Monday, June 21, 2010

Extra credit amaryllis

Back in May, the amaryllis season seemed to have ended.  Bulbs had shot up multiple stalks, flowered, and spent themselves.  They were indulging in some well-earned rest and relaxation--sunning themselves, exfoliating dried and flaking bulb skin, and sipping regularly on diluted fertilizer.  Ah, the spa life!

Less than a month of this treatment, and Picotee let loose with another volley of blossoms.  The grades for this year's flowering course may already have been submitted but this extra credit effort--even at a late date--is A+!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Foxgloves are blooming.  I can't quite figure out how these plants "work."  All I know is that the flashy peach and raspberry cultivars championed by fancy nurseries can't hack our harsh New England winters.  But the common yellow foxglove (Digitalis ambigua)--demure in habit, presentation, and color--does just fine.  It isn't much of an attention-seeker, but it does spark up a dark back corner of the garden.

Care consists entirely of cutting the flower stalks down after they are spent.  The plants themselves move around, bumping up against columbines and anemones, but never elbowing them aside or squeezing them out. A little like a polite but slightly tipsy guest. A big bed of roaming foxgloves, still bounded by this green and yellow hosta, would be quite wonderful.  And maybe they could get really crazy out there!