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Sunday, December 31, 2017

The last shall be first

The last flower and post of 2017

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let every new year find you a better man" Benjamin Franklin 

Its a hoop petticoat Narcissus and it needs an ID!!

This one came to me unlabeled needing an ID. So it's blooming right now, on the last day of the year, making it in my opinion strongly winter blooming. It's crazy super fragrant, like greenhouse filing with it's fragrance. I tried to do a little flower dissection, and I came up with what looks like 3 stamens elongated past the throat of the corolla, and three set down in the throat, pardon my poor botanical nomenclature. I have a book on the subject somewhere but it's buried in a library that needs thinning badly. 

 You can see the 3 exerted stamens here and there are three down in the throat, not sure if this is a flower maturity thing or not if the other three will continue to elongate.

Not the best  shot, but maybe you can make out the three stamens that are down in the throat of the corolla. 

So to recap, super fragrant, winter blooming hoop petticoat type, with sort of a light custard yellow color to it. If you have any idea what it is please post it up in the comments. 

So here we are at the end of another year, the hoop petticoat will be the last flower of 2017 and the first of 2018.

Frosty morning, 38 degrees outside at 10:00 am on New Years Eve.

Hope everyone has a fantastic and safe New Years if you are celebrating. Here is to a better one than the last.

Cheers, Mark

Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Holidays

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!"
–Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

Eucharis amazonica is blooming so that means Christmas is right around the corner.

It''s been a relatively quite December, right now this is the only bulb in my collection blooming and it's of course indoors as a houseplant. Normally a hoop petticoat Narcissus or two shows up around now, and while I do have Narcissus obsoletus budded up, only time will tell if it makes to be the outdoor bloomer for the month of December. 

Well, the Eucharis is doing it's think and filling the house with it's floral bouquet, mixed with the sent of Christmas tree and cinnamon candles. I love this time of year, Christmas is truly the holiday where you get to be a kid again, the anticipation of Christmas morning, or the age old traditions, like oozing, melted raclette cheese on baby potatoes at Christmas eve dinner. Family and fun, and the promise of a fresh start as the new year approaches. 

Wishing you all a festive and happy holiday season, the merriest of Christmas celebrations and if I don't get to it before the new year, a bright and fantastic start to 2018. 



Monday, December 4, 2017

The coldest week so far

“All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;The old that is strong does not wither,Deep roots are not reached by the frost."    J.R.R. Tolkien

So just a short little update on the garden conditions, Since I can't remember the last time I picked tomatoes in December. This has been one exceptionally long and productive harvest season. 

Keta inspects the the last of the tomato harvest, This weekend the super frost moon rose in the night sky and the  mercury is finally dropping to the point that even the hoop house plants that have hung on into December should finally cease.

It was 39 degrees at 4:30 pm on Sunday evening, I figured it would get into the 20's by morning so I quickly got the last of the tomatoes and peppers in. So this week is supposed to be the coldest one this season, and while we had a killing frost in the garden. This has really been one of the mildest, longest falls I can remember in a long time, the bees were still flying on the first of December. 

Fog burning off this afternoon, the forecast says lows in the 20's and highs in the 40's for this coming week.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Wrapping it up on Veterans Day

"When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden."

Minnie Aumonier

I took a little walk around the garden this evening before daylight faded, it's become apparent that we have come to the end of another growing season, although the frost ended the tomatoes and peppers progress, the cabbage and kale are hanging on strong. The winter garden is just beginning and some of the bulbs are just starting the growing season. But for most this is the end of it and I've seen so many gardens around town that are tidied up with lush cover crops or straw covering the raised beds like toasty winter blankets. I'm never that ahead of the game and since half the garden was planted with winter food in mind, I guess I don't mind it looking like it's still a working place. 

Parrotia persica leaf in the changing season

There is always a bulb in bloom through the winter months so I'll be posting something between now and spring, but since it's the beginning of the holiday season, and I still have a deer tag to fill. I'll probably be busy hiding in the woods for a bit from now through the darkest, longest days of winter. So this is a short goodbye to one long growing season, and a look forward to a fun filled holiday season. We at Illahe Nursery and Gardens wish you a festive and merry one.

To tip a glass to my neighbor Jack who served this country in a ground war in South East Asia, many years ago.  I wish wars could be extinguished forever. Thank you for your service on this day we remember those that made it back and those that did not, may your glass always be full! May peace be found throughout the world and in your life this day and through the season.

Rain, high of 50.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Frost on the Pumpkins

It was pretty dark when I left the house this morning but based on the amount of frost I scrapped off the windshield, I'd say we go the first real killing frost of the season. I saw it coming and moved a flat of Ferraria and Morea seedlings and baby bulbs into the house. Gonna have to find something a bit more permanent for them. I still have plans for a frost free greenhouse, just waiting for that ship to come in.

So the picture is a little Thank you that got out at a local park. I donated some bulbs and the good folks at Wild Ginger gave some great irises for a small project garden near a kids play structure. Fun to watch it grow.

Chilly, frozen end to the growing season. But partly cloudy today and dry as of now.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

No Frost on the Pumpkins.......yet.

Happy Halloween

No frost on the pumpkins, I was walking around last night at dusk and I thought for sure the chill was settling in good enough for a hard killing frost. But I got up this morning and the outside thermometer was reading 40 degrees. Oh well, I'm fine with the killing frost holding off for a bit longer. I mowed the grass in the field last night because I didn't get to it on the weekend and now I guess I do wish it would freeze up a bit so I can put the mower away for the winter. The average first frost Date for my location is October 11-20th. so It's not likely to be far off now. But  good long growing season is fine with me.
Colchicum 'White Waterlily"

I hope it's ok to repost something off the Pacific Bulb Society archive, because I was trying to find some details on the above shown cultivar and I ran across this gem from Jim Mckenney posted on the PBS in 2009.

" Colchicum 'Waterlily' itself is said to have resulted from a cross between Colchicum speciosum 'Album' with a double, white-flowered form of C. autumnale in a effort to get a large double-flowered white colchicum. 'Alboplenum' is not a sport of 'Waterlily'; if anything, it might be the double white autumnale form used to produce 'Waterlily'. However, as you noticed, it has only a few anthers. Bowles recorded another less double white-flowered form of autumnale; and if that form has more anthers, then perhaps it was used to produce 'Waterlily'.  It might be worthwhile to re-do these crosses using the white-flowered Colchicum 'Innocence' aka 'byzantinum album' instead of Colchicum speciosum 'Album'. "
Jim McKenney

Sunny and highs in the 60's for the Trick or Treating kiddos this Halloween.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

This is worth seeing

I swear it's not click bait and there is a story to it;

So I harvested some honey from the bee hives a few weeks ago and in the process I moved some frames around to a dead hive, that put a whole bunch of bees in an unknown location so they took a few days to reorient to the home hive, in the process a whole bunch of them ended up in the greenhouse, that evening it got pretty cold so they got stuck there. In the morning when it warmed up there was probably 800 bees in the greenhouse and a few  of them found there way to the Crocus cartwrightianus 'Marcel' Click on the video to see what it looks like:

Crocus with bees:


It's 70 outside right now! Crazy for almost November.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Crocus goulimyi and shades of Autumn

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”

Douglas Adams

Crocus goulimyi
I'm pretty sure this is subspecies goulimyi but I didn't have time last night to dig around for the label in the fading light. Daylight savings is coming and everyone knows how I feel about that. I'm really trying to cherish these last few days of Autumn where I can get home and take a few pictures of the fall bloomers before the sunset. In a week or so that won't be the case.

Said to grow in Olive groves in the Peloponnese region of Greece, this one is a strong grower here in Western Oregon, needing very little care other than a well drained soil and a dry summer rest period. I'll have to move some out to the rock garden as this patch has nicely filled it's spot in the raised bed and needs dividing. Interestingly enough there is the remnants of an olive orchard on my drive down to Keizer Rapids Park where I sometimes go for work related field trips. I don't know that it was ever a hugely profitable endeavor here in Oregon to grow Olives but I did notice they had some fruit hanging the last time I drove by. Anyway, it stands to be stated you can grow both Olives and Crocus goulimyi here in Oregon.

Crocus banaticus
So I've been getting home every evening and going straight to the raised beds trying to get a pic of the Crocus banaticus open, but lately I've been getting home when this portion of raised bed has gotten shaded out, they have mostly closed up. I'm hoping they stay up until this weekend so I can get some actual camera shots and not just the quick phone shots.

Probably one of the nicest fall weeks I can ever remember in recent memory, it's been in the high 60's every day this week, sometimes a thick fog is hanging around for the morning commute but it's been mostly gone by the time the sun starts earnestly cresting over the Cascade range. It's really showcased the fall colors well since often times by late October we have been hit by several pineapple express weather systems (fast moving pacific fronts that shoot up out of the mid Pacific carrying what the weatherman love to call "atmospheric rivers" of moisture and often accompanied by windfields strong enough to denude the fall foliage this time of year. But this year, despite a system or two over the last few weeks it's been so amazingly beautiful. Last night you could walk around in a t-shirt until well after dark. 



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Crocus thomasii

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. "Thomas A. Edison

So much of growing plants and especially plants well outside of the native range or habitat, is learning what doesn't work. There is the classic mantra "I killed that plant a dozen times or more before I really figured out how to grow it". Maybe that's one of the things that keeps people motivated to be a better gardener, most success comes from learning from mistakes, correcting them and moving on. 

Crocus thomasii
 The saffron production continues with C. thomasii doing it's thing, An Adriatic coastal species said to grow on thin, stony soils in scrub habitat. Mine has done very well in a raised bed, with mostly pumice and some occasional top dressings of composted cow manure.
Crocus thomasii fading colors in the late autumn light.

Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes'
The fall colors are really just starting in, but you can see the little white puffballs of mushrooms emerging now as the temperatures have dropped consistently into the low 40's over night. I have to upgrade the temperature unit for the greenhouse, as the remote sensor wont talk to my indoor unit anymore.



Monday, October 16, 2017

Crocus kotschyanus

"Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it"

Mark Twain

My god, does nothing in politics really change in this world? Some people say it's a missatributed quote to Mr. Twain, not sure that it really matters, it's poignant today, especially if you drop the wonder, and smart people out of it, Essentially we are left with it's all a put on and the world is run by Imbeciles.

Crocus kotschyanus 'Reliant'
 This one gets described as almost "weedy", I find that a bit of a stretch, while it is a vigorous grower, that tends to migrate around the garden, it's hard to call anything with the delicate lilac flowers and wonderful golden ring centers weedy. Especially when they peak into bloom as the frost is trying to find it's way into the valley. Speaking of which, I had a little ice on the windshield this morning and I noticed that some of the summer squash had melted into black goo over the weekend, it was certainly chilly, but I guess I didn't get up early enough to see any actual frost. Certainly not the big killing frost yet, but with the snow piling up in the mountains, I'm sure it's not far off.
Crocus kotshcyanus 'Reliant'
I don't know the full story on the selection 'Reliant" but it's aptly named. I notice this one spreading around much of the bulb frames and some of the spent bulb soil piles

Another weekend, where I had a huge list of fall projects to tackle and I barely touched them. Oh Well, it was beautiful and I made the most of the weather which was cool but dry. Got to start winterizing the hose bibs and irrigation valves soon though. 

Rain coming this week. 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tears of rage, tears of grief

"The size of a misfortune is not determinable by an outsider's measurement of it but only by the measurements applied to it by the person specially affected by it. The king's lost crown is a vast matter to the king but of no consequence to the child. The lost toy is a great matter to the child but in the king's eyes it is not a thing to break the heart about."
Mark Twain

Deeply saddened to learn some family members suffered terrible losses of homes and possession's in the fires that raged through Santa Rosa, California this weekend, nothing that I can write can make it better or ease any suffering. Glad that no one got badly hurt, and knowing the constitution of the California family members, they will rebuild bigger and better then before.

Crocus cartwrightianus 'Marcel'
The autumn crocus species bloom progresses, the rain is returning this afternoon, so while I moved a few of the pots into the greenhouse to get them to open a bit better, I wasn't able to get much in the way of photo's because they seemed to want to stay closed. I did manage to get a pretty good video of the honey bees absolutely destroying a Crocus mathewii plant for whatever pollen or nectar it could provide. I think they know that winter is coming.

More seasonal color 

Lows in the 40's, and partly cloudy with rain in the forecast.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Sternergia sicula and the harvest season

"The secret of life is to let every segment of it produce its own yield at its own pace. Every period has something new to teach us. The harvest of youth is achievement; the harvest of middle-age is perspective; the harvest of age is wisdom; the harvest of life is serenity."
Joan D. Chittister

Sternbergia sicula
Did you know this species has been studied for it's antimicrobial and antifungal properties? I wish I could access the scientific journal it's published in, but unfortunately, you have to have a paid subscription to access that sort of knowledge. Sad really, that the world has been so capitalized, marketed, monopolized, bought, sold and traded on the stock exchange that now you can't get science unless you pay for it. 
Sorry to the beautiful plant for using it as a vehicle for a rant, but I really did want to find out how effective it is as an antifungal agent, and how someone thought to test it?

Sternbergia sicula grows on limestone hills, from Greece, Italy and into Turkey. Said to require a warm site, I always wonder what they mean when they say that? Warm in Greece is different than warm in Oregon. Again, science and access for everyone. 

The harvest season is in full swing now, These are the days of fine eating. Fresh bounty everyday just a short walk across the yard. October, if it stays warm and dry has to be one of our most bountiful months in Oregon.. The salmon are swimming into the rivers in large numbers. The bow and arrow are slung by the door for afterwork pursuits in search of venison in the woods down by the creek where I grew up and the chill in the air, adds just a tinge of urgency to those autumn pursuits of game, and the preservation of this years harvest.

Warm days ahead, 70's for the day and 40's for the nights, perfect autumn weather for the harvest season.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Colchicum psaridis

"The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach."

 Henry Beston

Colchicum psaridis,
This one is said to grow on open, stony hillsides from Southern Greece to Turkey. It's one of the smaller species and I could see it as a rock dweller far more than a meadow or woodland species for sure due to its habit. 

This was new to me, the flower in the middle has formed a propagative appendage in place of the Anthers and other flowery reproductive bits. I've seen a lot of Alliums do this but never saw a Colchicum do it.

Back to the rainy pattern more typical of fall, I busted butt last night and go the harvestable honey frames pulled out of the hives, just ahead of the cooler weather and 5 day run of rain forecasted to hit. That was an achievement that felt really good. I'm running a bit behind on my fall garden prep. Still needing to get a bunch of stuff done in the vegetable garden, I have grapes to harvest that this rain is going to mess with. But the honey capture did sure take a load off. Hopefully able to shake this stupid head cold by the weekend and get some productivity done.

Rain and showers with highs in the low 60's and high 40's over night. 


Monday, September 25, 2017

Garden Scenes

“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”

Ray Bradbury

A mix of  the fall blooming Colchicums as we hit the Autumnal equinox

The kiddo has had to read a bunch of Ray Bradbury lately as she started her freshman year in high school. I guess it's been awhile for me now, as I don't remember many of the stories she tells. It's something to hear her talk about how amazing all his ideas were and to imagine they were written in the 1950's!

Glad her teacher is capturing the imagination like that and good to see an inspiring teacher come out of the public school system. 

I'ts apparent I don't really have all that much to say about the flowers on here. I spent a brief few moments of a weekend afternoon trolling through the garden looking at some of the fall Colchicums. So above are a few, there are more starting in by the fence at the entrance to the property now. Most of the excess bulbs have been planted out, although I still have a few bags to go. I have found it makes good science to save some in a bag for as long as possible to see how they store.

The weather man said it was the 3rd driest summer in recorded history, with something like 57 days without a rain drop. And look, the autumn crocus didn't mind a bit!


Friday, September 22, 2017

Colchicum tenorii

An Italian species...if you look closely, in this less than spectacular photo, you can see the charicteristic purple anther crooks.

Can't seem to find much on the internet about the habitat, which is disappointing as I've always liked biotype plantings and true to ecotype companion plantings when possible.

The rain is moving Eastward and warmer weather is in the forecast. Supposed to be back in the 80's by mid week.


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.



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.


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.

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.


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.


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.



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The first of the fall bloomers have arrived-The Shipping season is coming to an end.

Colchicum haynaldii

Grecian species, introduced into cultivation in the 1980's, this one is relatively new to me, I like the relatively compact habit and the very early bloom season of late August.

Catalog Update:

 I am going to wrap up the shipping season by this weekend so please get any last minute orders in by friday. I'll be offering the following discount:

10% off order totals until the shipping season has ended, This Friday the 25th of August. 


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Its totally better than you can even imagine!

It's really hard to to find the words to describe the intensity of a Total Solar Eclipse, I had no idea it would be that amazing. The Pictures don't do it justice and words just can't describe the eerily changing colors as the sun goes away. Then the bright, silver and white light dancing around the rim as the moon totally obscured the sun. 360 degree sunset, I was floored and everyone who witnessed it felt something 

A Total Solar Eclipse from Prospect Hill in South Salem. 

My Uncle Orion set up his Surveyers scope to project an image of the progress.

So the bulb sales are winding down and some of the fall bloomers are starting to come on, I think I'm going to wrap up sales this week. I'll offer 10% off total order discount from now until Friday, the list is updated and there are still a few choice things left.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Specialty Bulb List 2017

SPECIALTY BULB LIST 2017-Shipping has ended for the season, this list is up for reference only-

                This year is a bit of an abbreviated list, as some pressing summer activities I can’t get away from limited my time for the harvest this year. This year I am very pleased to be offering Diana Reeck’s ‘Pacific Sunset’ strain of Erythoniums. As always, I owe a huge thanks to Jane McGary for stock, advice on growing, the wonderful experience of working in her garden, moving rocks and pulling weeds, and imparting so much of her knowledge about specialty bulbs.
 This year has been setting records for heat waves and rainless summer weather. No big surprise after last year’s prologue, where I mentioned heat tolerance and summer drought seem to be the number one selective pressure in the production line these days. Some bulbs are available only in small numbers so get your order in early. I’ll probably be done shipping in 2 weeks at the most, I’ll update the list as stuff sells out.
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.

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 listed below. Often newly potted bulbs need a year to settle in before flowering. All bulbs are priced per single bulb, unless otherwise noted.

Hardiness: It is impossible precisely to predict the winter survival of bulbous plants in a given area. My garden is a notorious frost pocket, and although some of the bulbs are grown in an unheated, open-ended greenhouse, many are grown out in the open in raised frames.  Refer to standard authors such as Martyn Rix and Brian Mathew for guidance, remembering that they refer to gardens in Britain, USDA Zones 8-9. It is wise to cultivate new (and expensive) bulbs under cover until you have enough to risk in the open garden, where not only weather but also predators threaten them. (For details, see Jane McGary’s chapter on "Bulb and Alpine Frames" in Rock Garden Design and Construction, Timber Press, 2003.) Unless otherwise noted all these plants can survive at least a few degrees of frost, provided they have good drainage and the foliage is not wet. In areas with snow cover and/or dry winters, they can survive more cold.

Domestic customers:
Ordering: Please send a list by e-mail. 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 with your shipment, with a Paypal invoice,  so you will receive an invoice in the 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, that cost is $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 30th, 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

Colchicum/Autumn Crocus
Colchicum bivonae Sardinia-Turkey, large, tessellated pink flowers, dramatic. $5 Sold Out
Colchicum montanum I need to point out that when I got this when it was called Colchicum pyrenaicum, and now I believe it may be  Merendera. Either way, it’s a lovely fall bloomer with its flowers borne right at soil level.  Spain and Portugal $4 Sold Out

Crocus mathewii To quote Janus 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 southernTurkey. $7 Sold Out
 Crocus mathewii

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. $6  Sold Out


Erythronium ‘Pacific Sunset’-This is pretty much unreleased genetic material, a fantastic showy strain that clumps up fast!

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.  1 for $7 or 3 for $20

Fritillaria acmopetala 'Dark Form'
Fritillaria acmopetala ‘Dark Form’ Eastern Mediterranean; $6
Fritillaria amana Turkey; a fast increaser, and a good performer in the open garden. $4
F. caucasica

Fritillaria caucasica JJA 85122 The following excerpt is from the Archibalds’ catalog and while the number I have doesn’t match what I can find in the archives, this should give you some idea of the species and its habitat: “Armenia, Aragats range, Kasah river valley. (F. caucasica as a whole is not often seen in cultivation and we have little, if any, material from so far E in the UK. The species supposedly extends from the cold NE corner of Turkey across Transcaucasia into NW Iran. As we know it in Turkey, it is rather a fine thing with quite large, conical, glaucous purple-brown bells but we have not seen this form.)” Dark bells. $6

Fritillaria davisii Short stems, dark pendent bells, increases well. $4
Fritillaria elwesii Beautiful bells with a dusty bloom on the petals. $4
Fritillaria orientalis Caucasus, checkered pendant bells, easy grower. $4
 Fritillaria pontica

Fritillaria pontica Tall, pale green broad pendant bells, easy lg. $4

F. Pudica “Richard Britten”

Fritillaria pudica ‘Richard Britten’ Larger flowered form of our wonderful native species. $7 Sold 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  Sold Out

Geranium macrostylum ‘Talish Tuberous species collected by Janis Ruksans in the Talish Mountains of Northwest Iran. $4
Iris bucharica ‘Conquest’ lovely white and yellow flowers, a strong grower for me in the raised beds, it’s said to be one of the best for the open garden. $8 Sold Out



Narcissus hispanicus ssp. bujei Spain, bright yellow trumpet, fast increaser and tremendous garden subject. $4
Narcissus romieuxii Pale yellow widely flared “hoop petticoat” flowers, early. $4 Sold Out

 Narcissus watieri

Narcissus watieri From the Atlas Mts. of Morocco, beautiful white flowers.  $6
Narcissus wilkommii A deep yellow Jonquilla species with a large corona. $3
Narcissus x gracilis an assumed hybrid between N. jonquilla and N. poeticus, you can’t really go wrong with those parents, right? $3
Narcissus x odorus Hybrid between N. jonquilla and N. psuedonarcissus  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 Sold Out
Scilla mischtschenkoana N. Iran. Large fls, early. $4
Scilla verna For some reason I like to think of this as Europe’s version of the indomitable Camas. $3
Scilla vincentii late, blue or white, small and refined $3
Sternbergia sicula Mediteranean limestone dweller with wonderful yellow fall flowers $5 Sold Out
Tritelia ixiodes ssp. analina California, Sierra Nevada. Very cool yellow-umbel flowers. $4

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.