The Last of the Colchicums

by Kathy Purdy October 20, 2013

As those of you who follow me or the Cold Climate Gardening page on Facebook know, I gave a talk on colchicums yeseterday for the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society, which meets in Ithaca–not the Adirondacks. The day before my talk, I decided to pick any fresh-looking colchicums and take them […]

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Colchicum Patrol: Week 6

by Kathy Purdy October 13, 2013

Last but not least, ‘Waterlily’ closes the colchicum season. As I said before, I often don’t get to see this blooming at its best. We often have hard freezes by the time ‘Waterlily’ blooms, reducing it to a sodden brown mush. Yet Bob Brown, in a Gardens Illustrated article, says “if I had to choose […]

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Colchicum Patrol: Week 5

by Kathy Purdy October 6, 2013

Colchicum season is winding down. I only found two new varieties blooming when I went out on patrol. But plenty of the ones I’ve already profiled continue to send up flowers.’Spartacus’ is new this year for me. Right now it has the same pastel color as C. byzantinum, but since I’ve never grown it before, […]

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Colchicum Patrol: Week 4

by Kathy Purdy September 29, 2013

I think we are at the peak of colchicum season. The very earliest ones are finished, the mid-season ones are in their prime, and the last are just getting going!In the very first Colchicum Patrol, I came upon Colchicum autumnale. Now her pale sister is blooming. I know I planted more than just these few. […]

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Colchicum Patrol: Week 3

by Kathy Purdy September 26, 2013

An interesting thing happened between last week’s colchicum patrol and this one. Take a look at this: I don’t know exactly when the color intensified, but it seemed to happen overnight. It delayed the posting of this patrol, because I went back and took new photographs of many flowers to reflect the new color. I […]

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Colchicum Patrol: Week 2

by Kathy Purdy September 17, 2013

Here I am on week 2 of the colchicum patrol. I see I promised I would show you last week’s colchicums as open flowers, but I changed my mind. I am just going to show you the newly opened ones because there just isn’t time. With the exception of the white byzantinum, they have all […]

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Colchicum Patrol: Week 1

by Kathy Purdy September 8, 2013

My longtime readers know I have a “thing” for colchicums. Their botanical weirdness–blooming in fall without leaves, which show up in spring and die down in July–fascinates me, yes. But when you have as many different kinds as I do, it is just plain fun to go out on “colchicum patrol” to see what’s come […]

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Lilac-Pink Is The New Gold: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 2012

by Kathy Purdy September 15, 2012

Many gardeners complain of a surfeit of yellow and gold in the fall garden, but mine is a preponderance of lilac-pink.The dry spell we had this summer caused many spring bloomers, including the Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty,’ to rebloom this fall. When I planted the phlox on either side of the Colchicum agrippinum, I thought […]

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‘Disraeli’ colchicum

by Kathy Purdy September 10, 2012

I have seen a lot of photographs of colchicums in books and magazines, including my own article on colchicums, where the color seemed unnaturally saturated and intense. I had never grown a colchicum that richly colored, and I suspected that the photographs had been “adjusted” to make them more appealing. Those photos may very well […]

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Colchicums Sprouting in the Bag: New Garden

by Kathy Purdy October 1, 2011

When we first started the process of buying our new house, I thought we’d be moving in August. In early July I started digging up colchicum corms as the leaves died down, indicating they were going dormant. It turns out the first date proposed for closing on a house is usually wildly optimistic, and my […]

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