Yesterday, I arrived home from San Diego feeling refreshed and in the best of spirits. Great company, perfect weather, excellent food, lovely walks and gorgeous scenery made for an idyllic holiday. What I wasn’t quite prepared for though, were the dramatic changes in my garden.
Had I really written days before that my Scillas were not yet in bloom? This morning, I walked out in the bright, hot sunshine and saw a completely different scene from the one of a week ago. The adorable faces of the botanical tulips were lifted toward the sun, the Scilla looked as if they were near finished and many perennials had shot up as if they had encountered a hefty dose of steroids.
It seems that, while I was off on vacation, my garden was making up for lost time. I spent most of today clearing away dead leaves and stalks and checking out all the new growth.
I also planted some of the Acidanthera bicolour bulbs (aka PeacockFlowers), lifted from the garden last autumn. According to the Desert Tropicals website these bulbs are also called Abyssinian gladiolus. I suppose that’s because they originated in Ethiopia.
These are really the only bulbs I overwinter with any regularity because they are remarkably easy to grow here and they sport such amazing flowers (see above pic from last summer) Last year, I planted the bulbs late in June, resulting in flowers in mid-August. Because of our early frosts, I really would like to enjoy these flowers for a longer spell.
Today I planted my carefully stored bulbs, and am hoping for earlier blooms. Each bulb had many little bulblets attached, so it will be interesting to see how many appear this summer.
Growing in front of the blue watering can on my crooked brick patio (at right) is an Androsace from last year. For an incredible array of Androsace photographs, check out the Androsace website. I was pleased to find this treasure trove of pictures, and am hoping it will help identify more accurately my little gems.
At the moment, it appears as if I will have fewer Androsace this year. What I really like about these beautiful little rock garden plants is how they pop up here and there in the garden. While they are reputed to be temperamental, this particular variety seems to grow here with abandon – my kind of plant.