“I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils”
- William Wordsworth
I’m getting quite an education in narcissus this year. Although, not just in the botanical sense, come to think of it. Har har.
It seems that as I familiarize myself with the various types, sizes, shapes, and colours that are out there, my attentions have been turning more towards the teeny, tiny, diorama-sized daffodils, like this Narcissus juncifolius I came upon the other day growing in the rock garden section of the Montreal Botanical Gardens. These bright little flowers were one of the highlights of my trip and I spent quite a lot of time documenting them with various cameras.
According to “Gardener’s Latin,” the species name juncifolius refers to the leaves, which are thin and cylindrical like the a grassy rush, aka juncus.
I offer you this photo of one of the flowers next to Davin’s thumb so that you can get a better gauge of their scale.
Tiny but eye-catching.
Recently, I’ve started some of my summer flowers from seed and the potential for future colour and perfume laying dormant in those little packages has got me daydreaming once again about all of the inspiring and cheerful cosmos I saw in the Caribbean.
Today’s photo is a mixed botanical of sorts, representing tropical colour explosion at its best. I took this photo on a street corner in the town of Soufriere, St. Lucia. I can spot roses and croton (big colourful hedges) in the background, but what stands out most are the two red clerodendron (aka Clerodendrum) flowers up front.
I first saw clerodendron in Barbados but had no idea what it was. The plant was taller than the house it flanked with massive blooms that managed to stand upright, even in the wind. Very impressive! My friend David says it is a “tough as nails” plant that can be difficult to transplant due to its tap root. But once established it will grow just about anywhere.
I bought this adorable little Primula aricula ‘Pinstripe’ the other day at the Ontario Rock Garden Society sale. It was the one plant purchased there that I didn’t really need, but couldn’t bear to leave behind.
I’m currently keeping it in a little hypertuffa pot I made years back (molded around a plastic drinking cup), until I can find a new spot for it. Ariculas have a very dedicated, if not somewhat obsessive following and I’m probably breaking all sorts rules and generally freaking people out by growing it in this way — and top-dressing with grit no-less. However, it’s my first and I’m thinking of this as a learning experience/experiment.
Overall, I’m very taken with it and will be sad when the blooms have finished.
This is one of those ideas I wish I’d thought of but didn’t. Who can remember all of the different plants and varieties one is growing at any one time? Especially when the plants are all so similar like those in this sempervivum trough.
My ÃƒÂ¼ber gardening pal Barry is behind this very smart method of keeping track of plant varieties that can work for pots or whole gardens. The other day I asked about a plant in one of his pots but he could not remember the name. He disappeared inside for a second and returned with a binder full of plastic-covered photos, each one marked with the names of plants and varieties, just like this one. Okay, possibly a bit tidier than my slapdash version, but you get the idea.
I have since adopted it for my own mixed plantings rather than burying the tags next to the plants as I often have in the past. It’s a smart and fairly simple way to keep track of plants and avoid ugly white tags that only mar your efforts to make a beautiful planting.