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"I cannot stand the wait.... Hurry Spring!"


By Lori


Guess it’s a bit juvenile to be stamping my feet and whining…but I’m fed up with winter!
We had three days of above zero temps…we had rain too! but today all is frozen up again and the long range forecast says it’s going to be cracking cold for the next week. Boooooo!
The one consolation is that the Amaryllus are blossoming and so is my little orange epi! Yay!
This has brought me to an idea that I’m hoping I can float in my new garden..(where ever that may be! still up in the air at this point) BULBS!!! I’m surprised at the number of garden plants like the amaryllus, narcissus, hyacinthe, etc… that brighten our early spring…but I’m looking for those which are summer and even autumn bloomers!! These plants don’t have to remain in the ground all winter…I can lift them…and that’s my main focus at this time..
I’m hoping I will hear from other goY members who have plants to recommend..
Does anyone have suggestions that might work…Also Shrubs that will tolerate pot culture…lol…

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A nice late summer/early autumn bulb is Acidanthera. You'll have to lift them for winter I think but they're very nice.

13 Feb, 2009


Hi Lori

Almost any small leaved shrub can be grown in a pot.

The Spireas do well. Quite a lot of Acers are good for this.

Cotoneaster and Pyracanths, but they will need pruning as they are vigorous.

You can have lots of fun choosing them.

13 Feb, 2009


Blue bells would look wonderful in that shady area.

13 Feb, 2009


Agree with Ams...bluebells would be good !

13 Feb, 2009


I'm wondering if bluebells are available in Canada...I wouldnt be surprised if they were banned due to their ability to spread and become invasive....?

I have what (I think) are Amaryllis belladonna - got those in pots as not quite hardy enough for outdoors, altough I did have them planted outside for a couple of years, they survived by didn't flower. They flower late summer.

13 Feb, 2009


~what about Crinum powelli or any lilies?Lilium Regale?

Is this any help Lori?

Although many summer-flowering bulbs are available for purchasing in the autumn, some especially the more tender ones are available in late winter and spring. Potted bulbs can be purchased in flower for instant gap fillers or patio display and can be transferred to the border after flowering.
In the border

Allium sphaerocephalon in a mixed border - Using summer-flowering bulbs is a good way of adding interest and variety to a border without using up extra space. Some bulbs, such as Cardiocrinum, require a moist soil, in which case avoid too much competition for moisture from the roots of surrounding plants. Shrubs and hedges make a good backdrop to show off a summer display. Plant bulbs such as Allium to emerge through the foliage of spring-flowering herbaceous plants to extend the flowering season. Mark the position of dormant bulbs clearly to ensure they are not damaged by cultivation.

Good choices include: Allium, Camassia, Cardiocrinum, Crocosmia, Dierama, Eucomis, Galtonia, Ixia, Nectaroscordum and Watsonia.
Naturalising bulbs

Naturalised Crocus and snowdops (Galanthus) - It is more common to plant spring-flowering bulbs in grass as mowing can be resumed in summer. Summer-flowering bulbs such as Camassia and Nectaroscordum can be added to a summer meadow. This type of meadow can be mown early in the spring before bulbs or wildflowers emerge and is left until the bulbs have died down in late summer.
Bulbs in containers

Lilium regale in a group of containers - Bulbs such as lilies are especially suited to container cultivation. Tender bulbs in containers can be moved to drier, frost-free conditions in winter and allowed to dry out. Agapanthus, Canna, Freesia, Zantedeschia are ideal subjects.
Tender bulbs

Tender bulbs such as Gladiolus can be lifted and stored over winter. Dry out bulbs and remove loose soil before storing in frost-free conditions. Store in trays of almost dry sand, but do not allow bulbs to become too dry. Plant new and stored bulbs in the spring as the soil warms up.

14 Feb, 2009


Hi Lori,
We know exactly how you feel! We are desparate for the spring, warmer weather and higher light levels.
Let's hope it wont be too long!
We love Arlene's suggestions for planting schemes- some lovely combinations.
All best wishes from us both.

14 Feb, 2009


Are Arisaema likely to survive with you. There are many N. American species of 'jack-in-the-pulpit'. They are planted deeply but I don't know how deep Ontario frosts go.
Then there are lilies, iris ans Calochortus which could be lifted. Also some of the aroides.

14 Feb, 2009


Lori, English bluebells are available over here. Veseys has them and also Brecks blubs...both available to order online.

15 Feb, 2009


To Hywel, Ams and BB....for the suggestion of Bluebells and Acidanthera... the "A" , I have, lovely things, Hywell thanks, and I bought a package of bluebells last fall...serendipity! Thanks all! They are not a controlled specie, Sid...thank heavens. I will have to spring plant as I was not able to put them in the ground in November... hope that doesn't mean they won't come along well!...
I have Spireas that I can pot up...never had a pyracantha...must look into that...have grown cotoneaster too, many years ago...loved the red berries but the sawfly larvae seemed to love the did not seem to set the plant back.also would love to have an acer japonica...some of them aren't too hardy...will have to be careful in my selection if I go for the there are some good suggestion I'll be looking into...thanks Marge.
Wowser Arlene! Thankyou! all that good info, will have to take a long close look...I have lilium, acidanthera, hyacinthe, narcissus, tulips, daphs, glads, crocosmia, allium... will definitely look up the Nectaroscordum, freesia and camassia... I was thinking of finding the saphron crocus to naturalize in my next garden!!
Hope you were spared the worst of the snow, Grenville and Alan...thanks for the good wishes...
Hello Bulbaholic! you're new here? I really like your suggestion of the arisaema... My dad had "jack-in-the-pulpit" growing in our garden at was on the very margins of the garden practically in the field..and it was under an ash tree beside a huge boulder...found a happy niche and every year sent up a lovely jack! I have collected a few lilies ...mostly the white easter lilies, a lilium "Vermeer" which is a lovely bi-colour...and asiatics...(stargazer and orange lilies), I have Iris too and will be busy lifting some for pots to take with me as soon as I can get out to safely work the soil...
Thank you everyone for your helpful suggestions and I'm going to have some interesting reading thanks to Arlene...

15 Feb, 2009


~I have been walking the dogs in the woods every other day or so and you can see the green shoots of the bluebells gradually getting a little bit bigger~I do love to see them all around the beech trees~roll on!.

15 Feb, 2009


yes I must get out some pots and put those little bluebells they need a period of cold, Arlene? Hi Gilli, yes I found some last year at a local nursery. reminds me, wonder why I haven't rec'd my Vesey's Catalogue???

15 Feb, 2009


Not sure that they do Lori we have had mild winters and they still show up!
I found this for you from the BBC

Bluebells stored their energy to grow for the 2009 season in the Spring of 2008.
Killerton Garden

Bluebells thrive in Norfolk's woodlands

"In the woodland, things are starting to move because some plants have got their food supply stored up ready to use from the word go," said Chris.

"This applies particularly to bluebells – they stored energy from last Spring in the form of a bulb and that has all the nutrients the plant needs.

"As long as there's water available and the ground doesn't freeze, bluebells start the growing process just after Christmas time.

"The rootlets come out of the bulbs, the shoots come up and the bluebell seeds germinate under the leaf litter in the woodland".

The high temperature of the leaf litter in the Norfolk woodland provides an ideal climate for the plant.

"The leaves keep the temperature that little bit higher - it's a good insulator. As the leaves break down, they also produce a tiny amount of heat, which the bulbs respond to.
That's why bluebells flourish under canopies of trees," said Chris.

A strenuous process

In order for the bluebells to bloom in time, they have their work cut out.

"They need to get a shift on, because once the trees come into leaf, they form quite a dense canopy and stop the light getting onto the woodland floor," he said.

"In order for bluebells to build up enough energy to flower in 2010, they need to get most of their lifecycle completed before the canopy becomes too dense.

"Even in January, they will be up above the ground and beginning to photosynthesise to gain energy from the sun, before coming to leaf.

"They'll start to produce the flowering stalks in March and before the end of April they'll be in full flower".
Norfolk's bluebells

Norfolk is one of the best places in the United Kingdom for people to spot the drooping flower.

Chris Skinner lets nature be on his farm

"We have fabulous bluebell woods in Norfolk and nowhere else in the world do bluebells grow as well as they do in the United Kingdom," said Chris.

Counting the amount of bluebells in a field may seem an impossible task, but Chris believes it is a trick that many of Norfolk's farmers will be able to replicate.

"I have about 70 million individual blooms at my farm over 31 acres. It's quite easy to count, because farmers are good at counting cereals," he said.

"Farmers need to know their plant density, so we have a special squared meter ruler called a quadrat. You can simply pop that on the ground and count the plants per square meter and calculate that with the acres of land," he added.
A Spring bloom

We can expect the bluebells to look their best in April 2009.

"The last week of April or the first week in May is the time bluebells come into full bloom. After that, the flowers gradually die away and point down after gaining all the energy from the sun they can absorb," said Chris.

"The seed pods then go completely the opposite way and face upwards. The petals also dry and form paper cups, which open at the top.

"If you look inside the cups, you will see about five tiny bluebell seeds and they will stay there until there's a high wind or the pheasants peck them out!

"When the wind blows, it will scatter the seed and you've got the next generation of bluebells".

last updated: 27/01/2009 at 13:34
created: 27/01/2009

15 Feb, 2009


What an enjoyable read! Thanks Arlene!

15 Feb, 2009


Sarah, I checked out the A. bella donna... How pretty and very interesting...Naked Ladies??? ooooo but kidding aside they are beautiful things, aren't they? I love the trumpet shaped lilies best of all. wonder what is good to interplant? will have to look for these locally...that's the bes test, I've found....If it's available I can plant it without worry.. thanks again!

15 Feb, 2009


I've got mine in pots in the greenhouse. I can see why they might be called Naked Ladies as the flower stalks come up straight from the soil with no leaves and with these beauteus flowers on top :-)

15 Feb, 2009


I think if you plant English bluebells (non scripta) and not the more thuggish Spanish ones, you'll be fine. They will spread but not go mad.
I do have a few "proper" ones in my garden, but lots more thugs, and I'll take quite a few out I think to make room for gentler plants.
The sea of blue is still nice though.

22 Feb, 2009


Lucky you can grow the Spanish ones, Weeding... I don't think they're hardy over here...must check that out...
Blue is my VERY favourite colour in the garden...!

23 Feb, 2009

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