it must be spring

Instead of waking up to the predicted snow, it rained. A whole tenth of an inch. But the fact that it didn’t snow, for once, is a sign of spring.

Another sign is that the water in the canal is flowing again.  It comes from Turkey Creek and flows east to some unknown destination.

And a third sign, one which involves a slight bit of embarrassment, is that the rock garden plants have suddenly come to life; it is quite possible that I forgot to reset the min-max thermometer last January and the -3 I thought I saw just a while ago was because the pin got stuck. Whatever. Even though many things are a month or more late, they’re alive, and that’s good. The only plants in bloom so far are bulbs.

Cyclamen coum is blooming all over the rock garden, in various shades of pink. All of these were sowed by ants, from the original plant.




A few other things. Fritillaria bucharica ‘Romit’.


And some corydalis. The native Corydalis aurea appeared here one year, and has been self sowing around the garden, though not as much as I would like. It’s not in bloom yet, but these are:

Corydalis angustifolia, scented of vanilla.


Corydalis schanginii subsp. ainae:


Corydalis ruksansii:


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10 Responses to it must be spring

  1. Alison says:

    I love Cyclamen. Mine are increasing slowly too, every year there are more little ones. I have the native yellow Corydalis seeding around in my garden too. Yours are so pretty. I’ve planted others, but the only one that comes back is the yellow one.

    • paridevita says:

      Being nice to ants is one way to get a lot of cyclamen. And crocus, snowdrops, corydalis, etc. Only trouble is I’m also nice to flickers, and they love ants.
      The last two corydalis came from Odyssey Bulbs. They’re kind of pricey (the bulbs, not Odyssey), but I wanted them. There are now about a hundred color forms of Corydalis solida available; a few of them may be in bloom here if the bunnies don’t mow them down……

  2. Susan ITPH says:

    I tried to grow Corydalis schanginii subsp. ainae, but mine died. I suspect I planted it in a bad spot. Will have to try again.

    You can trace where the canals go thanks to Google Earth. It’s a lot easier than jumping the fence and walking them when they are dry, which I have been tempted to do. Still, ours are not running yet.

    • paridevita says:

      I followed the canal on Google for about a mile, and then it disappeared. Maybe it goes into a culvert and empties into the Platte. Or maybe it goes to a Secret Government Agency …..

      I think–I don’t really know since I’m new at this–you grow the “bulb belt corydalis” in the same rock garden as acantholimons, astragalus, Penstemon caespitosus, townsendias, Phlox hoodii, etc. Hardly watered or not at all.
      Ruksans has posted his catalog on with several bulb belt species as well as so many other things I wonder how many days I can go without food …..

      • Susan ITPH says:

        I’ve been staring at the Ruskans catalog, too. Alan McMurtrie’s Irises look mighty, mighty tempting. And I’ve never seen something like Fritillaria gibbosa before. I’m going to have to shake down the couch for loose change.

      • paridevita says:

        Only 25 euros a bulb.
        They can be grown from seed, but I haven’t have a huge amount of luck growing bulbs from seed, except with Frit. pallidiflora, which now seeds around here like crazy. The thing I did not know was that the bulbs themselves are not very hardy (maybe 15-20F above), so if they germinate this year, and spend the coming winter outside in a pot, that’s it, they’re gone. They need to be in the garden, where the volume of soil keeps the temperature up, or taken indoors. I lost a lot of little bulbs this way.
        I also have a rodent problem, which is another story.
        Ruksans’s book Buried Treasures, is a dangerous thing for a weak willed person like me. I read it cover to cover.

  3. Your cyclamen and corydalis are scrumptious: Jim Archibald showed me how you pick andsqueeze a corydalis blossom to expose the anthers, and the squeeze another blossom still on the plant and cross pollinate them so you can self them and get them to set seed (which they will not do without some human help if there is only a single species). If you do it right, you can get seed set on your ruksansii etc. and soon have them self sowing along with your pallidifloras–and pretty soon you can send out bulb lists charging and arm and a leg. Have I given you C. malkensis yet? It’s rampaging gratifyingly for me.

    • paridevita says:

      Yeah …I can’t see myself fiddling with the private parts of plants that much. Buying more bulbs of the same species is more my kind of thing.

  4. Susan ITPH says:

    Given our conversation on the Ruskans catalog here, me and a gardener (Linda Cochran) in Washington are proposing a group of us stateside batch our order to save on shipping, the phyto certificate, etc. We figure that even after domestic post, it will cost less. Are you interested?

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