Sunday, December 28, 2008

Plants I Mean To Have...

It has somehow gotten to the point where a shoehorn would be more useful than a trowel in our garden; I suspect over the years that somebody around here has bought more plants than they quite know what to do with. Nevertheless, there are a few little oddments I'd like to add... more types of surprise lilies (lycoris), for example (and I suppose it will be a surprise if I can figure out where to plant them). These same garden oddities were on last winter's wish list and I have doubled our total since then; L. squamigera, at top, the common surprise lily or August lily, which we've had for many years, and at bottom the new kid on the block, the tie dye lily, L. sprengeri.
Many of the species of lycoris are only suited for the south; for example the iconic hurricane lily, L. radiata. There are, however, a couple of other species that I'd like to try here in 5a Iowa. It's a little tricky, because with lycoris you can't pull that old, cold climate trick of just planting them very deeply; lycoris bulbs supposedly will not bloom well if planted more than a few inches deep (there is not complete agreement on this; some say no more than two inches deep, a few say you can plant six inches deep; some of this disparity may be due to confusion about whether you're talking about depth to the top or the bottom of the bulb).
Basically, culturally one can divide the Lycoris into those which produce their foliage in the fall, after blooming (like radiata); these are tender. Then there are quite a number of species which (like sprengeri and squamigera that we already have) produce their foliage in the spring; some of these species may be at least borderline hardy in zone 5 (it is claimed that lycoris are more hardy than they are commonly given credit for). There is the lovely apricot-orange L. sanguinea; the "peppermint striped lily", L. incarnata; light yellow longituba; white-pink L. shaanxiensis (I put this species in here tentatively, as some say it's a tender fall foliage plant, and some say it puts out its foliage in spring and is fairly hardy); creamy yellow L. caldwelii; and yellow L. chinensis. The first three of these have funnel-like flowers like the species I already have, and the last three are "spider" lilies.
Now if a couple of roses would just suck in their guts, I think I could squeeze in a couple of new lycoris species.

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I have the same problem. It's gotten to the point where there is no more room.~~Dee
I can see why you would want to squeeze these in - they're beautiful!

My garden is only a couple years old so I have to opposite problem - not enough plants and what I do have needs time to fill in.

Dee... we need more land!

Amy... you'll go on like that for a few years, then suddenly everything just seems to explode.
These are both beautiful plants - you'll have to get a girdle for the roses. ;)
Nancybond... or for my brain when I start thinking of ordering a bunch of new stuff.
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