This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Forelock and Bletilla

Here's a humurous Allium that I had never seen before. It is sold under the name 'Forelock,' and I think it's just beginning to develop into its potential -- if the plant grows according to plan, the flowers on top will extend vertically to produce an unruly tuft "looking a bit like Tom Hank's buddy Wilson in the movie Castaway," according to the catalog promise. An updated picture to come . .

I paid big bucks for this hardy orchid from Asia named Bletilla striata. After I put it in the ground, I never saw it again, but at least one Ann Arbor resident is doing fine with it. She has two patches. The one in the shadier spot seems healthier, whereas the flowers are somewhat bleached in the patch that receives more exposure to the sun. That's a tip for you all.

The Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is a non-smelly Allium relative that spreads so aggressively that many people may shy away from planting anything in the genus. There are some good ones, though. O. magnum, for example, grows to 3' or so, sports nice white flowers, and mixes well in the perennial bed without being a nuisance. This species, along with the Allium above, is available for cheap from While you're shopping check out as well.

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