Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A fleeting fancy...but was it worth the effort?

There are lots of things in life which, despite long periods of effort or waiting, are handsomely rewarded by the final results, making the whole thing worth it.  As of this week, the crinums I planted in pots in the spring are a bit of an open question in this regard.  They didn't show any signs of life through May and most of June, and I actually thought they'd succumbed to the wet spring and simply mouldered away.  But with a little heat at the beginning of July, a few signs of green started to emerge from the impressively large bulbs.  Finally in mid-August, one of the four bulbs that I planted started to venture forth with a single stem of flower buds.  Last Sunday, the buds quite literally swelled up like balloons (an impressive sight, which I was too busy to pay much attention to, let alone photograph) and on Monday, right on cue for my dinner with the Diva & her husband, the flowers were fully open and adorning my patio.  And I must admit, I was quite proud of them!

Crinum powellii Alba

Out of four crinum bulbs planted, only one has thrown up any flowers as of August 24

Now, and here's the rub, by the time I came home from work on Tuesday evening, thinking that I'd finally have time to enjoy their beauty, and the fragrance that I had read about.....they had already gone past, and only some sad, brown and wilting petals remained.  Now, I have carefully watered and fed them, as have my friends and deputies,  for weeks, so this is no fault of general diligence and care.  Perhaps with even more diligence, and feeding and watering for the rest of this season, I can fatten up the bulbs to get a more spectacular and lasting show next year.   BUT, given the tiny proportions of my yard, I really must pose myself the question of whether it's worth the effort, or should I move onwards and upwards with a new choice for next year.  How about a nice agapanthus?  I've always loved them, and saw them in abundance and doing quite well, thank you very much, in Scotland.  Any thoughts?

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