Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Bouncing back from the snow... (after the "bomb cyclone" After the snow: the Show must go on!

Draba polytricha
One of the many reasons to love alpine plants is that they're immune to "bomb cyclones" and other more or less mythical phenomena (Colorado always gets spring snowstorms and always will)...

Verbascum atropurpureum
Fresh foliage on one of the best Verbascums--possibly just a race of V. phoeniceum, but one that is soundly perennial, self sows moderately, and has deep violet-purple flowers.

Tulipa humilis
Several tulips self sow for us--this is my favorite...
Tulipa humilis

Corydalis shanginii ssp. shanginii
Still hanging in there--a division of a gift from Goteborg Botanic Garden over 30 years ago.
Cooper's Hawk
Or possibly a Buteo--not as good with birds as I am with plants. It swooped down in front of me and snatched a nearby garter snake instead of the dozen or so bunnies that plague my garden: chubby, very succulent and delicious bunnies, I'm sure. (Gruesome movie to prove it: https://youtu.be/pG5zsH31wUQ.)
Fritillaria michaelovskyi
I am thrilled to be going to Greece, but will be sorry to miss my garden in bloom while I'm gone...like these Frits!
Tulipa cf. albertii
It's always a good year for tulips.
Ornithogalum cf. nanum
I've been acquiring lots of stars of Bethlehem (including the weedy one)...and none of the little ones are weedy, dang it! But they come back reliably...
Ornithogalum (different)
And bloom early.

I love yellow and blue in nature and the garden...
Tulipa greigii
These took more of a hit in the cold than other tulips. Not sure why..
Paeonia tenuifolia and Crocus flavus
Newly divided fernleaf peonies coming up strong their first year...

Narcissus fernandesii
Yellow jonquils love my garden--and I love them.
Scilla siberica
I know it's a tad weedy, but what a color!
Lomatium grayi
I must grow more biscuit roots!

Fritillaria amana
There are masses of this at Denver Botanic Gardens self sowing in one garden. But at least I have one (mine looks like a smaller form).

Viburnum farreri v. nanum Fried
The whole top of my little viburnum was fried by the cold: hope the branches sprout again. First year it bloomed for me too--my worst casualty in the cold.
Fritillaria persica (v. prostrata?)
These frits were flattened but persist, sort of like the Democratic party...

Draba hispanica
Irrepressible and essential in any garden. It's been blooming for months!
Narcissus watieri
 I love this thang. Mike Kintgen grows it superbly in his buffalograss lawn.
Pulsatilla halleri
Slightly out of focus--but had to share...love how this comes up.
Erythronium umbilicatum
A gift of Tim Alderton, fantastic horticulturist of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum: he sent me a white one too, but it may have died. This has settled in beautifully!

Scilla mischetnkoana
My new second favorite Scilla. My favorite I saw almost exactly a year ago in Georgia (Caucasus), Scilla rosenii. At treeline in the Lesser Caucasus above Bakuriani. Where I dream to visit again.

Fritillaria caucasica
I saw this in seed in the Caucasus, and love watching it come back year after year...

Corydalis solida forms
These look just like they did before the cold...

Bergenia 'Silberlicht' (I think)
I love this crazy genus. One of my fondest memories of Pakistan were the acres of Bergenia stracheyi above treeline.
Draba bruniifolia (ex Toros dag--very dwarf)
A super plant I've had forever no one else seems to grow--and I share seed!

Fritillaria sp. ign.
AA mystery frit--absurdly tall. I love it.
Coluteocarpa vesicarius
Somewhat flattened by the snow but persisting nonetheless. I must grow more of this--one of the most delightful crucifers with outrageous swollen seedpods. Another gem I saw in the wild last year--so rewarding to have one's garden connect with the magical wild places still left on the planet. I like to think of my garden as a sort of nerve center connecting me with Nature. Probably won't post much right away: boarding a plane in a few hours...


  1. Have a wonderful time in the land of the ancestors!

  2. I have three Drabas in my garden from seed you shared. However, I don't think I have Draba bruniifolia. The Draba mongolica from your seed looks very close. I think the Drabas are my favorite crevice garden plant. Not only are the flowers and mats beautiful, but these plants are also work horses at stopping the grit from eroding.

  3. I am rather impressed that the large trumpet daffodils are doing so well for you. I planted Dutch Master, Mount Hood, and Carlton in a sunny area with well-drained soil. These daffodils all did well the first year, but slowly declined until they did not return. However, daffodil Flower Record and Exception continue to do well. I think these two are doing well because they were located near a down spout and received more water. Whereas, without the additional water from the downspout there was not enough moisture for the Dutch Master, Mount Hood, and Carlton to persist. Even with my areas average of 37 inches of rain a year, there was not enough moisture for the larger daffodils unless they were near a downspout. Is your secret to growing large trumpet type daffodils so well in a sunny area with an average rainfall of 15 or 16 inches frequent irrigation?

    Another problem I have been having is tree leaves blowing into my beds and smothering my smaller bulbs like snow crocuses. Do you have any advice that would save me from picking out the leaves from these beds every day?


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