‘A’ is for …

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.

12 thoughts on “‘A’ is for …

  1. Kylee says:

    And don’t you LOVE the scent of those Acidantheras? I grow them, too, and I need to get those things in the ground!

  2. Kate says:

    Hi Kylee, They do have a wonderful scent … which is why I am hoping that I have a larger number of them for cutting and bringing indoors. I was reading that some people had thrips and other gladioli-related problems, but I have found mine to be fine. Touch wood!!

  3. Verena says:

    Hi Kate,that´s the conclusio of your holiday trip: never let your garden alone, there will happen so many things in the meantime! Last year we were in Amsterdam for only 5 days and in this time all my iris bloomed. When I came back everything was over.I hope you enjoyed your trip and are very relaxed now.Lots of greetings, Verena

  4. Sandy says:

    I can imagine what happened in your garden while you were away. We have had three days rain, and mine has gone from gray to green!Did you bring any bulbs home from your trip?

  5. Genie says:

    Kate, I’m digging that blue watering can! (And by digging, I may very well mean coveting…shhhh….)

  6. Rowan says:

    I’m not surprised that a week has made such a difference in your garden, they grwo incredibly fast at this time of year, you can practically see them growing. Glad you had such a good holiday.

  7. ACey says:

    glad you travelled happily and are safely home. How wonderful that the garden greeted you with beautiful surprises 🙂

  8. Gotta Garden says:

    That’s what I should do! Lift them! I left mine in the ground and they came back (luckily) last year but didn’t bloom…boohoo…I think I’ll try again with some new ones.Once the garden starts (who knew yours would pop while you were gone!), I find it very hard to go away…I will have to check out the Androsace website…I’m glad you’re back…and thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  9. Clare says:

    Hi Kate,Your blog is really wonderful, and it is totally inspiring me to get out in my garden more and plant new flowers — plus learn the names of some of the plants I have that I don’t know much about. It is wonderful to come home from a trip and see what new things have popped up out of the ground! And thank you for stopping by my blog!! 🙂

  10. Mary says:

    Ooops. You left your garden and now it’s laughing at you? I’m always amazed of the changes that take place when I leave my home and return – only after a few days!

  11. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    Hi Kate,What a lovely welcome home your garden gave you. It’s always nice to get back home but to receive such a welcome!!!!Hope you had a wonderful holiday!Thanks for the pics of your garden.

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