Saturday, September 14, 2013

Colchicum Season

Colchicums with Nolina nelsoniis in my front border

Closeup of colchicum patch
     As I wrote last year here, I have been spreading colchicums around my garden at Froggy Bottom and this year the display has been magnificent. I mentioned in that previous post that one good place to put colchicums is under and around spiky plants such as Nolinas, Dasylirions, and Yuccas.  In the picture above you can see how good they look with the bluish pink of the flower contrasting with the bluish green of the Nolina foliage.  If I were still going to be gardening at Froggy Bottom, I would continue the spreading of these colchicums around these plants so that the entire front border would be a sea of colchicum flowers in late August and early September.  Wouldn't that be a spectacle!
     I have also found that another good companion plant for colchicums is the California Poppy, particularly the orange ones. In another bed where I have both plants growing, the Colchicums appear interlaced with the frothy texture of the Californai poppy while the orange of the bloom makes a nice color combo with the electric pink of the colchicums.  I should mention that these were poppies which had their main bloom period earlier in the spring and which I cut back more than a month ago.  Now they are having a second flush of bloom.  I love that bright orange/electric pink color combo even though I have read books which claim that such a combo is a no-no for "tasteful" gardeners.  Those kind of gardeners are the ones who adore white gardens, so I don't give much credence to their views.
     I should also mention that these colchicums are growing in a part of my garden that (1) is frequented by deer, and (2) is never watered, yet you can see that they do not suffer from either condition.


  1. I'm wondering how soon colchicums will settle into your new garden and bloom like this. And I'm with you on color, the stronger the better.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Denise. Colchicums take several years to bulk up like they are in the picture, so I would expect to get a show like this in 3 or 4 years after planting. I still have a lot of work to do to prepare the soil for planting in my new garden.