Saturday 22 October 2016

Fall Flowers in Vancouver

The Fall of 2016 marked the first full season I've had with Fall blooming bulbs in the ground, as I had bought many of them in the Fall of 2015. One I bought was a bust - Crocus zonatus - which I heard was virused anyways. I tried that in both the Vancouver garden and at Inukshuk, as it was reported to be very hardy. It did not come up in either garden.

Anyway, in Vancouver, Cyclamen hederifolium led the charge, starting to bloom even before the end of July. Colchicum autumnale came at the end of August and into September. I discussed these in a recent post. Crocus followed, starting in late September, and in addition to the Cyclamen, I think this is a genus I could really get interested in!

This is was sold as Crocus cartwrightianus by a very reputable mail order nursery, but it looks like C. speciosus. September 26.

More of that so-called Crocus cartwrightianus.

Crocus pulchellus in the scree garden on September 26.

Another Crocus pulchellus. Seems to do okay in pure Sechelt Sand.

This is Crocus sativus, aka Saffron. The anthers are used as that very expensive spice. This did not bloom till early October and disappears quickly.

Crocus speciosus on October 20 between rainshowers.

Crocus ochroleucus also o October 20, suffering a bit from slug damage. Still, I love these last two.

One more of Crocus ochroleucus.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

25km Round-Trip Hike to Mt. Frosty

On September 10, 2016, I visited E.C. Manning Provincial Park with Mike Kintgen, Curator of Alpine Collections at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The original plan was to follow directions given to us that should have directed us to a population of Lewisia tweedyi. If one discounts a single plant that appears to have been planted near Manning Park's Cascade Lookout, this is Canada's only native population of this stunning species. We did follow the directions, as best we could. Alas, it appears we strayed... Anyway, in addition to the Lewisia, we also hoped to see Larix lyallii (Alpine Larch) on that day. There came a point along the trail where we knew we were too high to see the Lewisia, but in hindsight it was the right decision to keep on climbing because eventually we reached the elevations required to find the Larix (about 1800m). Along with the Larix came the spectacular views of the Cascades pictured below. And we managed to make a few seed collections.

Mike taking in the incredible scenery looking Southeast towards the Pasayten Wilderness and the U.S border.

I am getting used to seeing Mike "at home" near to or above the treeline.

Beautiful Castilleja parviflora v. albida

Castilleja rhexifolia? And Valeriana sitchensis.

Mike and an outstanding view.

Finally, something we were really hoping to see: Larix lyallii or Alpine Larch.

Larix lyallii. I did not manage to collect seed :(

Not a bad spot for lunch!

Lupinus arcticus? I did manage to find seed.

Oh yeah, that view again.

Lots of little creeks and early Fall mushrooms closer to the Manning Park Resort.

Earlier in the day, we visited Sumallo Grove,near the West Gate of Manning Park, where Mike saw gigantic specimens of Thuja plicata, Tsuga mertensiana and Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Rhododendron macrophyllum just a couple of kilometres East of Sumallo Grove.

Morning on the Sumallo River.

Monday 5 September 2016

Early Fall in Vancouver

Well I haven't posted anything for months, and much has happened (but suffice to say 2016 hasn't been a great year). Seems ironic that with the onset of Fall, I'm saying "here's to new beginnings".

August and early September in Vancouver seems the time for "not much" other than Cyclamen and Fall flowering bulbs. This is my first year with Cyclamen hederifolium - two white ones from the naturalized population in Victoria, and one young pink flowering plant that I bought or won from the Alpine Garden Club of BC. I can't remember....

Cyclamen hederifolium from the naturalized population in Victoria.

Another Cyclamen hederifolium from the naturalized population in Victoria. I hot these as gifts from folks in the Victoria Rock and Alpine Gardening Society.

Cyclamen hederifolium I bought or won from the Alpine Garden Club of BC.

Colchicum autumnale I won or bought from the Alpine Garden Club of BC.

Same Colchicum - and there are more on the way.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Abies Myth Debunked

In early January, a couple of hikes on neighbours' properties revealed a number of Abies lasiocarpa that I didn't even know were there. Embarrassingly, one is not more than 150 feet from my main rock garden - in fact you can see the garden from the base of the tree!

More importantly, the trees I have found have been on sloped sites and flat sites, and in both full sun and shade. Recall that in September, 2015, I reported that these trees only seemed to grow at the base of North-facing slopes in full shade (the name of the blog entry was "What Will I Find, Where the Sun Don't Shine"). Well that is apparently not the case.

It's amazing what I learn when I open my eyes and look around!

Abies lasiocarpa (on the right) on an East facing hillside about 400m from the house.

Another abies lasiocarpa on an East facing hillside about 400m from the house.

Close-up of the foliage. This one is in full afternoon sun.

I think this is the same one. At any rate, A. lasiocarpa at the same site

Abies lasiocarpa (on the left) on an East facing hillside about 400m from the house.

This one is spitting distance from the house! I have walked right by it on several occasions, and failed to notice!

Close-up of that one's foliage.