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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colchicums - Autumn's Splendour


"September mild, October gold,
Are followed by November cold."

Unknown

Well, it's hard to believe that it is almost the middle of November and the sun is shining brightly and the weather (for mid-November) is unseasonably warm. And when almost everything else in my garden has been touched by frost, my autumn crocus, like little soldiers, are still blooming brightly. What a cheerful patch they make here and there in the beds.

Now one small patch looks great in the spring when the foliage emerges in a spot where nothing else is growing. But once the hydrangea blooms the location is covered over and when the crocus blooms in all its autumn splendour, the blooms are hidden away. And every fall when this happens I tell myself I am going to move the bulbs so I'll truly be able to appreciate their colourful blooms the following year. In summer you get busy with other garden tasks and the foliage dies back and you can't remember where the bulbs are located. So you plan on waiting until the flowers bloom, but you know what happens, you get busy and time slips away or the weather turns suddenly and the ground freezes menacingly refusing to release the bulbs, and so another year goes by.

But today it is bright and warm and I'm determined to at least mark the spot where the bulbs are blooming. So armed with a few golf tees, I'll mark the spot now. Next spring I'll enjoy the foliage flush before the hydrangea puts on its growth spurt. Then as soon as the foliage dies back, I'll dig the bulbs and transfer them to a more visually accessible part of the garden.

Well, that the plan anyway. Gardeners always need to have dreams and plans, it's the implementation that doesn't always proceed as intended, but then again that's one of the trials, tribulations and yes, even joys of gardening.

So now we'll wait for November's cold and the December snows to follow. If you haven't already finished all your garden tasks, you'd better get busy for winter is on the way!

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