Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lovely Lampshades: Fritillaria michailovskyi

Funny how quickly the 'archives' of spring bulb pictures get outdated in the mad rush to bloom in which so many flowers compete at this time of year ... We took these shots back in late April and of course, at this point, they've already packed up and gone away for the rest of the season. But I thought I'd post them anyway, as a fond farewell to the early spring bulbs ... but there are still Wood Hyacinths (Hyacinthoides hispanica or 'Spanish Bluebells') just starting to bloom now so they'll be the absolute last of the truly spring bulbs to do their thing.

Fritillaria michailovski was the first Fritillary we ever planted years ago (thank you Martha Stewart, lol) and though I think there were originally about six, but they've dwindled over the years, most likely due to the rather poor spot we chose to plant them (at the edge of the sidewalk, where they're almost too small to see up close) and some harsh winters, as well as last year's disastrous spring. But when we planted them, our first bulb bed was brand new, and the front boulder bed was only a dream that had not yet been accomplished. But still, they persevere and this year we vow to dig up that bed, re-do it and transfer these lovely little fellows (natives to Turkey, of all places!) to a more prominent spot in the front border for next spring. We also plan on getting some more to increase their numbers, because having a nice little mass of F. michailovski would make a great companion to other early bloomers such as the Snowdrops and Crocus (which was the original idea where we have them planted now), so hopefully we'll just move the whole lot to some newer spots and give them a little more prominence next year. I've whined enough this spring about last year's débacle (and I promise to stop!) but I thought you might be interested in seeing how they looked last year. They definitely did better this year! (Notice the difference in quality between the old Fuji and the new one -- the S700-- I'm constantly amazed at how much richer colours the new one captures!)

Next week I am taking a week's vacation to really get out and get serious in the garden, as planting season (especially for veggies) is quickly slipping away from us after what has seemed like such a brief nice period of spring! There's still a lot of clean up and weeding to be done (the dandelions are done, so out they go!), so I hope to tackle a bit each day I'm off and get areas weeded and planted with some of the new plants we already have. Fernymoss actually has this weekend off so we're probably going to get some new plants, do some digging and weeding and get down to business ... then fire up the grill for the season! Can't wait to cook my first pork tenderloin on the grill this year ... that's our new favorite, and after all, if it's summer (with the World Pork Expo coming up in early June), we gotta have our tasty Iowa Pork! It's right up there with the sweet corn, but we'll have to wait a bit longer for that, I'm afraid ...


boran2 said...

That top photo is a beauty and really does look like a lampshade. Another nice early bloomer.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there B2 ... Ferny got some really good ones of these guys this year, I think! That second one is to show the contrast of the fully open bloom with a bud that was on a nearby specimen. They're small, so pencil them in on your bulb list ... they do pretty well in smaller spaces (rock gardens and such).

I think you'll really like the flowers that are going up later tonight ...

olivia said...

Agree with b2 - these are so beautiful!

And thanks for linking to the shots from last year - what a comparison!

Woo hoo on the vacation - I hope you have tons of great weather and get lots of rest and relaxation and enjoyment from your garden. :)

Shady Gardener said...

I posted last Fall that I'd planted some of these... but I hadn't remembered where! ;-) I did find foliage here and there that didn't bloom this Spring. Perhaps I'll have a nice surprise Next year. lol

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Shady, that seems kind of odd, given that ours bloomed the first year, but I wouldn't give up hope yet! If you at least got foliage, they're doing something down there and I bet you'll see them next year! Still getting our feet wet with Fritillarias here, and alas, we lost all of our Crown Imperials to that late freeze last year. Wahhhh!

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