Colchicum byzantinum

– Posted in: Colchicums, What's up/blooming

These are the plants that started my fascination with colchicums. They were growing all around some peonies when we moved here. The foliage came up in the spring, very wide, about a foot tall, and bright green. I kept waiting for them to bloom so I could figure out what they were . . . [...]

Autumn Herald and Violet Queen

– Posted in: Colchicums

These were the next two to bloom after 'Autumn Queen'. 'Violet Queen' I've had for a while. According to E. A. Bowles in Crocus & Colchicum, which is considered to be the definitive book on colchicums, 'Violet Queen' "has long pointed segments closely tesselated [that means checkered] on a bluish lilac ground contrasting pleasantly with [...]

Autumn Queen

– Posted in: Colchicums

This is Colchicum 'Autumn Queen,' one of my recent purchases. It's the one that was practically blooming in the bag, so it's no surprise it was up two days after I planted it. By the way, there's an article in the October 2003 issue of Horticulture that tells you everything I know about colchicums. It [...]

Planting prima donna peonies

– Posted in: How-to, Peonies, Plant info

The peonies from Reath's came on Monday the 7th, but because of various commitments I couldn't plant them until Thursday. They came wrapped in plastic with wood shavings to keep them damp, and then the whole shebang was packed in straw or hay--the first time I ever saw that used as a shipping material. I [...]

Prepare ye for frost

– Posted in: How-to

You were smart to bring them in. You don't want the roots to freeze. Once they are in the ground, I would try to protect the tops for about a week to let them settle in. (The traditional vegetable garden protection is bed sheets from the house. You could also use the pot they just [...]

Planting perennials in autumn

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

What's up with perennials? I brought them in because of frost warnings. Are they okay if I put them in the ground today? I think I am going to turn my cornfield into a giant nursery bed and just put stuff in the ground. When can I move stuff? Can I move them until the [...]

Measuring the First Frost

– Posted in: Tools and Equipment

Had our first frost last night, which for around here, was later than usual. I don't know exactly how cold it got last night, but I wish I did. I've been looking at digital max-min thermometers, especially the wireless ones, for a while now, but the price keeps me from indulging. It always comes back [...]

Not Enough Rain

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

We got rain last weekend, but not near enough to help the garden. I keep waiting for the soil to get truly soaked through before doing any weeding. Sometime soon I expect to get a delivery of two peonies, and I'd love to plant them in well-watered ground. But according to the Drought Monitor, we [...]