Friday, 27 May 2011

The crocus question

Last Autumn, Fall, whatever you want to call it was a difficult one. When I set out prepping my flower beds for the winter I found my price lily bulbs had been eaten by squirrels. The dratted animals had burrowed under the soil and eaten the bulbs while the foliage was still standing. I never thought that they could do that. I am not quite over the disappointment of losing my beautiful yellow lilies. Eventually I will, but not there yet.

Anyways, this is not my story of my lilies, but my crocus bulbs. I was very anxious after planting them because at least on a couple of occasions I noticed the darned squirrels going right to patch I had worked on as soon as I came inside the house. So the entire time I was planting I was looking over my shoulder. Rather sad, don't you think? Perhaps its funnier than it is sad.

Fortunately the bulbs had almost all survived the squirrels. I was thrilled to see the first of them come out. But here's what I can't find an answer to - while all the bulbs bloomed purple, just a few turned out striped and only on the one bed. It was not a mix of the striped and purple ones all over the garden. How does that happen? Does the colour of the bloom depend on soil pH, amount of sunlight, or the other bulbs in the same bed?

I have been wondering about this because the gladioli bulbs I put in one year expecting a mix of vibrant colours all turned out yellow. I learned, thankfully before I blamed the vendor, that soil pH is a huge determinant of the colour of the bloom.

It will be interesting to see how the crocuses turn out next year! 

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