Category Archives: bulbs

Winter Magic

Life is magic.  Two days after the heavy winter storm, life proves itself.

winter aconite, eranthis in early February garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

snowdrops galanthus primula wanda after the big snow garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

snowdrops and primula after the big snow garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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!)

cyclamen coum in early February garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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?

snowdrops galanthus after the big snow garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

I’ve just gotta smile.

🙂

 

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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Fawn Lily at Easter

Erythronium Oregonum Fawn Lily garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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!

Erythronium Oregonum Fawn Lily garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

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.

The  White Fawn Lily meadow at the north end of Beacon Hill Park is much more open than this.

Erythronium Oregonum Fawn Lily bloom & leaf CU, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Today there’s just a few flowers in bloom, but give it another week….

Last year Easter was well over a week later.  By then the Fawn Lilies at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary were in their glory.

Erythronium Oregonum Fawn Lily garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Now it makes sense why some folk call these Easter Lily.

In Ontario the speckled leaves remind folk of brook trout, so they call them Trout Lily.   Perhaps Eastern Canadians don’t see deer as often as we do in Victoria?  A rose by any other name….

If we want to get scientific about names, the west coast native is Erythronium Oregonum, and its east coast cousin is E. Americanum.

No matter the moniker used, it’s lovely to see the early spring wildflowers.  Happy Easter!

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