The colchicum are coming and that could mean that fall is approaching. I say ‘could’ because these “autumn crocus” also come in forms which bloom in the winter and early spring, but most normal people are satisfied with the fall bloomers, and most of the named hybrids with the largest blooms come up at this time of year. I of course am quite the normal person so shouldn’t have been surprised to come across the first clump of Colchicum x byzantinum shrugging off all the rain and coming into full bloom yesterday afternoon. It was inspiring. Instead of sitting on the porch all afternoon thinking about things which should be done, I found a garden fork and started lifting and dividing colchicum clumps.
Less-normal people might listen to experts who know better, and divide their colchicum in early summer after the foliage dies down, but those experts clearly need more tulips to dig and caladiums to transplant because they obviously have too much time on their hands in July. I do it now and even if the bulbs (corms actually) have begun to send out roots it’s not the end of the world to disturb them and get them into the spots which are not yet planted up with colchicum. Actually, as long as I’m confessing faults I might as well admit I’m downright careless with the process and don’t even water in moved bulbs… even if it’s bone dry and fresh roots are sprouting… they don’t seem to mind at all. I wish more plants were as forgiving.
Honestly I far prefer moving them now. It’s instant gratification and you can see how the flowers work with the neighbors, and most importantly you know they’re in a spot where you can see the blooms. A lot can happen between July and September and usually it involves other plants covering the spot where you thought the colchicums would look perfect.
The colchicum bulbs looked great btw so I’m hoping for a good show this fall. Fair warning: you might have to come with me to look at them all in bloom, since a quick review of last year’s posts show less than ten colchicum photos. Unacceptable! I need to refocus on my blog’s tagline of “more than you ever wanted to know about my garden”.
Speaking of ‘more than you wanted to know’, last Christmas I did get the new book on colchicums (titled ‘Colchicum: The Complete Guide’, just in case you’re struggling) and after going through it once last winter, I may now take a refresher weekend to brush up on a few things. I say this to prepare you for all the smart-sounding observations I’ll be peppering my colchicum posts with over the next few weeks, things like why is it ‘x byzantinum’ and not just Colchicum byzantinum… well it’s because the plant is believed to be a hybrid (hence the x) and not a true species, as writing C. byzantinum would indicate. Wow. You’re welcome, and please feel free to correct me as I overconfidently bumble my way through botany.
Hope you have a great weekend!