Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'm changing my name to Ptolemy...

 Crocus speciosus 'Albus'

Yes! I am the "King of De Nile": after two nights of dodging the frost bullet, the Weather Service is predicting anything from 23F to 25F tonight. I have lugged all the tender plants I care most about indoors--a real mess--and am wistfully looking at the dozens of pots full of still cheerfully blooming Pentas, Plumbago, Callibrachoa, Gomphrena, Petunia, Nicotiana, Angelonia, Euryops--and more--that shall succumb to the Grim Scythe of Hard Frost. Rather than dwell on the demise of all my tropicalia, I have decided to declare premature spring: since Autumn Crocus has been comandeered by Colchicum, I propose we call these "Premature Spring Crocuses" and just declare spring once and for all.

 Crocus pulchellus

Once again the wonderful throng of Crocus pulchellus I planted decades ago in front of the Alpine House in the Rock Alpine Garden which have proliferated, are doing their thang. I must find a spot where I can get these to repeat the show at my home garden: their pale lavender goblets cheer me up each time I walk by them. Cheers!

Crocus kotschyanus 
 
I have one or two blossoms on my  C. kotschyanus at home, but Mike Kintgen has got a great little colony started at DBG.: I believe these trace to Loren Russell, who knows a place where they have naturalized in Corvallis. He is a very good man to know, incidentally! An admirable man. A generous man. A good man. A great plantsman!...(I must remember to send him this link...).

 Crocus boryi

I have been mildly taunted by friends for my love of white (and pale) flowers. Taunt away! You have obviously not spent the dusks and twilights I have, padding about my garden, yearning for the lingering light to stay, for night to delay so I can drink in a few more minutes in the magic of my fellow beings, these adorable little plants I love so much. And the pale ones, the white ones respond with seeming to almost glow: I know this all sounds terribly maudlin and corny for you cruel cynics, but true plant lovers will understand. Vita Sackville-West understood only too well. I have yet to go to Sissinghurst, but when I do, I shall make a beeline for the White Garden (a splendid idea in my book).
Crocus cancellatus v. cancellatus
 
I put in one darker blue premature spring crocus for you color-whores. I do not think that a garden can have enough crocuses. Or irises for that matter. Or eriogonums, salvias or saxifrages. Or any one of another few hundred other genera...I suppose that is why I have dedicated my life to worshiping and studying these delightful minions of nature. And since you are reading this, you must agree. Thank you brother/sister/friend. Would everyone were flower besotten as we are!
 
Sincerely,
 
Ptolemy Kelaidis

3 comments:

  1. Wow, but I remember most Oct's in Denver getting that first snow, just not that cold until a few weeks later. May your blooms keep going and those hard-freeze temps be short-lived. People here getting panicky with 42-47F forecast lows tonight, pretty funny!

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  2. I live on Lookout Mtn, in the foothills above Denver. As I recall, we had a SEPTEMBER frost last year that killed all the tender things. The aspen leaves went from green to brown within a week - heartbreaking! --This morning, everything has a coating of ice; aspens are drooping to ground, but hackberry standing strong in golden glory. Thanks for the small mercies...

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  3. Just as you said, David, we a\seem to have have dodged the hard frost bullet down here: it is shaping up so far to be an outstanding fall...


    The Aspen have been breathtaking this fall in the hills--despite my carping, I am enjoying it all enormously: at this rate I may go through the winter positively cheerful if I don't watch out!

    The small mercies often turn into the big ones!

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