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The Blues on the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! It’s a great holiday, parades, picnics, pyrotechnics. What’s not to like?

Of course, you can get the blues on the 4th of July-but in a good way, in the garden. Two bulbs must be ordered for your garden because they are indispensable and you cannot have too many of either one. First, let me introduce, Brodiaea corrina:

A side view showing coloration of Brodiaea corrina

A side view showing coloration of Brodiaea corrina

Isn’t she beautiful? I can’t pronounce her name worth a damn (I call her “Corrina”), but these 2″ funnels of blue with darker blue midveins can be planted anywhere in your garden and you will be so pleased with yourself that you’ll glow all day with nary a depressing thought until the evening news comes on.

Then, to keep “Corinna” company, order yourself scads of Allium azureum, aka The Blue of the Heavens, introduced in 1830. A true blue that is so blue that even a pink flamingo turns into a blue flamingo in its company:

Allium azurum: globes of true blue color

Allium azurum: globes of true blue color

Both are available through mail order from John Scheepers, Inc. Order today and thank me next July 4th!#

That Little Blue Flower From Siberia. Or Not.

scilla-siberica

Isn’t this a lovely spring scene? And in looking at it, the “Queen of the Arcane” (as my friend Patti calls me) thought, “Ah, Scilla siberica”. Great name—fun to say—but I wonder. Did  it really originate in Siberia as its name implies?

This ridiculous question led me straight to Wikipedia, which let me know that I was barking up the wrong tree, so to speak, by thinking “Siberia”. Not even close. This little blue beauty is Persian, wouldn’t you know, with forays north into Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Which means it comes from a slice of the world north and south along the Volga River. Check it out—nothing to do with Siberia whatsoever.

map-siberia

But wait, there’s more! The Queen of the Arcane has an additional geography lesson based on that cute blue flower.  According to Wikipedia, there are 80 different species of Scilla. In addition to our little Siberian impersonator, several others have confusing geographies. For example, there’s Scilla mesopotamica, which seems geographically this.close to Siberica. This.close means they’re probably the same damn plant. And even more confusing? Scilla peruviana.  From Peru, right? Except that it’s called the Portugese squill by some and the Cuban Lily by others. Peru? Portugal? Cuba? Which is it? Maybe these Scilla botanists are simply as geographically challenged as most Americans.

But then there are my personal favorite species: the Scilla flaccidula and even better, Scilla haemorrhoidalis. So what countries do they come from? Or, put another way, what countries actually want to claim those two as natives?

SEND ME GREAT PHOTOS OF LARGE CARPETS OF SCILLA and don’t forget to say WHERE you took the photo… presumably not in Siberia!