulbs are the ones that croaked, though — you'd think they would have been more sheltered. Perhaps the freeze went too deep?

There's a tree at the corner of the garage that I thought we'd have to turn into firewood after the late freeze last year. There are a few leaves sprouting on it here & there, but much of it's dead (and probably will end up as firewood). More's the pity, it used to turn into a 30' high pink poof, and the bees would absolutely *swarm* it.

Anyway, if your squill likes its new home, it will probably look like Olivia's patch in a few years. (You gotta have patience with plants, that's for sure!)

olivia said...

Hi IVG, katieb, FAR!

I'm sure these squill have been there for a while, hence the numbers. I'm surprised that this is the first year I've noticed them though ... lol. Ah well ... :)

It looks like a fair number have popped up in the parking space though. I wonder how many bulbs were planted in the public garden and if they supplement ... hmmm.

boran2 said...

IVG, Could it be that a blanket of snow provided a few degrees of warmth to more shallowly planted bulbs and lacking to bulbs planted just a few inches deeper?

Looking at the two photos it seems that yours are doing nicely. I don't believe that it will be all that many years before you catch up.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Howdy folks!
It seems that Spring is still being fickle and elusive here ... after a high of 77/25 the other day, we're back down (currently) at 36/2 at present. The next few days are forecast pretty much the same, *sigh* ... we're just hoping for the best and that our somewhat protected area won't suffer.

I'm excited that the Primroses have started to bloom and hope there's a bit of sun this weekend to get some shots ... But there are still Hyacinths to come, so drop by soon.

And ... great to see you emerging KB! You got new painting palooza going, B2?

FARfetched said...

Ugh. We're supposed to have upper 30s Tuesday morning. The blackberries are starting to open up, so it looks like blackberry winter is right on time.