crocosmia Lucifer garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

A Place for Crocosmia

crocosmia montbretia garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Many members of the garden club weren’t surprised that I’d planted Crocosmia.  It’s a pretty, summer flowering corm that hummingbirds flock to.

But those same folks seem absolutely aghast that I’d planted so much Crocosmia.

crocosmia montbretia garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

It all started with an empty garden, and a ‘free‘ load of soil.

We built large berms & planted shrubs in hopes of one day having lush borders.  Before much else even had a chance to grow, Crocosmia was popping up everywhere.

crocosmia Lucifer garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

What a delight!  The novice gardener in me was thrilled with the free plants.  I recognized the strappy leaves, and the cascading flowers from other gardens.  I admired them.

I thought the plants were wonderfully tenacious to recover from being buried 2-3 feet down.  They valiantly sent sprouts up toward the light, then as they grew leaves, they developed a new corm just under the soil.   Clever, eh?

crocosmia montbretia garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I was told that Crocosmia was a ‘persistent’ grower, but I figured I could handle it.  For several years the waves of Crocosmia  crowded out weeds & gave me time to concentrate on other parts of the yard.

crocosmia montbretia garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I’m still pleased with growing so much Crocosmia.

crocosmia montbretia garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
  • It’s disappointing that deer eat the blooms, but a good deer repellent takes care of that.
  • It’s disappointing that Crocosmia isn’t as drought tolerant as hoped, but I’ve found that Kniphofia (Red Hot Pokers) replaces it well (after strenuous digging &  meticulous removal).

Although I’ve swapped out some patches, many remain.  I like that their leaves start to show in March… and hold out through  most of December

Crocosmia Lucifer (montbretia) July garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I’ve even welcomed another variety into the yard.

Crocosmia Lucifer is an architectural statement.  It’s easy to see how the flaming red flowers inspired the dramatic name.

Crocosmia Lucifer (montbretia) July garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The smaller, old fashioned Crocosmia, aka Montbretia, might not be as popular as it was a few decades ago, but I’d bet most members of the garden club keep a place for ‘Lucifer”.

It’s unlikely there’s room for more than a patch or two of these beasts in our yard.  Even one patch makes an impact.  I reckon it won’t be swapped out for anything else any time soon.

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