HELEN LANG: Flowering plant likes to take over

Unsual flower, crocosmia, could be called an invasive species if it wasn't so beautiful

As you read this I may be in Cedar visiting my brother, Herb, who got me started growing allium.

He had such a beautiful one in his garden and I was jealous. “I want one too,” I exclaimed. Now I have several; two entirely different varieties which have amazing flowers.

I have five large, dried blooms in a big vase in a place of honour in the living room, where they may be admired for their interesting shapes. Not quite the same as a bowl of flowers, but unusual and, I think, attractive.

A flower you don’t often see any more (I’m surprised that they aren’t more popular) is called crocosmia. It was formerly named montbretia – I wonder why they keep changing the name? Anyway, a friend has an area that has been full of bloom other years, but is pretty barren this year. She wonders why?

A guess on my part is that they are starving, having depleted all the nourishment in that particular spot. They are great multipliers. I once had them in a bed which they decided was ‘their’ home, and everyone else better move along. If they weren’t so attractive I’d call them an invasive species.

Give yours a generous dose of 15-30-15 this fall and another in early spring and I think you’ll be rewarded with masses of flowers.

You also might consider digging up the corms and re-planting only some of them, giving the rest to someone who has lots of room with very little in it. They won’t have to feel unloved after a year or two.

One of my cousins has sent me a magazine clipping showing pictures and talking about gardening in raised beds on the roof of a condominium. I love the idea, but feel it would be a dangerous practice here. I live on the top floor of my building and the idea of a ton of soil just above my head somehow doesn’t appeal to me, especially as we live in an earthquake zone, and this place isn’t exactly new.

Thanks, but  no thanks. I think I better stick with my pots, and cut down on my farming.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s gardening columnist for more than 30 years.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian Tire Fix-A-Heart campaign raises more than $75,000 for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Donations will help purchase infusion pumps for cardiac care units

Traffic delays: Saturday work added to Highway 1 construction schedule

Work continues on dangerous stretch between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway

VIDEO: James Bay wolf released into wild of western Vancouver Island

Conservation officers confirm wolf is from Discovery Island

Peninsula Panthers’ Josh Lingard scores four against Kerry Park Islanders

Lingard and teammates narrowly lose all-star game 7-6 in sudden death overtime

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

VIDEO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

North Saanich woman convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read