more excitement

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest exciting news from our garden. You may remember me from such wonderfully informative posts as “Inching Toward Spring” and “More Weirdness”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic, late-afternoon pose. My ear is being scratched. Sometimes ears just itch, you know? 14031507Here I am in a more typically characteristic pose. I’m epitomizing our modern lifestyle here.14031502Well, that’s the interesting part of the post. The rest is just pictures of the various obsessions of the guy I live with.

For one thing, he almost went crazy when this thing bloomed. I mean, he was all like, “Come out and look”, and I didn’t much want to, so I didn’t. (My mommy was that way, too.) It’s Iris rosenbachiana. 

morning sun

morning sun

midday sun

midday sun

Fascinating. This is the form from Tadjikistan, he says. I don’t know where that is. He says “Over there”, pointing way past the front window. Okay, then.

Those pictures came from his Photobucket. These he took today, and when the cyclamen start to bloom, then I never hear the end of it. Cyclamen this, cyclamen that. Cyclamen coum, in this case. You can see two color forms here. These were planted by ants.14031503


14031505 copy

The original tubers came from his late gardening friend in upstate New York, whom I mentioned a while back. The seed is dispersed by ants, and I guess there are a lot of ants here, because there are a lot of cyclamen. One thing follows another, as I’ve said before.

Oh, and then this hasn’t really even started yet, but you should have heard the commotion when he saw Corydalis seisumsiana show a little color. It will go on for almost a month, get bigger with way more flowers (he claims), totally ignore any cold and snow we might have, and just be “generally delightful”, which, I must say, reminds me of me. 14031506He said this species was native to the Zanzegur Range in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. I didn’t know what to say. It’s been a long time since the guy I live with pored over maps, and so he had to look this up. Incredible as it may seem. It turns out that it’s like this little country between Iran and Armenia, but it’s part of Azerbaijan, so not really a country. Very dry place, though, he says. (Like he’s been there.)

Well, the stuff you learn. As far as interesting stuff goes, I don’t know, but the guy I live with said to put it in because there were two pictures of me today. The quid pro quo business.

That’s all for today. It was chilly and gloomy and even snowed for a couple of minutes, but the guy I live with didn’t care, because of the corydalis.14031501

Until next time, then.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to more excitement

  1. Evidently we do not have the same Cyclamen-seed-spreading ants you are blessed with, Chess. Lack of seed procurement may be the cause, alas. Our South African bulbs are in bloom, and, given the display, I’ve resolved to get more, more, more come this Fall. Your iris are splendid, well worth getting excited about. Plus, a means to learn geography and I suspect history. There’s lots growing out there in the world, Chess, and you’re lucky the guy you live with brings some of it in. Although in your characteristic posture, I can see it would be difficult to work up a good excitement, do try, dear doggie. You get ear scratchies, after all. It is true this evening I had to really call to get the guy I live with to come look at the full moon in the evening sky through our bedroom window. He was in the kitchen frying chicken. Eventually, he appeared, but he got no ear scratchies.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says the moon is not quite full, because that’s what the Sierra Club calendar on the wall says. He marks down when he gives me my pill, which is why he looked at it. Tomorrow night, Full Worm. It looks full, though. There are lots of South African bulbs which are hardy here, but ones from summer-rainfall regions. They need irrigation here. The guy I live with gave up when he realized exactly how much irrigation was needed. More watering, fewer naps. Telos Rare Bulbs sells lots very cool of winter-rainfall South Africans. South Americans, too. They sell quality bulbs.

  2. petabunn says:

    Nice variety of pics of you today, always good to see you on your walk Chess. Well Chess, you could have been a bit more thrilled for your guy over the iris, it does look pretty amazing. I do also like cyclamen a lot too and how lucky your guy is that the ants do the planting for him. Had a bit of a yawn moment over the corydalis, (really annoys me that I cannot do italics in these comments) wasn’t as impressed over it as your guy obviously was, however a bit of a geography lesson never hurts. You also reminded me I used to get an ear massage and a back massage early every evening but since we moved I haven’t been getting them. I hope they start again.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with has really strong fingers, from clinging to telephone cable strands for dear life, but also arthritis in every joint. Still, I get good back rubs, and what’s especially important, paw rubs. He holds my paw in his hand and rubs the pads with his thumb, and it makes them feel better. We kind of do have different interests. Mine mostly center around food, and walks, and biscuits, and lying around a lot. Cyclamen seed, like that of crocus and snowdrops, is dispersed by ants. The only trouble with ants is that they sometimes set up house in the wrong place, or flickers come and make lots of holes in the garden looking for ants. They must be good, but I’ve never tried them.

  3. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    The mention of corydalis made me remember there’s a blue corydalis. In the process of finding Blue Panda (and Blue Heron) online, I also found mention of corydalis elata, which has flowers that smell like coconut. Of course that made me want it, but I could only find 2 places that sold it: 1 was wholesale only, and the other was in the U.K. Hedonism is hard!

    • paridevita says:

      Blue Panda lived here for a couple of weeks. It needed more water than the garden gets. There are some other blue corydalis. C. turtschaninovii, pachycentra, oxypetala, pseudoadoxa. Mostly far eastern species. (The corydalis book is right here on the table.) Try Odyssey Bulbs, in the U.S.

  4. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Thanks. I checked Odyssey Bulbs, but they didn’t list C. elata (which is reputed to be the best corydalis for the heat of the southeast: it can be hot here, with, like, 1000% humidity). But then I did another search and found a place in the U.S. that does sell C. elata (and for a reasonable price). And I learned that korydalis is Greek for crested lark. hm.

    I thought you might enjoy this poem about getting all excited about flowers (like the guy you live with), which was in Schreiner’s Iris Lovers Catalog (mini edition) that came in the mail the other day:

    What a delight it is
    When, of a morning
    I get up and go out
    To find in full bloom a flower
    That yesterday was not there.
    — Tachibana Akemi

    • paridevita says:

      Great poem. Pretty much the way the guy I live with feels about gardening. It’s 58F here and 18 percent humidity. Sunny, with a light breeze, and the wind chimes my mommy bought are tinkling. Check Far Reaches Farm. Not the same species, but blue ones, nonetheless. Good prices, beautifully grown plants, pesticide free. (Lots of asters, too.) And for gardening in the southeast, anything by Elizabeth Lawrence. Or Henry Mitchell, of course, but E.L. talks about more plants.

      • Deborah S. Farrell says:

        I did check out Far Reaches Farm — started ordering, but when I got to checkout, the recommended shipping was more than the plants’ total & I just couldn’t do it. If only I’d known last year, when I was in Port Townsend! But I did order 3 C. elata from the other place — they are nearby relative to Port Townsend & shipping is less. I’ll be happy if I only get coconut scented blue blooms for one season. Ecstatic if they come back next year.

      • paridevita says:

        Oh, the shipping. It’s cheaper from there to here. The idea, I guess, is to buy a lot of plants, and so the shipping is less painful.

  5. KBottomley says:

    I had no idea where the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was but I noticed that you had written that it is close to Armenia so I had to look it up. My brother-in-law is Armenian and his mother came to this country in the 1920’s as an arranged marriage. She never met her future husband until the day before she married him. (Fortunately it was good) Back then the Armenian’s, who are traditionally Orthodox Christians, had been victims of genocide by the Ottoman government of Turkey. She had been hidden in the bottom of a large clock as an infant during one such raid. Relatives who came to the village after heard her crying and found her, the only person alive. At least she was spared knowing what had gone on around her. So sad that such pretty plants in such beautiful areas of the world have these terrible events happening there. Anyway, another rant over and on to my question. I really like Cyclamen’s and have had them as houseplants but didn’t know you could grow them outside. Could I transplant these into the garden and if so when would be the best time.

    • paridevita says:

      My feelings exactly. A lot of very desirable plants, for our climate, come from places dangerous to visit. It seems like it’s one area one year, and the next, it’s someplace else.
      The cyclamen which are grown as houseplants are not hardy. They’re derived from Cyclamen persicum, which comes from almost subtropical areas of Turkey, I think. If your winters are cold, the ones you want are from higher elevations. Cyclamen coum (winter and spring blooming), and C. hederifolium (autumn blooming, before the leaves emerge) are readily available from lots of nurseries.
      Plant them barely beneath the surface of the soil; don’t even cover them completely. It helps to put them in a cage (made with chicken wire or whatever) for the first year, because rodents can flick them out of the ground until the roots grow into the soil.

      • We journey to international and national heritage rose conferences. It’s not been lost on me places where roses are grown are places of persecution. Then I noticed this holds true for almost any subject of interest (insert your own interest here).

      • paridevita says:

        True. The area of interest here, aside from western North American plants, and some cacti from South America, and traditional alpine plants from Europe, extends from the Balkans through Turkey, the Caucasus, northern Iran, and east through Central Asia to western China. The guy I live with says that if people spent more time looking at, say, snowdrops, with a magnifying glass trying to figure out what the difference between a ten cent one and a hundred dollar one is, and spent much less time dwelling on abstractions, the world might be a better place. (Although then there might be fights over the snowdrops.)

  6. Iris rosenbachiana is stunning.

    • paridevita says:

      Is it not. Same family (Scorpiris, cool name) as Iris bucharica, which is available from bulb brokers. The rosenbachianas, and the other bulbs pictured, came from bulb nurseries like Rare Plants in the UK, Ruksans in Latvia, and Bondarenko in Lithuania. (Rosenbachiana came from Bondarenko, Lithuanian Rare Bulb Garden.) The climate here is pretty close to perfect for growing a lot of these Central Asian bulbs. Sunny, dry, no winter rain.

Comments are closed.