Life is magic. Two days after the heavy winter storm, life proves itself.
And magic begins.
The snow has melted! In just 2 days? Even here on the coast, that seems crazy-fast.
I tentatively wander through the yard assessing the damage.
My muscles certainly remember shoveling sidewalks & shaking shrubs. But the winter blooms? They’re like children in a hospital ward. Perhaps a little bent & broken, but mostly they’re just happy to be alive and enjoying the sunshine.
The yellow cups of the winter aconite (Eranthis) don’t seem to have noticed they’ve survived 33 cm of snowfall since they showed themselves in January. (That’s more than 12 inches – a full foot – – radical for balmy Victoria BC!)
The snowdrops (Galanthus) have also held up well.
The Primula Wanda leaves are super-sad, but who can’t smile at those tough purple flowers?
I hadn’t even noticed the crocus buds before the snow. How did they arrive so quickly?
The Cyclamen coum unfurl their petals as the sun warms them. More blooms are on their way, too! Soon they’ll be a mound of pink.
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.
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.
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?
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.
I’m still pleased with growing so much Crocosmia.
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
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.
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.
After a hearty meal of ham & scalloped potatoes, I’m in need of some exercise & fresh air. We head off to one of our favorite walks: the forested loop around Mount Doug Park.
It’s a delight, but not a surprise, to come across the speckled leaves of a fawn lily at the edge of the path. (I’ve seen these native wildflowers along the forest edge of walking trails at Cedar Hill Golf Course too, ) But then I spy another leaf further off the trail… and a few more!
Just beyond those is a meadow of them! I wouldn’t have guessed that the deciduous under-story would give enough light for a whole meadow of fawn lily.