Thought for the day, on the arrival of the final shipment of vegetable seeds: What made me think I had room to plant 7 varieties of peas?
Thought for the week, on lusting after a truly gorgeous, frighteningly minimalist modern garden seen in a magazine: What makes me think I could ever give up summer bulbs?
Even a brief pass through the catalogs of Willow Creek Gardens and Corralitos Gardens is enough to produce a wish list of gladioli, eucomis, tuberoses and dahlias that would fill about a quarter acre I don’t happen to have.
But how to choose? If your dahlia collection included
and you were not all that into dahlias, would you really need
The person in the mirror said “yes, and furthermore I’m going to get a bunch of other apricotty ones and somehow connect them with big many Phaison cannas and something loud and pink and spiky that I haven’t figured out yet but not gladioli I don’t think although you never know.”
The other thing I haven’t figured out is how to stop buying eucomis,
Terrific plants. They just keep on giving. The rosette of broad shiny leaves develops quickly and before long sends up a thick spike dotted with flower buds, topped with a Dr. Seuss tuft of bracts. Ever so slowly the flowers open, bottom to top, then equally slowly the flowers dry up – without ever looking ratty and detracting from the effect. We are now 2 months into the show. Next come the el-nifto green seedpods, clinging architecturally to the stem. The terrific hat remains sprightly. About a month later they do start looking tired, at which point you can cut and dry them ( if you’re interested in that sort of thing).
This is a dried stem of E. Pole Evansii, largest of the group. It was in a vase at green seedpod stage, then kept because I thought of planting seeds. The bulbs are quite pricey. On the other hand it’s about 5 years from seedling to blooming size so this thing is probably headed for the compost pile.
As you may have noticed, that stem is curvier than one might wish. It’s a hazard with the taller types, including Sparkling Burgundy, notable for its deep maroon leaves.
The partial shade in which my plants reside makes curvature ( and greener leaves) more likely, but them’s the breaks. Staking is impossible not just aesthetically but physically because the stems rise right from the center of the big fat bulb.
The erect shorties in both group pictures are E. bicolor. It never flops and would be great in pots.The flowers have beautiful maroon streaks that reward close viewing.
Photo of Blown Dry courtesy Corralitos Gardens. E Pole Evansii and E. bicolor are sold by Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. My Babylon Bronze came from Endless Summer Flower Farm. Their photo doesn’t do it justice either, but you get the general idea.