Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just when you least expect it...


At the end of 2009, I planted a couple of Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis) bulbs in one of my larger containers. It was a bit late - they're supposed to go in in the autumn, and it must have been early December. But I thought I might just be inside the time limit.


Spring came and - nothing. Not so much as a sprout. So I thought I'd probably done my usual trick of overwatering (easy in the large containers) and had rotted the bulbs. I found out later that they are supposed to be planted on their sides to stop the water collecting in the tops. Don't you always find out that sort of thing afterwards...

Anyway, I forgot about them and planted other stuff, summer annuals and so on, in the container. And when winter came, cleared them out and left the container bare except for one little alyssum plant which I had no room for elsewhere. So I popped it in there on its own to overwinter, thinking that I'd move it in spring.

A few days ago, I went out to do just that. And here comes the Crown Imperial...



It must have just sat there all last year, biding its time.

Needless to say, I can't now remember what colour it is. Did I get the yellow ones? The orangey red ones? I'm going to have to find other stuff to plant in there which will go with either - and so much for my idea of that being my purple and white container this year.

Never mind. Nothing like a few surprises to keep the garden interesting...

10 comments:

Elephant's Eye said...

Might it be one of those lovely purple and white checked ones? To me the most unbelievable, and desirable , flower. I remember seeing one 'pearls before swine' somewhere in an enclosure at the London zoo. Just a commonorgarden weed ;~)

Briana said...

Oh, it's a garden mystery!

I laughed about the comment you left on my blog about lego bombs. We didn't let our boys have toy guns either and they did the same thing, made them out of legos!

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

I have had this happen many times with all different bulbs. I think they have the capacity to decide to just not emerge if conditions are not favorable for whatever reason.

jan said...

I've just had to look them up as I don't know very much about bulbs but WOW, they look amazing. What a show they'll make.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Sue girl : ) isn't that the best of surprises!! I love it when we think a plant/bulb is a "dud" and then when you said it girl .. when we least expect it BAM ! there is our little angel finally ready to face the world ? LOL
I'm sure no matter the colour it will look lovely !
mean while back in the GWN we are COLD but at least Kingston escaped the foot of snow that the south of us got .. phew ! I think I would have cried ? We have sunny weather but the temps are still so cold it feels like winter still .. but it has to change soon ... right? LOL
Joy : ) stuck in winter mode !

Alistair said...

I love Crown Imperials. You are so correct they really do hate getting water logged. Our ones never performed well until I lifted them when dormant placed a layer of grit at the bottom of the planting hole, put them on their sides and also added grit on top of them then the soil. They now flower so beautifully. The orange ones are the strongest Aurora is especially beautiful. Happy gardening this season, Alistair.

The Sage Butterfly said...

I love your garden blog, and I think it is great that you have turned your balcony into a garden! Once I planted Agapanthus in a container and nothing. It never came up. The next summer after the winter (they are not supposed to survive Zone 7 winters), it came up. Go figure!

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

What a surprise. These unexpected arrivals are always the best. Your little alyssum may not think so though.

Mud said...

Hooray for hardy plants! I am continually surprised that my plants can but up my abuse and keep growing.

Barbee' said...

When it blooms let us know what color it is. They are such elegant plants.

Related Posts with Thumbnails