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Friday, October 12, 2018

Legends of the Fall

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” 
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

I'll be honest, I was thinking a lot about this past week and some of the political and social injustices I've witnessed and having had a beloved relative pass this week and having been mistreated by folks who lack compassion and understanding about such things. I was feeling like I should talk a bit about injustice. All one needs to do is google, quotes on injustice, and you realize quickly that all the worlds great authors and orators wrote about the subject. Then you start to realize that this is a subject that has been discussed at length throughout generations and over millenia. Finally one starts to realize that injustice is just a part of society, civilized or otherwise it subsists in our culture, it exists in nature, and perhaps by human nature it's ingrained in us that you must either endure it or impose it on someone else. So speak up about injustice, call out evil, be it the management at your work place, the leaders you see running this country into the ground, or the treatment of an person or a creature. We all have a responsibility to rise up against evil and not let it perpetuate into the future generations. 

Justice is not blind, justice is bought and sold at the highest levels of our courts, it's traded and bartered for favors by lobbyists, to old white men with power and wealth. To quote the seminal metal band Metallica, And Justice for all "Justice is lost, justice is raped, justice is done". 

Crocus kotschyanus 'Reliant' Clumping up nicely in a plunge bed.
Oh ya, flower bulbs, the autumn crocus collection is definitely doing it's thing, this has actually been one of those nice crisp, dry autumns where it doesn't even really feel like Fall has kicked yet because the leaves are holding strong on the trees, but they are starting to get those lovely reds, golds and every shade of orange and brown in between.

Crocus thomasii and C. carthwritianus 'marcel' the lovely false saffrons just do better and better for me every year and despite my attempts at becoming a legitimate saffron farmer, C. sativus doesn't seem to persist for me through a season or two. 

The weather has been remarkably wonderful as we moved into October, Dry and crisp for the most part, highs in the 70's and lows into the 40's for the most part in the evenings.


Friday, September 28, 2018

After the Autumnal Equinox Comes

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there." Ray Bradbury Farenheit 451

 So I took a long walk around the garden this past evening, I had meant to put up a post on the flowers of the autumnal equinox as I have done in the past. But somehow time slipped by me and almost a week has past since we hit that perfect moment where day and night are equal in length.

So all the pictures in these two collages were taken on evening of September 27 when the length of day is now 11 hours and 52 minutes. And tomorrow it will be 3 minutes and 6 seconds shorter.
I really just focused on the Autumn Crocus and Colchicum that are in bloom, although I could have found a few more flowers if I had pushed the issue. I like the shades of lavender and pink, it seems to be a subdued color pallette for the coming of winter, almost as if the flowers are telling you it's time to fade away from the bright neon glow of summers Petunia's bedded en masse. Time to take a closer look at the intricate details of the flowers that will soon fade away with the first hard frost, and won't be seen again until the days once again begin to lengthen. I really wish I wasn't writing in memorandums here every so many months, but it's come to that point in life where the good friends and relatives are aging out.

In Loving Memory:
Oh to walk down those racks of vintage's in glass in the little Chelsea Lane store, near the duck pond in Bend where Auntie Raissa made her place. Thank you for so many memories from Pacifica and the Packaging Store, to Bend and Chelsea Lane. You may not have left a garden for your soul to rest at, but you left me so many precious memories I'll never forget you. Rest in Peace and may your soul be free.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Summers End

“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.”
– Ann Patchett

The Autumn Colchicums with long summer bloomers

We all know that day, the crisp cool morning, the dew is heavy and you can see your breath as you walk out in the now dark early morning hours. By noon the foggy dew is burning off hard and by afternoon it's warm and the flannel comes off. Oh, these are the halcyon days. I've used that quote by Walt Whitman before, but I don't know if I went into the etymology. I mostly liked it because I used to follow a travel blog of some retired teachers, who bought a boat, named her the Halcyon and went about exploring the rivers, lakes and oceans wherever they could take her. 

The Halcyon,-I took this from wikipedia- From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beachwaves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the "halcyon days," when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successful.
My Halcyon days often involve fishing, and off the Pacific Coast where storms can ravage, I envy old Aeolus and his ability to restrain the wind and keep it calm, because when it's calm like the past few weekends, you would have found me at Salmon camp, following the ways of the indigenous coastal tribes who knew that when you had a Halcyon day you went to get the Salmon and stock up for the winter ahead.

It's been a wonderful end to summer, Salmon camp was successful and the fall bloomers have started in well. The rain has been here and gone and back again. Which is the way that I most enjoy it, a day or two of dry followed by a wet one makes for the perfect, easy end to summer. It's also really nice not to have to water anymore!

While I do have a huge amount of fall projects I need to get done ahead of the real "weather", I hope to be back here every so often with some fall blooming bulb pics. 

Showers this weekend, followed by sun and nice weather in the 70's. 



Saturday, September 1, 2018

It is Finished

The shipping season has ended!

Thank you so much to the loyal customers who put in orders this year and welcome to the new folks that are enriching the garden. I for one am looking foward to the fall, harvesting the produce from the vegetable garden, some salmon fishing  to stock the freezer for the long winter I have a feeling is coming. The kiddo is back to school soon and the heat wave has broken, its starting to legitimately feel like fall is here. Every few days a different Autumn Crocus is coming on now. The Naked ladies are up. I'll be back to blogging about them after some salmon fishing trips, but here are a few for you to enjoy now and look forward to purchasing on next years list.

Colchicum lateum

Colchicum davisii
Temps in the low 80's and nice cool evenings, the yellow jackets are about the most annoying thing about this season as they seem to be think as thieves right now.



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

2018 Specialty Bulb List

Shipping has ended for the season! Thank you for all your orders, Happy Growing, From Mark and Anya.

This list is up for reference only! Shipping is over, see ya next summer!


                2018 has found us in another unusually warm summer, with so many days hitting in the upper 90’s so far. I’ve added a few South Africans to this years list; if you follow the blog at all you know that I had a good collection of them going about 12 years ago, but lost many of them in some hard winters my first few seasons at Illahe. Since it has been so warm and dry, I’ve noticed that a few of the fall bloomers seem to want to be flowering early, so don’t be surprised if you order a fall bloomer and find it in flower.  As always I owe a huge thank you to Jane McGary for stock and advice and most of all inspiration to keep at this through the years. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Diana Reeck: her work with Erythroniums the last few years has been inspiring to me as well. Of course thank you to the loyal customers -- without you this wouldn’t be possible.
 I’ll probably be done shipping in 2-3 weeks at the most. I’ll do my best to update the list as stuff sells out. As always, numbers of some stuff are very limited, so order right away if you see something you want.

The Nursery: Illahe Nursery and Garden is located in the South Salem hills of the Central Willamette Valley of Oregon at 600 feet in elevation. The climate here has been described as Mediterranean, although it really is cooler and wetter. Rainfall occurs here primarily between the months of October and May and ranges between 40 and 80 inches. Temperatures in the winter rarely fall below 20 deg. F in the winter, but the last few winters have seen temperatures as low as 9 deg. F inside an unheated greenhouse. Summers are generally dry. The Jory loam soil here is deep and extremely fertile. Agriculture in the immediate vicinity is mostly Christmas tree production, vineyards , nursery and grass seed production.
To see pictures of the bulbs, please visit the Illahe blog at www.illaherarebulbs.blogspot.com,  or try The Random House Book of Bulbs by Martyn Rix and Roger Phillips,  or the highly recommended Pacific Bulb Society website: www.pacificbulbsociety.org.
Size of  bulbs: Bulbs have been selected for large size in hopes of providing flowering in the shortest period possible, but some bulbs are available in smaller sizes and those are noted below. Often newly potted bulbs need a year to settle in before flowering. All bulbs are priced per single bulb, unless otherwise noted.
Hardiness: I’m going to do away with this text section as I have recently delved back into growing some South African and South American species. I’ll really have to put this onto the customer to determine hardiness in the local growing area. I will say that I grow primarily in an unheated greenhouse, in western Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and I have personally seen temperatures here as low as 9 degrees F., although I will bring tender species into an unheated garage that provides a few degrees of protection, and I commonly use frost blankets in the greenhouse.

Domestic customers:
Ordering: Please send a list by email. All orders are filled in the order received, so get your order to me as quickly as possible for the best selection. Send orders to illaherarebulbs@gmail.com
Shipping: I will bill you for Priority Mail postage.
Payment: DO NOT SEND PAYMENT WITH YOUR ORDER. All bulbs are available in limited quantities and you may not receive everything you want. You will be billed after I receive your order, with a Paypal invoice,  so you will receive an invoice in an email and I will ship when you have paid. If the money is not deposited within three days of invoicing your bulbs will be returned to the inventory rack.
International Customers:
Ordering: Send your order via email.  All orders are filled in the order received, so get your order to me as quickly as possible for the best selection. Send orders to illaherarebulbs@gmail.com.
Shipping: I will bill you for first class postage, rate will be based on your order size. If you desire a faster postage rate please let me know this, and I will let you know the rate when your order is ready to be shipped.  I will bill you for Phytosanitary certification, which costs $45 per order. Due to inspection/phytosanitary scheduling I can only offer a few weeks of international shipping so please place your order no later than August 30, 2017. Get together with a garden group and do one big order if you are international and that way we can all save money and time! Seriously, it would help me, you, the plant inspector and the postman if we all consolidated a bit.
Payment: International customers will be required to pay by PayPal. Your order will be filled and inspected, you will be sent an email invoice with the PayPal deposit information. When the money is deposited your order will be shipped. If you must cancel an order, please do so promptly. If the money is not deposited within 3 business days, you will be sent a notification email and your bulbs will be returned to the inventory rack. Your bulb order leaves here with Phytosanitary certificate stating that it is free from pests and diseases and therefore not subject to quarantine; however, I do not have any control over the receiving countries’ agricultural inspections, so I cannot offer any guarantee, and the loss should your government hold your bulbs is on you. Please notify me immediately of any issues and I will do what I can.
Remember all bulbs are available in limited quantities, so whether you are domestic or international please realize I sell out of some stuff very quickly, so get your order in as soon as possible. Email is preferred for questions related to bulb purchases.
Please feel free to forward this list to anyone who might be interested.
Thank you,
Mark Akimoff
Illahe Nursery and Gardens
7645 Sunnyside Rd SE
Salem, Or 97306

Allium textile Central United States; clusters of starry white flowers. $2
Allium abramsii Purple flowers, from the Sierra Nevada of California in Fresno, Madera and Tulare Counties. $2
Allium unifolium ‘Wayne Roderick’ Late spring bloomer with electric lavender pink flowers, named for the famous California bulb man who introduced it into the trade.  $3Sold Out

Allium unifolium ‘Wayne Roderick’
Anemone nemorosa  ‘Royal Blue’ One of the bluest of the blue Wood Anemones. Tolerant of summer dry shade when dormant.  $5Sold Out

Arum dioscoridis Turkey; wonderful but bad-smelling inflorescence, greenish cream heavily spotted with black. Medium, $3Sold Out
Arum byzantinum Balkans-Turkey; greenish white spathe with some purple. $5
Arum concinnatum Eastern Himalaya-Burma White Spathes/yellow spadix large tubers $4Sold Out

Biarum davisii Crete; Awesome pinkish-white spathes in the fall. $5Sold Out
Biarum tenuifolium ssp. abbreviatum Blackish spathes, flowers late summer. $4
Biarum tenuifolium ssp. zeleborii Crete, Very rare. $6Sold Out
Biarum tenuifolium Stinky, but showy in pot, and a good increaser. $3Sold Out
Biarum sp. PBS 435 these are huge corms, bloom them and identify it! $3

Brimeura fastigiata Tiny plants with bright lavender fls; hardy to at least 9 deg. F., for containers under protection from excess rain $4Sold Out

Camassia cusickii  My seed collection from grassland, meadows at about 4,500’ in the Wallowa Mts. About 15 years ago. Large spikes of very light blue flowers. $6
Camassia quamash The food staple of indigenous peoples in the Willamette Valley for millennia, tall blue/purple flower scapes. $3

Calochortus clavatus ssp. clavatus
Calochortus clavatus ssp. clavatus Brilliant yellow flowered species from Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains. Late bloomer adds length to any bulb collection’s bloom time. $7 Sold Out
Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. pomeridianum From the California chaparral and woodlands comes this very useful flower bulb; indigenous uses for the plant ranged from soap, to fish stunning toxin and antiseptic medicine. White flowers mostly open in late afternoon and evening. $3Sold out

Chinodoxa ‘Valentines Day’ Blue-Starry shaped flowers, early, Pair with C. hungaricum ‘Valentine’, for a great early show in troughs, pots or rock garden $3


Colchicum ‘White Waterlily’
Colchicum autumnale ‘Nancy Lindsay’ large corms, Fall. $4Sold Out
Colchicum autumnale ‘Rosy Dawn’ large corms, Fall. $4
Colchicum autumnale alboplenum ‘White Waterlily’  Huge, double white flowers. large corms, Fall. $7Sold out
Colchicum bivonae Sardinia-Turkey, large, tessellated pink flowers, dramatic. $5Sold Out
Colchicum cupanii Sardinia-Tunisia, Mediterranean Meadow Saffron. Dainty Fall bloomer. $3
Sold out
Colchicum ‘Disraeli’ Giant pink flowers with white tessellations, probably one of my all-time favorite fall bloomers, certainly eye-catching. $6Sold Out
Colchicum hungaricum ‘Valentine’ Outstanding February bloomer, larger than type, pink. $3
Colchicum montanum Syn. Merendera montana Spain/Portugal, fall bloomer, flowers set close to the soil surface. Nice for troughs/pots/raised beds $4Sold Out
Colchicum psaridis Southern Greece. Purple-Pink fall. $4Sold Out
Colchicum-Fall Starter Mix-This offering is for a mix of 3 large corms propagated from my garden beds. They can be any of a mix of C. autumnale hybrids I grow (look at past catalog offerings), and possibly one of the rarer species, for those seeking value and wanting to start or enhance a collection of autumn blooms. 3/$4.Sold out


Crocus thomasii
Crocus albiflorus Spring bloomer from the European Alps.  $3
Crocus banaticus. Balkans; once considered its own genus, this Iris-like and very unique treasure has some of the most interesting flowers in its group. $4Sold out
Crocus cartwrightianus ‘Marcel’ Stunning selection by Antoine Hoog, violet-throated, with large stigmata and anthers. $5Sold out
Crocus cartwrightianus Greece/Crete, probably one of the wild precursors of the fabled saffron crocus, it is a fantastic homegrown substitute for those that like paella. $4
Crocus kosaninii Serbia; lilac fls. $4
Crocus kotschyanusReliance’ fall; A strong-flowering selection of the species, very reliable performer. $3
Crocus kotschyanus fall; a good performer year to year; if you want a tidy autumn bloomer for the rock garden this is a good one. $3
Crocus mathewii To quote Janis Ruksans, “among the showiest and most desirable plants of every Crocus collection”. Fall-blooming, discovered as recently as 1992 in the Lycian Taurus Mts. of southern Turkey. $8Sold out
Crocus thomasii A fantastic fall blooming sativus type, strong saffron fragrance and a great increaser. Adriatic coastal species. $5
Crocus tournefortii Grecian species with lovely lilac, yellow throated fall blooming flowers. Interestingly one of only three crocus species to keep its flowers open at night, presumably because of a night-flying or crawling pollinator. $6Sold out
Crocus x leonidii ‘Early Gold’ reticulatus x angustifolius hybrid with brilliant yellow flowers usually opening in Feburary for me. Great in the rock garden. $3

Cypella herbertii
Cypella herbertii Interesting irid species from South America, with a long summer bloom period. These are in growth, so I’ll cut them back and bareroot them. Up to you If you want to dry them down or force them back into growth, for me they bloom all the way up to frost and get overwintered in the shop in sawdust. $8


Erythronium ‘Pacific Sunset Strain’

 Erythronium ‘Pacific Sunset’ strain
Over 20 years ago, Oregon plant breeder Walter Blom created some truly unique Erythronium hybrids.  He kept only the best, selecting for multiple flowers, vigor, and good increasing qualities.  We are finally releasing this first group of his hybrids as Erythronium  ‘Pacific Sunset’.  There are about 8 separate clones in this strain, and they may differ slightly in size or intensity of color, but all have lovely pink flowers with a delicate stain of green at the base, with silvery veined leaves.  They will grow to about 12”, with 2-3 flowers per stem, and increase to larger clumps every year.  $7
Sold Out 

Erythronium “Jeannine”
Erythronium ‘Jeannine’ Large sulphur yellow flowers on this vigorous hybrid, said to be a cross of E. californicum White Beauty and E. tuolumnense, vigorous at clumping as well. 1 per customer, $7Sold Out


Fritillaria pontica

Fritillaria agrestis California, Greenish, stinky bells, $5Sold Out
Fritillaria biflora "grayana" A vigorous form, flowering in late spring, California. $6
Fritillaria crassifolia JJA 17255 From the Archibald catalog: Iran, Kordestan, SW of Daraki (S of Marivan). 2500m. SW-facing limestone slope. #2nd pic (This coll. has to be almost precisely on Wendelbo’s Iranian locality for F. crassifolia subsp. poluninii but this is a big, robust plant about 25cm. $6sold out

Fritillaria crassifolia JJA 17255

Fritillaria davisii Short stems, dark pendent bells, increases well. $4
Fritillaria elwesii Beautiful narrow bells with a dusty bloom on the petals. Southern Turkey $4Sold out
Fritillaria kotschyana Originally from an Archibald collection, in Iran. I’ll have to find the number at some point. Large flowers. $5Sold Out
Fritillaria meleagris ssp . burnatii subspecies of the snakeshead fritillary from the Alpine grasslands of Italy and France. $4Sold out
Fritillaria orientalis Caucasus, checkered pendant bells, easy grower. $4Sold out
Fritillaria persica My greenish/rootbeer colored form. Turkey/Iran. 1 per customer $9Sold Out
Fritillaria pontica Tall, pale green broad pendant bells, easy lg. $4Sold Out
Fritillaria pudica lovely, yellow, nodding bells, drought tolerant. $2Sold out
Fritillaria purdyi x biflora Robust strain that arose with Jane; these are F2 seedlings, typically will have purdyi-type black-and-white checked flowers on robust biflora-type foliage and stems. $5
Fritillaria rhodocanakis Greece; this selection was originally from Hoog and labeled Fritillaria rhodocanakis ssp. argolica. Which is a very rare subspecies of an already rare plant, however that ssp. has been disputed and it may be natural variation or hybrid between F. graeca or F. spetsiotica. Beautiful brown and yellow bells. $4Sold out

Ferraria I have had a long-running passion for this genus and a few hard winters in the first few years I was at illahe taught me a hard lesson about hardiness. But I’m back at it again, with a few provisions for winter protection I’ve been building up a stock once again. Maybe the climate change I’m seeing happen will open up the Willamette Valley to production.
Ferraria schaeferi  The starfish lily, yellow flowers with brown blotching and mottling, sweetly scented. From the winter rainfall region of Namaqualand South Africa. $4
Ferraria crispa Highly variable species, seed grown corms. Coastal Namaqualand and the Cape of South Africa. $4
Ferraria uncinata Bluish Violet, yellow and brown flowers. Cape of South Africa. $4

Geranium macrostylum ‘Talish Tuberous species collected by Janis Ruksans in the Talish Mountains of Northwest Iran. $4
Gladiolus tristis The absolutely stunning and fragrant, Marsh Afrikaner, one of my favorites in the genera of bulbous flowering plants. $6
Iris aucheri ‘Indigo’ Deep Indigo blue flowers on this Juno species make it a showstopper. $8Sold Out
Pseudomuscari pallens cute little flower stalks, of whitish lavender. $3Sold out
Naricussus 'Julia Jane'


Narcissus romieuxii ‘Julia Jane’ Deep yellow widely flared “hoop petticoat” flowers, Very early. $4
Narciussus bulbocodium petite hoop peticoats in light yellow. Southern France. $3
Narcissus bulbocodium var. nivalis, small species from the Atlas Mountains, great for troughs or pots. $4
Narcissus obsoletus Fragrant white star flowered, fall bloomer from Israel. $6Sold Out
Narcissus wilkommii A deep yellow Jonquilla species with a large corona. $3
Narcissus x odorus Hybrid between N. jonquilla and N. pseudonarcissus  or  perhaps N. hispanicus. Since it has been known in cultivation since 16th century, is it surprising the actual parents aren’t known? $3

Notholirion thomsonianum Kashmir/Himalaya. Winter grower. Superb pink Fls. $4

Oxalis engleriana from shaded southern slopes along South Africa’s Cape region, pinkish starry flowers. $2Sold Out

Scilla verna For some reason I like to think of this as Europe’s version of the indomitable Camas. $3

Sternbergia sicula Mediteranean limestone dweller with wonderful yellow fall flowers $5Sold Out

Sternbergia sicula

Sternbergia lutea The indomitable Autumn Daffodil as it’s sometimes called, is a beautiful fall bloomer with deep yellow flowers. $5Sold Out

Triteleia ixioides ssp. analina California, Sierra Nevada. Very cool yellow-umbel flowers. $4sold out

Carnivorous Plants: I have to ship these as bareroots in moistened peat or vermiculite, with the pitchers cut back or folded over.  Not sure about the viability of International shipping but I will try if you are willing to pay for it

Darlingtonia californica Oregon’s own unique pitcher plant, the Cobra Lily. This form is incredibly stoloniferous, and has been an easy grower given a cool aquatic root run, these are established quart pot sized specimens. $20.
Sarracenia minor  The Hooded Pitcher from pine savannas, North Carolina to Florida. One of the species capable of growing in slightly drier conditions. $14
Sarracenia leucophylla The White Topped Pitcher plant, from bogs and pine savannas from  Mississippi to Alabama, a stunning bug killer. $14
Sarracenia sp. I think this is S. oreophila, but that is really, really rare……???? From cultivated source material, as are all the offerings except seeds. $25

Epipactis gigantea The Stream Helleborine, our native orchid, not carnivorous but often seen growing in the same situations as Darlingtonia californica, in culture it wants the same cool aquatic root run.  These are well rooted 4 inch size, shipped bareroot in moist peat or vermiculite. $12.Sold Out