I almost titled this post "Why don't Bulbs Read Books" - because I'm actually breaking the number 1 rule for bulbs in my garden - plant in containers.
I have in a container:
- Colochortus luteus 'Golden Orb', the yellow Mariposa lily, above, which really does need perfect drainage.
- Erythronium Pagoda, a 50% native trout lily, that really does need more water than my garden offers. I planted about 10, and most of them come up with shiny glossy leaves, but only the one in a pot, watered twice/week, blooms.
The rest of my bulbs are in various places in the garden - some years they so spectacularly well, and others, well, they seem to at least survive. Most of them. Here's what we had this year.
Triteleia 'Queen Fabiola (above), which I planted mostly in the front garden, usually does spectacularly well. This year, though, it's been mostly dry since the big rainstorm in December. I got a decent amount of leaves, but very few flowers.
In contrast, Allium unifolium has outdone itself this year. Big flowerheads in several locations in the garden, starting an attractive light purple and still looking good when faded to white. I put these bulbs in 2 years ago and thought them a loss initially, but there they were, a delight for all.
Also quite impressive is Dichelostemma ida-maia 'Pink Diamond'. At least 1 1/2 feet tall and very attractive to hummingbirds - just a bit showier than its cousin the red and lime green species.
Also quite spectacular this year is Triteleia ixiodes 'Starlight' - I planted quite a few of these bulbs this year and have been delighted by their pretty faces popping up in different locations in the garden. Fairly long blooming, this is definitely a winner. What's even better is that nobody thinks they're Agapanthus - and I get that comment a lot for Queen Fabiola.
So, how can these bulbs do all right in my clay soil, with mostly pretty poor drainage?
- Where possible, I've planted them at a bit of a slope.
- More importantly, I've planted them in areas with no summer water
- Finally, I've probably lost some, and there are good years and bad years for the different species
Let's hope it stays that way...