Saturday, January 2, 2010
Bulbs, Bulbs, Bulbity Bulbs ...*
Someone needs to take the Head Gardener in hand and insist that she plant these bulbs immediately and forthwith. Applicants for that job are now being taken on my corner of Katy. If interested, you'll have a spade up on the competition if you can ensure our success with such exotic beauties as Chasmanthe, Calochortus, Scilla, Babiana and Watsonia. We know that Watsonia are alleged to grow here but we are not so sure about the rest. The HG was quite taken with the Chasmanthe when she saw the pictures on the display at Shades of Green Nursery in San Antonio. I indulged her in their purchase and have since had several moments of buyer's remorse, especially when I unbagged them tonight and discovered they were sprouting. The others were a gift from my wonderful and generous sister, who does not garden but stands ever ready to support my efforts. She chose bulbs which do grow in zone 9: whether they will grow in THIS zone 9 remains to be seen.
Also in the basket are a bag of Grand Soleil D'Or Narcissus: big beautiful bulbs from Brent & Becky's that deserve better treatment than they have received thus far! There's a bag of Oxblood Lilies, a gift from Austin's MSS of Zanthan Gardens: at least I planted the pots of those she gave me and have hopes of blooms next year. And when the HG heard that Enchanted Gardens in Richmond, Texas, had bulbs of an old Southern favorite, Byzantine gladiolus, nothing would do but that I must hasten there last week to avail myself of a gracious plenty (her words). I didn't quibble, since I'm quite fond of their shockingly magenta blooms myself. (Don't tell the HG, but that envelope with "Byz Glads" contains a few that got dug up for some reason last year).
An interesting aside on those gladiolus/gladioli: according to several sources, what I bought may actually be Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus, rather than Gladiolus byzantinus. The former are said to have smaller and less intensely colored blooms. Austin blogger Amy Chapman has a post about them on her Austin Wildflower blog that really piqued my interest. I'll be curious to see which species my smaller, less expensive bulbs prove to be. Another site also caught my attention when they mentioned that the bulbs can be planted in a lawn and the foliage mown without any damage to the plants. The HG and I have long wanted to plant naturalizing bulbs in what is left of the lawn here at Wit's End. This may be the year!
*The Head Gardener and I are Python fans, what can I say?