Planting alliums

Several hours have been spent on this cool and  blustery Saturday planting an assortment of alliums, though only an hour in digging. I fear I have miscalculated, and too many bulbs have been ordered for the too few sunny spots available for planting. Not that my schedule is hopelessly backed up, but time has been wasted searching for appropriate planting spaces.Allium

There is great advantage in planning ahead, but too often I am stuck with a satchel of alliums or colchicums (or whatever), wondering where the heck they will fit. Still, this is better than wandering the garden with a Japanese maple or witch hazel in the cart, trying to figure a spot that will not conflict with other treasures for a decade or two. In fact, I suspect this is making too much of nothing. Given any sun and well drained ground, alliums can hardly go wrong, and I expect a splendid show beginning late spring.Dogtooth violet blooming in mid April

Also, fifty Dogtooth violets (Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, above) were planted in groups of ten or twelve without any difficulty. There are plenty of shaded spots in the garden, and several areas with deep, semi-moist soil where the violets should thrive. I am a bit concerned that the bulbs sat in the garage for a week while I was traveling, but almost certainly nothing will come of this since the bulbs seemed plump enough.

Though today is blustery, recent temperatures have been pleasant, and I read that the same is forecast for the weeks ahead. I rarely pay attention to long term forecasts, but the word is that the winter will be milder than the previous two, which is precisely the forecast I wanted to hear. So, at the moment I’m satisfied, but if the forecast falters I will be quick to condemn the futility in attempting to predict events so far off.Lion's Head Japanese maple autumn foliage

In the week spent traveling, piles of leaves in the half of the garden that borders forest have grown deeper so that mature hellebores barely peek into daylight. In another week or two, or perhaps sometime in December, I will begin the process to shred the leaves that often is not completed until mid March. Leaves remain on several Japanese maples (Lion’s Head Japanese maple, above) that are annually late in coloring, but otherwise the trees are bare.Camellia

The late flowering hybrid camellias are at their peak, though one ‘Winter’s Star’ that borders the driveway is only beginning to bloom. This camellia is more shaded while buds are developing, so every year it is late, and if temperatures remain mild it might flower into January. ‘Winter’s Snowman’ (below) is particularly floriferous this November after having only a scattered few flowers a year ago.


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