Tag Archives | Bulbs

Crocus corsicus or Corsican Crocus

Crocus corsicus

Collectors of Snowdrops are named Galanthophiles so should crocus lover be called Iridiaphiles. Perhaps there are already Iridiaphile clubs collecting the numerous Crocus species including the Corsican Crocus shown above. Wikipedia list 80 plus species.

Gardeners Tips for Corsican Crocus

  • I like the idea of growing crocus in pots in the alpine house so it is easier to inspect the blooms but they ‘go over’ quicker and the water control needs to be spot on. This pot is stood on an inverted pot to get more height on the bench.
  • Corsican crocus are best in a rockery not being robust enough to grow through grass.
  • A sandy well drained soil even in an exposed site should be fine.
  • Outdoors they go on flowering for longer than many spring crocus.
  • In early spring is a delight to see the striped buds poking up followed a few days later by the open buds showing a contrast of purples and lilacs plus the sepals, styles and anthers in orange and yellow. .

Read Crocus Tommasinianus and Crocus Planting Depth

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Beginning Gardening Tips on Bulbs for Beginners

Narsicci

These short tips are designed to help you avoid failures and give you success without having to worry about too many rights and wrongs. You haven’t missed spring yet but to get going you need a quick win!

Quick Wins with Bulbs

It is hard to go wrong with bulbs. (The flower is already sealed within the bulb and they just need a bit of help and protection from you).
In February you can buy pots of daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinth and crocus that have been grown for you. It is easy to put them into bare soil, a container or bigger plant pot and wait for them to flower.
I would take them out of the retailers pot as they will have been grown tightly packed together but I wouldn’t try to separate them. Plant them at the same depth as they have been grown so you do not need to excavate a deep hole.
When planted in the ground or a new container water them gently.
Daffs and crocus will flower again next year but the tulips may not survive (it won’t be your fault, it is just nature)

Summer Bulbs

  • Summer bulbs are the next job to get great colour this summer with minimum know-how and effort.
  • In March or April clear weeds from a patch of garden  and you have made a flower bed.
  • Break up the top of the soil so water and air can get down to the plants then individually bury your bulbs twice as deep as the bulb . The soil on top of the bulb will be double the depth of the bulb.
  • I would start with some short stemmed Lilies and if I know my garden is very wet I would but some sand or gravel at the bottom of the planting hole. If you are not sure which way is the top and what is the root then lay the bulb on the side and let the plant choose.
  • Gladioli, Begonnias and Dahlia will all produce very colourful shows in summer. Glads have a nobbly bit at the top, begonias have a slight hollow and Dahlias have a twiggy bit to show which way up to plant them.
  • Read the instructions on the packet for general guidance but you do not need to slavishly follow everything they say.

Rosy

Beggars Begonias

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Corms for Beginners

Crocus and Gladioli are easy plants to grow from corms. Plant some ‘Glads’ in March for summer flowering and some Crocus in Autumn for next spring. You may even find some Crocus in pots that will flower now and can then be planted out for next spring.

What is a Corm?
Corms are (underground) stems that are internally solid tissues with a fibrous outer. This differentiates corms from bulbs, which are made up of layered fleshy scales that are modified leaves. As a result, when a corm is cut in half it is solid, but when a true bulb is cut in half it is made up of layers. The Corm is the food store for the next generation of plants.

Crocus and Gladioli are two of the best known plants grown from corms. Also Cyclamen, Bananas, Diermia, Crocosmia, Liatris and Freesia are corm based plants.

Roots growing from the bottom of the corm are normal fibrous roots are formed as the shoots grow. The second type of roots are thicker layered roots that form as the new corms are growing, they are called contractile roots and they pull the corm deeper into the soil.

Corms of some species of plants are replaced every year by the plant with growth of a new corm at the shoot base just above the old corm. As the plants grow and flower, the old corm is used up and shrivels away. The new corm that replaces the old corm grows in size, especially after flowering is done.

Corms can form many small cormlets called cormels at the base of the plant and these can be grown on for subsequent seasons. They grow true to the parent plant and are a way of increasoing stock. A corm can be cut into wedges and grow a new plant as long as there is a bud on each part.

A description and graphic of a good corm is available from the University of Illinios

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Top Ten Snowdrop Gardens

Kew Snowdrops

  1. Waterperry Gardens Oxfordshire
  2. Chelsea Physic Garden London   Snowdrops have always provided one of the great delights of these openings 6th, 7th, 13th & 14th February 2010, 10am-4pm.
  3. RHS Wisley Surrey
  4. Hopton Hall Derbyshire
  5. Weeping Ash Garden Cheshire
  6. East Lambrook Garden Somerset
  7. Sherborne Garden Somerset Local gardens open for the National gardens Scheme
  8. Brandy Mount House Garden Hampshire National collection of snowdrops
  9. Easton Walled Garden & Little Ponton Hall Lincolnshire
  10. Bennington Lordship Hertfordshire

This is our selection unless you know better – if so let us know.
Snowdrop soldiers8

Check for open days in February and March for a day out to enjoy. You may also find snowdrops in unexpected locations. I snapped these pictures in Haworth church Bronte land.

Haworth snowdrops

Snowdrops in an alpine house at Harlow Carr.

Snowdrop

Galanthophiles see beauty many varieties.
snowdrop

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Autumn Crocus Naked Ladies

After seeing Naked Ladies at Harlow Carr gardens in Harrogate I decided to plant some Autumn crocus for myself. The blue Crocus speciosus were planted under some rhododendron shrubs and the colour has been a good strong blue. The corms would have flowered without being planted so it is little to do with the peaty soil but hopefully the leaves that follow the flowers will now help bulk up the Crocus for future years.

The blown flowers on the pink crocus were from far larger bulbs. As you can see they are too near the surface but many Crocus have the ability to use their roots to pull the bulbs deeper in to the soil. I will not be disturbing them to find out. I will cover with some more soil if only to deter mice from eating the bulbs.

Even now if you find bulbs on sale or special offer it may be worth buying some of these interesting bulbs.

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Fringed Tulips a Crispa Flower

fringed-1
Tulip Crispa or the fringed Tulips looked really good at our Spring show so I have planned to grow some next year. These photos were taken on the bench demonstrating what good cut flowers Tulips can be. The fringed or lacerated petals are unusual yet elegant and add to the attraction of these strongly coloured flowers.

Tips on Fringed Tulips

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