Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bulbine natalensis in the warm polyhouse.....George and I both went in search of lsomething beautiful and alive

When you're a gardener in the temperate zones and it's winter, you have a few ways to cheer yourself up. This is the easiest one: just go to  warm greenhouse and look around. This house, which contains so many of Brad's tropicals is always a good bet. This Bulbine, a South African xerophyte, flowers dependably every winter. Sometimes the southern hemisphere plants overlay their wet/dry dormant periods over our seasons in such a way that they are dormant in winter (their summer) and flower in summer (their winter). Sometimes not; this plant insists on flowering in January, just as though it were living in South Africa. I have just begun to put Bulbines into the Florida garden where they seem to be quite successful. Yucca Do Nursery sells this one and lists it as hardy to USDA Zone 8b. That works for Florida.

Which leads me to another cheerful wintertime activity namely, planning, or any of the many incarnations of hopeful anticipation. I look forward to spring/warm weather, winter flowers, the first blooms of new perennials, the first shoots from hardy tropicals that will show me they've survived another winter. And, I look forward to planting this Bulbine beside a limestone boulder in the Florida garden. Reading catalogs, books, or magazines, surfing garden sites, even travelling to warmer places can suggest new plants for future acquisition. This form of covetousness, used as a weapon against the cold darkness of winter is a harmless foible.

1 comment:

How It Grows said...

Beautiful yellow color!