May 16, 2007

Squill and friends

When I hear the word "squill", it evokes in me images of something vaguely unpleasant, perhaps squirmy and slug-like. Fortunately, the pretty little spring flowers so named are much more pleasant to look at. They are known as good naturalizers but I do believe I'll help nature along by ordering an extra set of bulbs this fall. You can't have too many of these little beauties.

Scilla siberica
This is Siberian squill, or Scilla siberica. The vibrant blue is a welcome jolt of colour in a spring garden, and blue marries so nicely with almost any other colour that might be popping up. Some people grow these in their lawns, but I find that they are still going strong by the time the first mowing is due, so I prefer to leave them in the flower beds where they can continue unmolested.

Puschkinia libanotica
Striped squill are lovely little white flowers striped with pale blue, which gives them an almost ethereal quality. They flopped over a bit in my back yard, probably from insufficient sunlight. I'll try to find them a slightly sunnier spot. Still, they were a joy.

As you may suspect, these are not the freshest of pictures. I'm running a bit behind here, and most of my squill have finished blooming especially in the front, where spring comes a bit sooner.

Some of you are wondering (those of you who actually read titles): but what about the friends? Here they are:

Minnow daffodils
Minnow is a mini daffodil that hasn't really captured my heart. Many of them didn't bloom for me, and I found the colour uninspiring. In a close-up, it doesn't look bad. In the garden, it looked washed out. This one is not joining my must-have list.

Anemone blanda
Squirrels appear to be very attracted to Anemone blanda bulbs. Last year not a single one came up. Being a bear for punishment, I tried again, and this time about half of them survived the loving attentions of the tree rodents. I love the brilliant white, especially next to the deep purple blooms of the hyacinth you can see off to the left. I do hope it succeeds in spreading.

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Gardenista said...

What is the lovely deep bluish-purple flower to the left of the Anemone? Is it a hyacinth? Looks lovely whatever it is. I can't grow those nice big fragrant hyacinths - just not hardy to this area. Too bad. I wonder about the anemones?

Janet said...

Gardenista, yes that's a hyacinth. It's actually a deeper colour than that - a very rich royal purple.

I'm not sure what zone you're in, so I don't know if the anemones would work for you. Different sources give different hardiness ratings, so it's hard to say. They're not expensive, so order a few and see if they work for you.

Pat said...

You have beautiful photographs! Enjoyed browsng your site. I especially love blue flowers, the bluer the better. Pat

Janet said...

Ah blue! The most elusive of flower colours. Most of what flower and seed catalogues call blue is some shade of purple. But Siberian squill is a genuine blue. The only other real blue I get in my garden is forget-me-nots and Siberian bugloss. Of course, both of those are a paler sky blue.

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downriver said...

that's a real nice flower. it's pleasure to visit u'r blog. i fell the nature came to my face.

Janet said...

Thank you, Downriver. :o)

Susan said...

Lovely flowers!! Thanks for the article I love your writing

Janet said...

Thanks, Susan. :o)

geos said...

beautiful flowers

Janet said...

The anemones have been flourishing I'm pleased to say, so much so I just dug some up and relocated them. The squirrels have taken a liking to biting off the flowerbuds on the hyacinths though, which frustrates me. The upside is that all the energy goes into the bulb, so the first year they remain unmolested I should have fantastic blooms!

Stupid squirrels.

Striped squills are on special in this year's Botanus catalogue, so I'll be ordering a large batch. :o) And they'll go in every corner I can stick them, so I'll find out where they're really happy.