Thought for the day, as the last of the seed orders come in: what made me think I had room to plant 7 varieties of peas?
Thought for the season, as the garden catalogs continue to seduce online: What makes me think I'll someday learn restraint when it comes to summer bulbs?
My first pass through the catalogs of Willow Creek Gardens and Corralitos Gardens produced a bank-breaking wish list of pineapple lilies, gladioli, 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:
Babylon Bronze Dahlia.
...and you were not all that into dahlias, would you really need:
Blown Dry / Courtesy Corralitos Gardens
The person in the mirror said "yes, and I'm going to get a bunch more 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."
Phaison Canna; the flower will be pale tangerine.
The other thing I haven't figured out is how to stop buying eucomis:
Eucomis, aka pineapple lily for obvious reasons.
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).
Dried flower stem and yardstick.
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.
E. Sparkling Burgundy
The partial shade in which my plants reside makes curvature -- and less colorful leaves -- more likely, but it can't be helped. Staking is impossible not just aesthetically but physically; 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.
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