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October 20, 2011

Fall Bulbs in the Greenhouse

AUTUMN FLOWERING CROCUS ARE JUST BEGINNING TO BLOOM

I'm speaking this Saturday at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, leading an class on forcing fall and winter-blooming bulbs, which had be considering what was in-bloom today in the greenhouse at home. Each year is a little different, but there are always repeat performers. My collection of Nerine sarniensis may look better than any other year, this season, but it won't peak until next week. Other bulbs like the Oxalis species from South Africa, and the new autumn-blooming crocus collection are just beginning to bloom.

A RARE GREEN DAFFODIL? YOU BET, THIS SPECIES IS A FAVORITE OF MINE, JUST MAGICAL. NARCISSUS VIRIDIFLORA IS A GREEN AUTUMN-FLOWERING NARCISSUS WITH A STRONG, UNUSUAL CLOVE-LIKE SCENT.

 A pot of Narcissus viridiflora is doing very well, since I began with two bulbs five years ago, and I have been able to grow those bulbs into 8 bulbs, and five bulbs are now blooming. Typically, my Narcissus tend to grow weaker each year, but this tender bulb, which cannot freeze, gets s little extra care and fertilizer. I've been trying a new fertilizer and enhancement which I will blog about soon, and maybe that is making a difference with these slow but steady feeders.

 Oxalis species that are bulbous, are highly collectable  by plants people with greenhouses, and it seems that every fall I write about them, and include some photos, this year I thought that I might show some of the less interesting ones. The coconut-scented Oxalis pocockiae truly smells like fresh coconut, and I can smell it before I can see it, as soon as I open the greenhouse door on a sunny day in October.
This year I repotted many of the species, and I placed the extras in some plastic pots. Even in these pots, some of these species look interesting. The foliage of Oxalis polyphylla var. heptaphylla emerges with very thin leaves.
A rare bloomer, since this species is notoriously fussu about blooming, and it is most commonly grown for it's foliage which is fuzzy and interesting. I repotted these containers, so maybe being disturbed, helped them decide to bloom.  The yellow blossom of Oxalis purpurea 'Ken Aslet' are a nice surprise, since in most years, it never blooms ( 2 blooms in ten years for me).

On the two plunge beds where I keep the Cyclamen collection, it is peak season. 

The foliage on the Cyclamen species is very pretty, from left to right: C. persicum ( from Persia), C. rohlfsianum (from Libya and discovered by Friedrich Gerhard Rohfs) , C. graecum ( as in Greek-um, where it is native), and C. hederifolium ( Hedera helix, as in the the common English Ivy, in regards to its leaf shape)

Nerine sarniensis are starting to open, more on these later.

The blue Chilean Crocus, or Tecophilaea cyanocrocus corms are just being potted up. I am planting 25 bulbs this year since I need them for a photo-shoot for a talk I am giving next year. I can't wait to see how they will do, since it is rare to be able to plant so many.



4 comments :

  1. your Nerines are looking amazing, I can't wait to see those Chilean crocus en mass-rare beauty!

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  2. that green daff is amazing... i've never seen this before... thanks for sharing.

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  3. I planted just a few Cyclamen tubers about 4 years ago in one corner of my yard and they continue to spread and thrive more every year. I love it to watch it every fall.

    I have also been trying my hand with Crocus because I love their purplish hews and Nerines for the shape of their blooms. While the Nerines do fabulously well, I have never yet been successful with the Crocus.

    Your Autumn beauties are fantastic.

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  4. I got a great photo of the Tecophilaea at the New York Botanical Garden when I was a student there. Definitely one of the bluest flowers I have ever seen. I can't wait to see how yours do.

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