Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Small Garden Addition...

At the onset of a new year, like the two-faced Roman god Janus, I look both forward to the new gardening season, and backward to last year's garden. What is the single plant that was added to the garden last year, that I was most smitten with? It's a tough call (perhaps I am too easily smitten), but I would go with Corydalis angustifolia 'Talish Dawn'. The common form of angustifolia has creamy white flowers with a purple nose. 'Talish Dawn' is suffused with delicate pinkish lilac, contrasting wonderfully with its blue-green foliage. It is a plant from Janis Ruksans' nursery in Latvia (if you wonder what to get me for a New Year's present, his newly published book from Timber Press,
Buried Treasures: Finding And Growing The World's Choicest Bulbs, would be my suggestion). The Talish of 'Talish Dawn' refers to the the Talish Mountains in southern-most Azerbaijan, just on the border with Iran, and right east of the Caspian Sea; an isolated part of the Transcaucasus that could geographically be considered the 'tail' of Europe, but demographically and culturally should definitely be in the lost wilds of Asia. This is a rather dry, sunny part of the world, so this plant likes a bit of sun and good drainage.
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Dry and sunny? I'm wondering if I should even attempt this plant in Phoenix.

It sounds promising, but we are awfully HOT and DRY. Way beyond 'rather'...
Buried Treasure is indeed a fancinating book, one that should be on your bookshelf Don. Did you order the bulb directly from Latvia - I've thought of trying to figure out if I could.

Jenn - Ruskans spends a good chunk of time in Turkey and area along the northern border of Iran. I bet many of the bulbs he finds would be fine with AZ's summer, but would appreciate a bit of a winter chill and some spring moisture. Maybe happier in Flagstaff then Phoenix, but that's just a wild guess.

Ted... I got it from Odyssey Bulbs (they have some other Ruksans, especially crocuses. I've looked at the Ruksans catalog with longing.

Jenn... I think Ted is right on; Flagstaff would be perfect.

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