Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Cloudy Day

It is a day of sharp adjustment; yesterday we were in southern Arkansas, with roses in full bloom, and the leaves just starting to turn... today, here in Iowa, the leaves are in tatters, a cold drizzle is falling, and the garden is rapidly getting the late autumn floppy-mushies. However, a wet walk up and down the garden paths shows plenty to look at. In particular, many of the toad lilies are still bravely carrying on, as if winter was far away; this is Tricyrtis 'Lemon Twist', a cross between the two dwarf species, ohsumiense and flava. It is at most a foot tall, and in the spring has some of the finest foliage in the garden, with very thick, waxy, deep green leaves with large, dark spots. In the late fall, it has yellow flowers with speckles... a small spot of sun on a gloomy day. We're back. Posted by Picasa

What I rarely get to see is a picture of toad lilies in the spring. Or a shot of the entire plant.

Have you had frost yet, or will these babies turn to mush when frost hits too?
Janet... we've not only had frost, we've had a freeze into the 20's, with several nights in the ext week to be in the twenties, with snow showers. So far, it's the coldest October in many, many years. I just never think to take pictures of plants with nice foliage in the spring, before they bloom.
Boy, it's a tough customer then. Are all your toad lilies doing so well?
Janet... most are doing great, but there are three problems with growing Tricyrtis here: first, I don't irrigate, so in hot dry summers (which seems to be all we get anymore), the foliage can get burned; second, with early freezes (which we ALSO are getting every year), you don't get to see all of them bloom well; and third, some of the formosana hybrids and clones are not reliably hardy, and those toadies croaked (sorry).
I am surfing your website during my lunch break at work (remember work?). What a nice way to spend the time going through all your posts of October. Your toadlily collection is very nice. I like Tricyrtis 'Lemon Twist' and Tricyrtis Kohaku. Asiatica was the source?
You know Terry, I don't remember where I got Kohaku... could have been Asiatica. BTW, my fall-blooming snowdrop is getting ready to bloom. There are at least three bulbs now, and I'm hoping for more so that I can divide the clump and send you one...
Hi Don-Glad to hear you have your fall snowdrops almost ready to bloom. When they bloom I hope you'll post photos of them on gb to kick off the snowdrop season. I'll cross my fingers for that clump to increase.

I bought a Hellebore niger 'Thankgiving' from Seneca Hills this year but it's not ready to bloom-too young. How I wish I had ordered more seeing she too closed the nursery.

Take care.
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