In the fall, we are cheered by the arrival of bulbs that promise spring again soon. I have not the smallest wish to diminish that candle: it is the fire that warms gardeners through
These bulbs rekindle spring in the garden almost as soon as they are planted: the fall crocuses, the colchicum, winter cyclamen. They are here so briefly, yet planted early (Run, don’t walk) they spread to form admirable clumps in a garden fast fading. Cyclamen & Colchicum are particularly desirable for the beautiful foliage they contribute in spring, but the Fall Crocus: Saffron, Zonatus & others are bee magnets and there is something particularly wonderful about encountering these gold hearted beauties on a day you know to be shorter than the one before.
The entry of snow/spring crocus onto the scene assures us the year has begun. The valiant blooming of fall crocus in the darkening year gives us confidence that the year will turn again. Is there ONE amongst us who couldn’t use a bit more confidence? Autumn bulbs, I say to you. Autumn bulbs.
Fall is also the only time we can buy some quite rare bulbs as bulbs/ dried roots. Chief amongst these are Eremerus (Foxtail Lily). These perennials form tall clusters of blooms in warm colours during early summer. Bought as plants later in the year, they are far too expensive to group, yet it is in groups they are most impressive, though they disappear after blooming. Their massive blooms make for a dramatic cut flower.
They are dear to my heart because of an early miscommunication with my husband which has led them to be renamed with us:
“Oh,” said I “ I’d like to plant these, they grow 7-8 feet tall”
“78 feet tall?” he (incredulous)
“Oh yes” me, mishearing in my turn.
“In ONE season?
“Well, we HAVE to get those!!!”
We soon got it sorted, but ever since, they are known as the 78 foot candles and have warmed the sunny part of all our gardens.