Friday, April 8, 2011

Surprise!

Last fall, I was (again) bit by the bulb bug. You know the feeling. Days are getting shorter, it's getting cold and rainy, and thoughts turn to spring. With that delicious feeling of being slightly extravagant, I ordered about $50.00 worth of bulbs from John Scheepers. I dutifully put each bulb approximately in the right spot, at approximately the right depth or a little less deep. Then I forgot what I'd ordered and where I'd put it.

Imagine my surprise about a week ago, when I saw this:


Yes, this must be one of the 25 Fritillaria meleagris I put in the ground. I was so excited! Of course I know I'm cheating. This is a European Fritillaria. Ms. Curbstone Valley has the California native, Fritillaria affinis, growing right on her property. But I tried to grow that, and even though I bought the rather expensive native bulbs two years ago, they didn't come up. So, here I am with the European version. Because this is not an invasive plant, I very much enjoy it along with my native bulbs, in my suburban garden.

And isn't she pretty?


Just a few days later, a second bud appeared, and soon both bells started to unfold. I've since found a few plants. 


A surprise in the garden every day.

6 comments:

Sue Langley said...

It's exactly these surprises that keep me out in the garden, Mouse! What a charming checkered pattern on this baby. Love it,...and like you, the memory's shot.

Randy Emmitt said...

Don't you love it when you forget that you plnted things and where they were planted. These should be wonderful when they fill out. I planted anemones and forgot them, nice patch if them in a good spot. Now if the squirrels would leave them alone.

Byddi - We didn't come here for the grass... said...

Those checkered petals are really amazing! Isn't Mother Nature quite the artist?

James said...

Congrats on the fritillaria--It's a striking plant, especially with those windowed petals that look like they're made from some reptile. I've planted native frits, nothing came up. I've planted European frits, and nothing all over again. What kinds of soil do you have your bulbs planted in? I'm wondering if mine were kept too moist.

Town Mouse said...

James, I have clay, but we don't get that much rain and it often dries out in winter. But I must say I'm pretty happy with my bulbs this year, more things are coming up, I have to check my records what I ordered...

AnneTanne said...

Those 'Fritilaria meleagris', we call them 'kievitsbloem',... a 'kievit' is a northern flapwing, and that bird has eggs that resemble this flower (or do these eggs look like the eggs?), and I love them in my garden. They're not really native to my region, but they seem to like my flower meadow, they even escaped and self-sowed them into the roadside...
I have them in purple and in white in my garden, and year after year there are some more...