Tulipa tarda

I write about it now because at this time of year used to repot the bulbs and then water them in mid September.

It is not an oddity this plant, but I like it very much, because it's quite easy to make it happy in a pot also. It has survived even our last dreadful winter when most of our bulbs in pots died. It makes a beautiful display in spring with the many pretty yellow flowers and glossy ribbon-like leaves. And I've just read that it could be also forced in winter. I will try it maybe this time.

Its Hungarian name is 'two colored tulip', which is interesting, because the tepals outside are greenish-grayish, inside bright yellow gradating to white. Well, these are already 4 colors...

The flowers open only for the sake of the Sun, in cloudy weather they are closed. A bulb can produce man flowers, even 8, though I never experienced such an amount.

The scientific name maybe refers to later flowering time compared with some similar tulips (for example Tulipa turkestanica, Tulipa dasystemon), the word tardus meaning late, lazy. 

The flowering time depends much on weather. We saw its flowers sometimes in early April, but this year had this pleasure only in the third part of April and early May. Maybe this is the reason why it can be forced: the temperature depending flowering time. In my experience Tulipa dasystemon bloomed at the end of March irrespectively of the temperature.

Tulipa tarda is distributed in Central-Asia, mostly on the Tien-Shan and lives on stony soils with scarce water in summer. For this reason and also for its dwarf size (20 cm) is a good rock garden plant. I also keep it in stony compost. At flowering time and then until the leaves are dying I give it much water and also liquid feed with K. Potash helps for the next season's bloom. I think in a rock garden it needs no extra feeding. During the summer I keep the bulbs in the compost but without any water. 

I have many bulbs in a not too big pot, to have many flowers and I repot them every August. Beyond the dry outer scales there are usually a big, flowering sized bulb and some smaller ones:

I remove this dry scale and split the bulbs before potting. On the left you can see a flowering sized bulb and on the right a young one which hopefully will flower in two years:

This year's 'crop' is this:

I used to put the bulbs at about 5 cm deep. I give them water at first time in mid september. During the autumn they get some more water because the bulbs make new roots and they must not dry out at this time. In winter the compost is kept relatively dry. Wet soil during winter frost causes de bulb dying. I begin again to water in March.

It is a pity that I don't have a picture with the seed pods. The seeds are papery just like of other plants of the Liliaceae family:

We've got only one single time seeds. It can be propagated also by seeds, in the garden it sows itself.

And finally another picture from this spring, this one made by my husband:


The End of Summer

I hate the end of summer with the inevitably shortening days.
Yesterday afternoon I made a little collection of what is still enjoyable in our little 'garden' .

Looking through the balustrade of the balcony one can see only a green cavalcade:

but there are some colorful things also.

The blue Campanula portenschlagiana is still in bloom and looks pretty good in the neighborhood of the Habranthus robustus:

Cyclamen purpurascens is also flowering even if not so abundantly as a few weeks ago. This one lives in a pot separately, in the shadow of the lime tree showed yesterday. Maybe I should plant it directly in the big pot of the lime.

The Daphne sericea is a very good plant. After the big spring show it had had all summer some sweet little bouquets for us.  And it also grew a lot, I think it will overgrow its pot more rapidly than I expected for...

The Solenostemons I've got as cuttings this Spring in our  Plants Society give also much color but with their leaves.

And those which are not hardy but bloom all summer. Although not all behaved satisfying at me. Here I want to show only the Brachycome, it only fits in this collection with its little daisy-like flowers. It is perennial and I think it would also fit in a rock garden though not hardy here. I grow it in a separate pot, behind it can be seen my miniature garden with Primulas (not in flower at the moment).


The 'Palástál' made in spring looks like this now:

The plants have grown not too much during the Summer but this is not unusual, important is that they look healthy except of Leucanthemopsis alpina, who died. If everything goes well they will do better next year, like the others in the 'Ortlerpot' did in their second year:

I've made this 'Ortlerpot' a year ago and it looks very nice. I hope for flowerpower next spring.

This is a smaller, but deeper pot with another Daphne sericea, Potentilla nitida, Saxifraga x andrewsii and Saxifraga 'Leonardo da Vinci'.

And some other developments:
The white Campanula portenschlagiana cuttings are growing well in a semi-shaded place:

The Campanula raddeana made no seeds. This is only chaff:

Draba parnassica
The seedlings in pots died during Summer. But this one put in a 'crevice' is thriving, it has already a nice cushion:


Repotting Some Seedlings – 1

This is one of my 'to do's at the end of Summer. Those seedlings which grow quite rapidly (for example Cortusa matthioli) were already pricked in May but I do not repot the slower ones in Spring because the coming hot days would kill them. I have already some bad experiences. I prick them out at the end of August when at least the nights are cooler. Yesterday I had only an hour so I repotted only two of the many waiting seedlings.

Hepatica nobilis ssp. americana 

I've got the seeds from Canada in 2008. Part of them germinated in Spring 2009, and some germinated this Spring. The seedlings germinated this Spring look like this now:

And here are a one year old and a new seedling, potted together:

And another one put in the "shade garden":

Last year I did not repot the germinated seedlings at all, so now the "old" (with real leaves) and the "young" (only with cotyledons) seedlings had to be pricked.

Cortusa matthioli 'Alba' 

I've got the seeds last Autumn from Norway.  These were pricked already in Spring but they have grown so much since that that I thought it would be good to put them in larger pots before Winter.

Here is one placed in that "shade garden":

Our "shade garden" is in fact a window box placed under a lime tree (Tilia platyphyllos) which lives in a large pot and makes good shade against the midday sun. Only a Dodecatheon  gets more sun than the others living in the "shade garden". The other inhabitants are: one Cyclamen purpurascens, one Hosta lancifolia 'Minima', one Anemone nemorosa 'Westwell Pink', another older Hepatica nobilis, and now the two newcomers.

In the foreground you can see a Picea glauca 'Conica' who also is protected by the Tilia from the hot.


Seeds and Seed Pods – 5

These two seed pods are not of our own plants. But I hope that the seeds collected will produce our own plants soon.
Both primroses presented here grow in masses in the Eastern Alps and I collected now some seeds for my own purpose which will be sown this Autumn. As I've learned from my own observations the alpine Primula seeds sown too early Autumn will germinate rapidly and the seedlings won't survive the Winter here, without constant snow cover. Thus I usually sow them in late November and they germinate in Spring. From the seeds got from seed exchanges in Spring and sowed, has became anything never yet.

Primula auricula

The half ripened seed pod with its habitat (pict. of my husband, Ferenc Zoltan):

I collected the whole stem and it ripened here in water on the sunny windowsill:

You can see that the pod is longer than the calyces.

Here is a flowering plant on a picture of my darling made in May in the Eisenerzer Alps. In the background the Eisenerzer Reichenstein:

Primula clusiana

The seed pod, also half-ripened:

and ripened:

In contrast to the former species, here the pod is shorter than the calyces. This is an important character for identifying some primroses.
The plant blooms in April-May on the mountains, a little sooner than P. auricula.

You can see more pictures of it HERE.


Summer, Autumn or Spring?

The Cyclamen coum is a spring flowering plant but the leaves appear in Autumn. At this time their young leaves appeared a little earlier than usual, maybe because they live in the same pot with a Hepatica nobilis and therefore they've got a little more water during summer. 


Completely treated

We have a collection of links on gardening theme here in Hungary, named 'Startlap' (= Startpage). I tried to put there my blog, but the redactor of that page refused, saying that, "this subject is already completely treated by the links posted on the Startpage".
Well, I don't think that any gardening subject are completely elaborated in Hungary, but he knows...


Orostachys After Rain

I just liked our Orostachys – possibly furusei with the rainwater drops on it.

THIS book says: The Orostachys iwarenge is native to China and Japan, the Orostachys furusei lives on Hokkaido isle. They are very similar. The O. furusei makes many offsets unlike the O. iwarenge which reproduces itself mostly with seeds.
– Therefore I think that our plant is Orostahys furusei. It makes numberless offshoots every year. –
And: They are good rock garden plants but like neither full sun nor too much water.

It flowers in September-October. I see there are many buds this year. I will show it when time comes.


Lavender in a Pot

Lavender is a trendy plant these days in Hungary but it is cultivated usually in the garden, not in a pot. Having no garden I have been grown it for some years in a 20 cm crock pot. But I have to be very careful, especially with this old plant, to water it regularly, just like every other perennial. 

During dog days it could look rather sad when not watered for a few days. Lavandula angustifolia is drought tolerant in the garden not only because its leaves which are narrow and covered with hair but also because its roots go very deep in the soil and search for every drop of water. Living in a pot they can't apply this strategy of surviving. So I water it every three days. The surplus of water can flow out at the bottom (we live on ground floor :)).

I cut it back every year. In the first two years I made this after flowering, but I lost a plant this way. It did not made any new shoots after cutting, the remaining leaves also died. So, from this failure learning, the other, surviving plant gets a haircut in spring. After flowering I cut only the flower stems. As you can see on this picture, the stems become more and more woody. I think this plant turns too old for a pot and I should give it to somebody to plant it out in a garden.
I learned that it can be easily propagated with cuttings at the end of Summer, maybe I should try it.
I will come back to this subject when time comes for cuttings.