It is funny how quickly I forget what I planted where. I had a load a bulbs that I ordered from JW Parkers this autumn. I did manage to get most of the bulbs planted at a reasonable time (although the left over lilies were a bit late getting stuck in a pot), but with one thing and another didn’t really have much of a chance to prepare planting places for them. Really I should have planned it better. Anyway, when these sprouts came up in the polytunnel in February near my pineapple guava (feijoa sellowiana) I was a bit puzzled. I convinced myself that they must be camassia as I remembered that was one of the plants I had bought several of. However I have now remembered that they are tulips! These were free bulbs (purple and white flowers) for making an order, and I have recently found out that tulip petals are edible (although toxic for cats and people with lily allergies, as is the rest of the plant). With no real hope of repeat flowering outside I thought I would give them a go in the tunnel and here they are!
Other bulbs from the same batch are dogs tooth violet (erythronium sp.). The bulbs of these are supposedly edible and they should like Skye pretty well, as well as having exciting flowers. I got a couple of varieties, and I have to say that the bulbs did seem to be big enough to be worth eating on at least one of the varieties I got, although I planted them rather than eating them. The barricading rubbish in the picture by the way, is to try and stop our dog Douglas from trampling on them. He has a thing about birds in the trees there, and likes to dance around barking up the tree (bless him!).
I also got quite a few snake’s head fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris). Not because they are edible (although most fritillary bulbs are) but because I simply adore them. My mum used to grow some in our garden in Oxfordshire when I was a child, and I know that they grow wild in the water meadows around Oxford. I just didn’t think that they would stand a chance on Skye. The soil in Oxfordshire is river silt, and in the case of my mum’s garden quite alkaline clay. A bit of a change from the acid peaty silt that I have. However, a couple of years ago I saw some in a local garden and established that they do indeed come back in subsequent years, so I couldn’t resist trying them. These I haven’t spotted yet. I have planted them in the grass banks (I think!) in the hope that they will naturalise there. I’m also hoping that they will be enough out of the way of our house extension if and when we get round to that.
What I did get in the hopes that they will a) naturalise and b) be edible as well as c) ornamental are three varieties of camassia. These are very ornamental flowers of the pacific north west US and I am hopeful that they will like it here. They are supposed to like damp meadows and we can certainly manage the damp bit. I have planted some in the grass, some in the dog resistant garden and some in the fruit garden. All three are sprouting hopefully.
These nice little onions flowers, that were a gift from a fellow blogger (thanks Anni), have sprouted up happily under the trees in the front garden. I forget which they were now, I was given two sorts, the others are planted in the dog resistance garden, and are happy enough, but not yet flowering.
I tried to find the collective noun for daffodils and the official seems to be ‘bunch’ or possibly ‘host’ ala Wordsworth. I can’t see either of these doing justice to the joy of these flowers at this time of year, and others seem to agree with me. I would probably go for a ‘cheerfulness’ since they just elevate one’s spirits with their exuberance in the garden. Luckily the wind and hail showers recently have not been enough to destroy them.
The ‘tatty’ daffs are a local variety that multiplies and flowers like mad. It has double flowers with green tinged petals and I’m not sure I always appreciate it as it deserves.