Popular Posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Rain Has ReturnedThe

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The late season Rock Garden

The rains have returned to the Willamette Valley finally, cooler temps and an actual ground soaking rain is here! I don't know if I have ever been so excited about a change in the weather, but it was such a long hot summer and since have the state is burning it's long overdue. 


 Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla)
A very cool visitor to the greenhouse was noted with the cooling weather and oncoming dampness. Talk about beneficial insect control for the greenhouse!

A few more of the fall bloomers have started in and I'll update them as they do, with the rain here it might not make for as perfect of pictures, but I know the bulbs appreciate some cooler temperatures and some moisture in the soil now. 

Rain for the next three days, and temperatures in the low 60's. Perhaps, fall has begun. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Colchicum 'Glory of Heemstede'

Colchicum 'Glory of Heemstede'
One of the old hybrids apparently originating form the Dutch suburb of Heemstede, one of the major bulb growing regions in the Netherlands. Apparently Linneaus spent some time here way back in the day. I just snapped a pic of one of the pots because I liked the way the light was hitting it, but this hyrbid is one of the great colonizers and I'll post up some pics of the patches of it around the gardens and grounds. I would say we are entering the mid season bloom period now with the fall bloomers.

I should try to be more educational with this blog so here ya go:



Note the subterranean ovaries? We will explore this adaptation in an upcoming blog entry

Glad to have gotten some nice pics when I did, rain is in the forecast for later this weekend and according to some of the long range weather forecasters and bloggers, it looks like we have la nina developing after early predictions of a neutral winter. Could this weekend be the true end of summer and the start of Oregon's legendary rainy season? Stay tuned to find out.

Cheers,

Mark

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Colchicum variegatum

Colchicum variegatum

Most of the information you can glean off the web lists this as a somewhat tender species, which I suppose then should come as no surprise it doesn't increase very well for me. But it's hard to pass it up with such sublime tesselations it certainly is a standout. My form has somewhat more linear tepals then most of the pictures I've seen on the web. Maybe I'll coddle this one a bit more to see if I can get it to clump up for me. It truly is one of the more spectacular species. Hailing from Southern Greece and Turkey might explain the somewhat tender nature.

You can feel fall start to creep in finally, the temperatures have moderated in the valley and we even had a sprinkle last weekend although it was dry by the next morning.

Cheers,
Mark

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Colchicum laetum

So Prometheus was a good guy and helped out the humans, I think the biggest thing he did was give us fire, which of course changed the course of humanity. Zeus got pissed and chained him to a rock on a Mountain peak, where an eagle or vulture would stop off and eat on his liver all day. Overnight, because Prometheus was immortal, his liver would regrow. So there he stayed chained to a rock on that mountain getting his liver eaten all day in agony, for thousands of years. Since it's said that the Mountain to which Prometheus was chained was in the Caucasus Mountains, sometime in those thousands of years, Prometheus must have watched Colchicum laetum evolve. Or maybe not if he couldn't see the lower elevation forest, Steppes and foothill meadows from Southern Russia down to the Caucasus Mountains.




Colchicum laetum
With it's starry flowers and bright yellow anthers, doing it's thing in Early September. I'm hoping someday to make a phenology guide to the fall blooming bulbs in Western Oregon. So this year you may see some double daily posts as I begin tracking them year to year.

Smoke, haze and fires all around.
Cheers,
Mark

Colchicum davisii



“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” 
― Dante Alighieri




Colchicum davisii

Only described as recently as 1998, comes this Turkish species from the Amanus Mountains.

I really like the lighter color with the heavy tesselations and the tendency for the flowers to stay closer to ground level. The Autumn crocus are coming on hot and heavy now. I'm gonna make every effort to document them all.

The ash is falling thick from the smoke filled sky as I write this, one can almost picture Dante, ascending the 6th circle, oh wait no, that's actually the willamette Valley. So many forest fires and the "valley of sickness" is a haze filled crucible that smells of burning pitch. We need rain soon.

Cheers,
Mark

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Colchicum bivonae and the end of the sale season.

Colchicum bivonae
Widely distributed Mediterranean species, Greece-Turkey-Sardinia, I love the tesselations on this one and I keep meaning to put a infrared or UV filter on this to see what it might look like to a pollinator species.

 I've wrapped up bulbs sales for this year. Thanks again to all the great customers. It was another fun year for us at Illahe. If you missed out on anything, I'll leave the catalog up and you can dream about getting your order in early next year. It was a bit of an abbreviated season for me, so expect much more next year.

A thick smokey haze has filled the valley as wildfires continue to burn up in the cascades. Temperatures hit 100 here today and you could taste the burning pitch in the air. We need a cool down and some rain soon.

Best,
Mark

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Colchicum alpinum

Colchicum alpinum
The classic alpine meadow saffron from the high altitude regions of the European Alps. This species does very well in the unprotected raised beds. The culture is easy and top dressings of composted cow manure mixed with pumice every so often have yielded a nice increase in corms. Another nice early bloomer doing it's think in late August.

So tomorrow the shipping season ends and I can get back to taking pics of the fall blooming species as the come on.

Hot, sunny and dry weekend ahead! Temps in the 90's although a sprinkle was felt today on the way into work.

Cheers,

Mark