Howdy folks, just an update here: I was all set to get a quick post up tonight, but Blogger's acting up again and though it claims to be uploading the photos I wanted to post, they're refusing to appear on the page. Hopefully this is just one of those temporary Blogger hissy fits (as it's wont to do from time to time), so sorry about the lack of photos!
With some halfway decent weather today (in the mid 40's) Fernymoss did manage get all the rest of the bulbs planted around in the garden and in parts of the yard, something we've been trying to get done for the past few weeks! First Halloween got in the way, then the weather went south (at least the good weather did!), and with all the rainy, cold days we've had lately it's been nearly impossible to complete the task. But thanks to Fernymoss, they're all in the cold ground now, ready for their winter naps before emerging in the spring. This year we decided to forego any new tulips, partly to save money and partly because we doubted we'd have the stamina to do such labor intensive plantings this fall, given how busy things around Casa IVG have been. So, since I can't post images right now, I'll just give you a preview of what all we planted, via links to our source, Van Bourgondien. We focused primarily on beefing up our stock of Crocus, though we did add some different bulbs, some old friends (Crocus and Camassia) and hopefully new ones Fritillaria 'Fox Grape' and 'Sicilian Honey Garlic' --an allium.
So here goes ... 96 of our favorite Snow Specie Crocus (click link to see descriptions and photos), the earliest. and to my mind, showiest of the Crocus we have. You may recall these from last Spring, and you'd have a good memory, because it's the exact same mix we first planted in 2005, and this mix has performed extremely well for us. There are some real beauties here! This addition now brings our Crocus total up to probably around 300 or so in various places ... and happily, they just keep spreading more each year! If you don't have Snow Crocus in your garden, you really owe it to yourself to indulge in a few dozen (at least) to start, because they are one of the very easiest bulbs to plant, only needing to go 3-4 inches down (unlike Tulips who require 6-8 inches!). For an afternoon's effort of planting them, you're more than amply rewarded with the splashes of color they provide to signal that winter's finally near its end!
30 more of the 'Giant Dutch Crocus,' also a repeat planting of a quite lovely mix of the later, bigger Crocus ... every one of this mix is a stunner when in bloom, though alas, they often fall victim to hard early rains and winds and lose their petals quickly, they are real beauties to see when they emerge and start blooming....
24 of the Fritillaria 'Fox Grape,' a new variety for us, and one we're quite excited about having in the garden. We've become real fans of the various Fritillaria in the past few years, and though we've lost both of our large, Crown Imperials due to bad winters, and our F. michailovski have been dwindling in number recently, so we decided to try another very attractive (and relatively cheap) variety. You'll have to wait until mid-spring to see them here, but I think the wait will be worth it....
8 'Sicilian Honey Garlic' (Allium sicculum) which we once tried years ago, but we were stupid and planted them in areas where they got engulfed by the early summer growth of Bee Balm and other taller plants. There's one surviving (barely) in the back corner bed bordering the sidewalk, but alas you really have to know when to expect it to bloom and then search for it, so these went in a much more prominent position out front near the Finger Rock, where we have several of the purple Globe Alliums planted. Yes, the choice of more alliums was deliberate. As I've frequently extolled the allium virtue of adding sulfur to the soil over time (protection from Powdery Mildew in susceptible plants such as Monarda), these were yet another addition to that particular soil modification. And we actually would like to see them perform in a spot where they can be appreciated too!
The last bulbs (24) to list are one of our emerging favorites, Camassia esculenta, aka 'Indian Hyacinth." This plant is also known as 'Quamash,' a Native American moniker because in the past they used them as a food source. If you search the blog, or use the labels below, you'll see some much better pictures than VB's image conveys. Camassia is a bit deceptive when it emerges because its foliage is easily mistaken for a tall grass, and it isn't until they bloom that they reveal their true beauty. We ordered the blue ones this year, and when we first planted them in 2005, we purchased a mix that also has a nice pink in it, but it's really the blue ones we now prefer. The mistake we made initially when we planted these is that we interspersed a few here and there among other larger bulbs (Tulips, Daffodils) where they tended to get lost. So this time, Fernymoss concentrated on a few mass plantings (1 bag per mass) so they'll stand out more and get their fair share of attention. Camassia does have a nice tendency to naturalize freely after a few years, so we're hoping that over time we'll get some really nice masses where they can strut their under appreciated stuff! We certainly don't have any intentions of eating them, so we're just going to encourage them to live long and prosper!
So there you have it, the inventory of fall bulbs recently planted here at the Oasis ... now the long winter wait begins.... But if you'd like revisit last Spring (what serious gardener wouldn't?), just click on the various labels below and enjoy!
Work continues to be an obstacle to blogging, but I'm going to try to post when I have some spare time at night, so do stop back frequently to see what's going on. Winter postings are always a challenge, but I've been mulling over some possible topics (ranging from film to recipes and archival photos not seen previously) to keep the garden going, while we wait for winter's passage and the renewal of the promise of a new season to come! And of course, there's always Christmas Ornament blogging in the offing ... much sooner than I'd like to admit!
So what have you folks out there been planting bulb and otherwise in your nearly slumbering fall gardens? I'd love to hear what gardeners in other zones have to say, though I'm sure that some of it would make me envious! Let us know....