}

January 28, 2012

More January Rare Bulbs

ASPHODELUS ACAULIS, A RARE ALPINE LILY-LIKE PLANT FROM TURKEY WITH LONG, DORMANT STORAGE ROOTS LIKE CARROTS, BLOOMS IN A LONG-TOM SET INTO A RAISED SAND PLUNGE BED IN MY GREENHOUSE. 

 In the front of my greenhouse, on the sunniest side near the front door, sit two raised beds which are filled with sand. Placed into these sand beds are clay pots, many with rare bulbs in these. This is the preferred method in which to grow many winter or summer growing bulbs, since the appreciate the cooler soil that a damp clay pot which is plunged into damp sand provides, and since the terra cotta pots are porous, they wick moisture from the sand providing optimal conditions for many bulbs. The air temperature on sunny days can rise to nearly 75 degrees in January, but the soil will remain more consistent, often near 45 degrees F. At night, the air cools to near 39-40 degrees, and the soil remains warmer. Many plants require this temperature shift as it mimics nature more closely than the constant temps which a plant might get in a modern heated home might get.


BLOOMING EVERY WINTER, I HAVE LEARNED THAT FREQUENT REPOTTING ACTUALLY HELPS THIS SPECIES BLOOM NICER. THE YEAR FOLLOWING DIVISION TO A SINGLE CROWN, WHILE DORMANT IN JULY, HELPS THIS RARE TURKISH ALPINE BLOOM. IN THE WINTER SUNSHINE TODAY, I NOTICED THAT IT ALSO HAS A SWEET FRAGRANCE, WHICH I NEVER NOTICED BEFORE.

 THE POT IS NEARLY 12 INCHES DEEP, AND THE THICK ROOTS ARE SET IN A SOIL MIX WHICH IS MOSTLY SHARP SAND. THIS PAST SUMMER I DIVIDED A LARGE PLANT AND SHARED 5 ROOTS WITH READERS OF THIS BLOG - SHARING IS A GOOD THING, SINCE IF ONE LOSES A PLANT, ONE CAN OFTEN GET A DIVISION FROM A SHARED SOURCE.

TECOPHILAEA CYANOCROCUS ssp. VIOLACEAE
Last post, I shared an image of the rare Chilean blue crocus, or Tecophilaea cyanocrocus var. leichtlinii which has sky blue flowers, here a week later, a less blue and more violet variety is blooming, the equally rare and choice Tecophilaea cyanocrocus var. 'Violacea', a bulb best grown in the protected zone 7 rockery or in a cold alpine house, where one can appreciate its stunning deep violet blossoms. 



 The legendary Tecophilaea, or blue Chilean Crocus ( remember, they are not true crocus), continue to provide the greatest interest in the greenhouse this week, and I am very glad that I have both a somewhat free weekend as well as a sunny one too.  I can enjoy them a bit during the daylight hours as I repot some orchids, train some topiary and sow some seeds. During the week I never get to see anything, as I am still arriving home from work in the dark, and leaving for work in the dark. These are plants that look best in sunlight.
HERE YOU CAN SEE THE COLOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO FORMS OF TECOPHILAEA CYANOCROCUS, ON THE LEFT, T. CYANOCROCUS VAR. 'LEICHTLINII' WITH SKY BLUE FLOWERS, AND ON THE RIGHT, T. CYANOCROCUS VAR. 'VIOLACEA'. BOTH ARE SUMPTUOUSLY RARE COLORS IN THE FLORAL WORLD.

Our two rescue puppies that we are fostering after Joe helped shut down a backyard puppy mill in December, are doing well now - all wormed, and ready to go get 'fixed' at Tufts this coming week. Hopefully we will be able to find good homes for the 12 rescues, as well as for these two boys since they are starting to raise Hell in the garden. Below, are some shots of 'Scooby' and 'Scraggy' as the discover some sprouting crocus in front of the greenhouse, which they promptly dug up and ate.
If you are interested in adopting any of the recent rescues, please check out the Irish Terrier Rescue Network and apply. They are all sweet, and healthy, and need good, loving homes.


Please find me a nice, loving home. I promise that I won't eat your crocus.


2 comments :

  1. Outstanding. I've never seen such a wide array of exotic bulbs. Your collection is amazing. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Hello.
    Amazing, let me tell you that your blog is wonderful, i read all your posts in one day....
    I hope you dont mind for asking you something:Do you left all your bulbs in the pots and containers in the dormant period?

    Thank You.
    Regads
    Francis

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