March 21, 2009

March Madness

Every March, the greenhouse almost has too many flowers in it.

Some new tender shrubs that I bought for the greenhouse include this Correa 'Western Pink Star', from Gosseler Farms' table at the NARGS meeting.

I once saw a photo of a lawn, on the Scottish Rock Garden Society site, completely covered in crocus, so in our old golf green, I planted a few hundred bulbs of a singular species, (for a more natural look, like we saw in the Alps). These 'tommies' are already open, even though the ground here is still frozen.

Now back from the west coast, the NARGS ( National Rock Garden Society Meeting and Western Winter Study Weekend) and a week of intense catching-up at work, a 50 year old reward of a colonoscopy, two days of not eating, lost two pairs of glasses, cracked the windshield on my rental car with a rock on the Oregon roads, two fire alarms at 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM at the hotel before I had to leave at 4:00 to arrive at the airport, the lost pair of readers that I had to buy to read magazines on the plane, and a bit too much stress from the NARGS Annual Meeting and politics...frankly, I am glad that I am home, in a very brown New England, even though it is cold outside, it is sunny, and it is home.

At least while in Oregon, I had one evening to meet my oldest brother for dinner, and one evening to meet other family members like my niece, and her children and mom. I need to go to Oregon for a longer visit, for I never had the chance to go hiking with a friend, nor time enough to explore. Maybe July, when I can climb Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker.

The NARGS WWSW itself, speakers and all, was overwhelmingly inspirational. It was nice to see Ian Young from Scotland again, and John Lonsdale, we even had time to jog over to a new Chipotle for tacos at a lunch break (johns site for his home, Edgewood Gardens makes me so jealous - but it is inspiring!. I tried to scoot over to the plant sales area at every opportunity, and although I only had two suitcases, I couldn't help myself. At out taco lunch, John asked me if I saw the yellow and peach Hellebore at Gosseler Farms ( I did, there we're two), and he admitted that he 'had to buy one and find room for it) ( leaving one), (which now I had to buy). ( In a one gallon container). (That weighed about 5 lbs).

Rhodohypoxis 'Goya', a new double form.

Other things that I found room for, was this pretty little Rhodohypoxis, a double one apparently from a rare plant nursery in England, this Rhodohyposis baurii hybrid called "Goya" was cute enough that I had to buy it, along with another single variety not yet in blossom. As if I don't have enough of this genus! Rhodohypoxis does very well in my cold greenhouse, and would do well in your garden if you live in Zone 8 or higher, (possible lower if kept bone dry in the winter). In the greenhouse, I just let the pots dry out in the fall, and shove them under the benches where they can remain cold and dry, without freezing. Every spring, I divide them ending up with so many now, that I just plant all of them in window boxes alone the deck railing. After their first flush of bloom in April and May, which lasts about a month and a half, and virtually covers the plants, the grassy foliage looks neat and very 'fancy-lobby-in-a-boutique-hotel', all summer long. Perfect for those contemporary containers from Target.

Even our local supermarket had something that I had to buy for the greenhouse, like this lovely little Azalea, unknown variety, but I am low on Azaleas at the moment, so for now, I transplanted it into a nicer and larger clay pot.

Eritrichium howardii emerging from it's visual death

OK, Harvey Wrightman, you once again are correct. Maybe this should be renamed Eritrichium harvardii ssp. wrightii?
After staying at our home last year during the National Primrose Society meeting, Wrightman Alpines owner and friend, Harvey Wrightman presented us with a little host gift, this precious little Eritrichium howardii growing in a chunk of Tufa rock. Harv told us that it will grow well in a trough (where I planted it, on it's side) and that unlike it's more challenging Euro-relative Eritrichium nanum, this dude will actually grow. He also warned us that the little guy will shrivel and dry up in the winter, but not to worry, as soon as spring arrives, it will begin to grow- and look! Joy. Harvey has pots of this variety on his terrific website for alpine plants, at Wrightman Alpines.com. Check it out and maybe instead of a pot of Supertunias® this year, you might plant a trough or stoneware pot of high elevation alpines, THAT sends a message that you are 'green' more than any totebag from Whole Foods could ever hope for!


  1. Matt, I'm still envious of your trip, but it sounds like your plate was more than full! I'm sure there are amazing gems finding new homes on your overfull benches(never)...I love the thought of planting a single species or variety of crocus in a lawn, makes total sense,beautiful. More impact and serene,less is always more...if there's more that is! Hope everything's getting back to normal. Brian

  2. Matt, I love the cybister amaryllis in the background. Glen

  3. Thanks Brian, I'll have to look that up. I did find a few Babiana species that it looked close to, but was never able to key it exactly. Perhaps this is it, I think I will send the photo to Silverhill Seed, and see what they think, as well as to Kirstenbosch.

    Love you blog!

    Glen....that Cybister is a new variety, you should see how long the stamens are! I resisted posting ANOTHER amaryllis shot, at the risk of appearing too...um....., oh, I don't know........too amaryllidatious.

  4. hey matt....your garden is very beautiful am really a very big fan of your's..i love those alpine auricula primroses......i would like to have some seeds of alpine auricula primroses can you please tell me where i can get them in california.


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