Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Like Velvet

The deep purple Louisiana iris 'Black Gamecock' is now in bloom. As the clump has matured and gotten larger, the bloom has been more reliable. Two mild winters with no hard knock late spring freezes likely helped as well.

The color is rich, intense and velvety.

This Louisiana iris was doing so well I ordered more last year. In particular I wanted the blue 'Clyde Redmond' I had on Maui. I also acquired some unknowns in buckets of pond slop. All of them have survived the winter and begun to grow.

It has taken some time for this clump of iris to reach this size. They are slow to get going. Up here for me anyway, they need every ray of sunshine I can give them. Another patch that only gets half a day of sun is meek by comparison and only blooms intermittently.

Finally, a good dollop of the St. Joseph's Lily, Hippeastrum x johnsonii, fell out of the ground today. It is also called the hardy amaryllis. I see it listed only to zone 7. These have been growing and blooming abundantly in zone 6 for years. Down there. Now I will find out if they will grow up here in the other zone 6.

They join another zone pushing cold hardiness experiment. I was handed a box of crinum bulbs and told to plant them. I said they are not hardy here. She said I was told these were. And one block away, right next to the St. Joseph's Lily was a big fat clump of crinums that also returned and bloomed for years.

Perhaps this box of crinum bulbs was of the same kind. A couple of them rolled out of the box all the way up the mountain. They have survived and returned after the last two milder winters. They even look like they are getting bigger.

Other lilies grow up here no problem. Assuming the damn voles don't find them and eat them.

Over in the squash and melon department putting my seed trays up on a table off the ground has made a world of difference in my success rate. No slugs can crawl up there. They may get planted come Sunday.

Wish me luck. I'm giving cantaloupe another try.

I don't take you into the shade of the forest much. There isn't near the same amount of action as in the sunlight.

On the right as you enter is the big foliage department.

The Carrion Flower is close by.

The one hundred and fifty foot long arc of hosta lives in the shade of the forest. I have been adding many new things in the forest, but it is slower growing in the deep shade.

Sunlight is where the action is. I could not capture it in pixels, but when the setting sun hit the new blue orb, the most amazing sea urchin like starburst of light radiated out from it. Way cool.

It's out there, a velvety 'Black Gamecock'. Well worth a walk in the garden.