Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scare the shepherds! Colchicums!

Colchicum "Big Sucker"

I read somewhere that the Spanish call Merendera pyreneica (now Colchicum pyreneicum) "Espanto pastores" ("Scare the shepherds") because when they begin to bloom it means snow is not too far C. pyreneicum bloomed last week, and I forgot to take a picture of it, but I have realized that just as you can spend years going through classes, noticing that one who always would sit in the back, and then suddenly one day you realize you are in love, so too have I fallen in love with these diaphanous, predictably vigorous and utterly wonderful Colchicums! No, it's not really its cultivar name: I am not sure which big sucker is blooming like crazy under the Crabs here at work. I have something similar lighting up my garden here and there: I can tell I will be figuring it out soon (love leads to enlightenment you know...)

Of course everyone knows 'Waterlily' I planted three many years ago and these are now huge clumps I should have divided last July. I shall divide them NEXT July for sure, and sell a few (at their current cost that might pay off my debts)...I just planted a single, fluted corm of its pure white congener ('Alboplenum'): how many years before THAT is all clumpy like know it's autumn when these poke up!

This is Colchicum filifolium which I featured in a blog a long time ago. I took this picture last spring (it is an early spring species)...I must have a dozen or more of these tiny colchicums planted everywhere, some bloom in early spring and some in the Autumn. I never paid much attention to them in the past, but this year I find them consumingly fascinating and wonderful! Aaaaah, love! Ain't it grand? Those lucky shepherds! Can't you just see them cowering as they tiptoe through acres of these?

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