Colchicum - decoration of the autumn garden
Summer is short in Siberia. So the day began to shrink - the sun rolled towards winter. Before you have time to look back, the autumn rains will wash away the water color of summer and nature will scrawl an engraving of the winter landscape with its cold chisel.
The last flowers will fade: asters, phloxes, chrysanthemums ... And only in defiance of the time will the surprisingly delicate mauve-lilac large flowers of the plant, which is called the crocus plant, bloom.
This is the Russian name for a perennial corm plant, and its botanical name is Kolkhikum (Colchicum) comes from the Greek name Colchis - the historical region of Western Georgia, where these plants are still found in the mountains. They also grow in the Mediterranean and Western Asia. There are 65 species of them in the world. In the CIS countries (mainly in Georgia and Armenia), 12 species are found. Some have been introduced into the culture.
I'll tell you about the most beautiful of them. It is called that - a magnificent crochet (Colchicum speciosum)... The development cycle of this plant is very unusual. Large unequal corms with scarious dark brown scales hibernate in the soil.
In early spring, 5-6 large wide-elliptic folded leaves grow, similar to the leaves of hellebore. They die off in July. For a month and a half, the bulbs are at rest. Then they take root and flowers appear in September - 6-8 for each plant. They are very large: up to 20 cm high, funnel-bell-shaped corolla up to 8 cm long and in diameter. They bloom for about a month. It happens that the first snow puffs on them, then it melts, and they all bloom and blossom ... And another year, and under the snow, they leave in bloom. It would seem that this is a mistake of nature. Why should a plant bloom if the seeds do not have time to ripen? But the fact of the matter is that the seeds ripen next year!
The biological characteristics of the development of this plant also dictate the requirements for agricultural technology. The bulbs are transplanted during the dormant period - in August. They are planted at a depth of 10-15 cm with an interval of 15 cm in an open or semi-shady place. The soil needs nutritious, good moisture retention and air permeability - preferably loamy with the addition of humus or compost. For rapid root growth, abundant flowering and successful overwintering, it is necessary to dig in 1 liter can of wood ash and a tablespoon of superphosphate per 1 square meter for digging.
Colchicum is magnificent - a very frost-resistant plant that hibernates in Siberia without any shelter. At first glance, it may seem strange that the plant, whose homeland is the Caucasus, endures Siberian frosts. But do not forget that in the mountains, where croplands grow, winters are very harsh, and the snow lies until May.
In the spring, at the beginning of the regrowth of leaves, fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers gives a good effect. This contributes to the formation of large leaves, on which the growth of new corms depends; out of one, 2-3 new ones grow annually. In the axils of the leaves there is a capsule with dark brown round seeds. In one place, the crocus is not grown for longer than 4-5 years, since the plants become cramped, the flowers and corms become smaller.
Colchicum is a classic decoration of rockeries and rock gardens. The look, like a magnet, is attracted to the group plantings of crocus on the lawn. Colchicum flowers are excellent not only in the garden, but also in a bouquet. In a low wide vase, together with the greens of evergreen periwinkle, or saxifrage (mossy, turfy, etc.), or legume, they will extend the summer in your room for two to three weeks.
Sometimes, you come to the garden to make the final preparations for winter ... And winter has already bound the pond, threw a thin snow net over the branches of the trees, and carries the talkative summer into a maelstrom of white silence. But you look under the apple tree, and there a thin blanket of snow puffs up, and from under its folds the crocus flowers are knocking out, and like a living fontanelle rumble in silence ... And you believe that this is not forever, that winter has only primed the canvas for a new landscape. That there will be another spring, nature will dip its brushes in thawed streams, and again, for the umpteenth time, will revive it with enchanting colors ...
To everyone who wants to extend the summer in their garden, I will gladly send seeds and corms of pink-lilac and white crocus flowers. Look for them on the site sem-ot-anis.narod.ru, or contact me at tel. +7 913-8518-103, Gennady Anisimov, Tomsk
Gennady Anisimov, Tomsk
Colchicums can be propagated by seed and by dividing bulb nests. The latter are sometimes formed in very large quantities and take all the strength, which leads to a lack of flowering. If your croppers have not bloomed at the end of the season, this is a sure sign of the need for separation. The best time for him is July, immediately after the complete withering away of the aboveground part. The corms are slightly dried and do not put them away for storage, but are planted immediately.
Colchicum hybrid. © Irenicrhonda
Colchicum plants obtained from seeds bloom after 5-7 years. Seeds are sown after harvest, fresh, in June or July, while seedlings will appear only a year later in the spring. This method is only suitable for wild growing colchicum.
This is a truly mesmerizing decoration for your fall garden. One and, perhaps, most importantly, you should remember that if you opted for this plant - know that all parts of it contain the strong poison colchicine, try not to plant the crocus in places where children can play.
In our gardens, only a few species of unpretentious colchicum (colchicum) are grown - and all of them, as I said above, contain the potent poison colchicine, which in turn prevents cell division.
Almost immediately after planting the corms in July or August, the plant produces flowers similar to something like a crocus, at the end of flowering, the flowers disappear, and in the spring only foliage appears and fruits with seeds are formed.
There are several types of colchicum:
Autumn crocus is the most common species, its height is 10-25 cm in height and flowers are purple. Prefers slightly moist soil. (There are varieties with white double and pink flowers).
Colchicum Byzantine - only 10 cm high, small purple-pink flowers appear from August to September in armfuls of up to 12 pieces each.
Colchicum Cilician - came to us from Turkey, its height is up to 30cm, lilac-pink flowers form very large stars.
Colchicum Bornmüller - originally from the Caucasus and up to 20 cm high, its large flowers appear at the end of September in armfuls of 50 pieces each. They have the shape of a cup and are lilac in color with a white bottom. The variety with white flowers is very rare.
Hybrids - their main difference is their large flowers, mainly lilac and with various shades of this color.
Since basically all varieties bloom in the fall, this, in my opinion, should revive the autumn garden. It can be planted on the edge of shrub thickets or on a lawn; in a rock garden, colchicum flowers will color the autumn landscape.
It will not be difficult for you to choose a composition - try planting a crocus with cereals: gray fescue or Anatolian sesleria. Try adding autumn purple crocuses or sunny yellow sternbergia to enhance the crocus flowers.
The main thing is to buy Colchicum corms in July or August, large, healthy and strong. We do not take those that are soft or twisted or small corms to the touch and are also covered with mold. It can be planted both in sunny places and in light partial shade; in deep shade, flowering weakens. The soil should be rich in humus and permeable. The most popular local species, among other things, still prefers wet places, and the rest rather dry places.
For planting, a hole 15 cm deep will be enough for us, and the width depends on the number of corms planted. At the bottom of the hole we pour a mixture of earth (compost and fertilizer) into it, we lightly press our corms with the tops up, observe the distance between the plants 5-20cm. Cover the corms with the remaining mixture of earth, and gently crush the earth with your palms. Water liberally and then mulch the soil with crushed leaves to trap moisture in the ground. After the crocus has faded and leaves appear in the spring - and so they can be removed only with complete wilting and yellowing - of course, in a natural way.
If you want to decorate your terraces and balconies with crocus, you can plant crocus corms in pots, but they grow best when they are not touched.
This unpretentious and disease-resistant plant can be subject to a raid of slugs - as always, we collect them with handles, with a large raid of these comrades, the flowering may weaken. The main thing is to use gloves and take care of yourself. Good luck to you.
Phacelia tansy - a plant belonging to the family not so often heard by the ear - Vodolistnikov. It grows in an annual form, is distinguished by a fast growing season, absolute unpretentiousness in relation to soils, resistance to low temperatures and a fairly long flowering. That is why it is so often recommended for cultivation as a green manure.
And also due to the fact that phacelia can be a predecessor for absolutely any crop, it can be sown throughout the spring-summer-autumn season, plant vegetables on it and collect a large amount of green mass. Having a shallow root system, phacelia loosens the soil to a depth of 20 cm, improving its structure and air permeability. For a month and a half, the volume of its aboveground mass reaches about 300 kg per 100 sq. m, which is nutritionally equivalent to 300 kg of manure.
Phacelia californica (Phacelia californica). © David A. Hofmann
But these are not all the advantages of such an interesting culture. Phacelia has the highest phytosanitary properties. It is recommended to sow it where it is necessary to disinfect the soil from spores of fungal and infectious diseases, destroy the nematode, drive out the wireworm, scare off locusts, aphids, pea weevils, leaf rollers and moths, attract pollinating insects, and retain moisture. It has been noticed that vegetables planted along the phacelia do not get sick, grow faster and do not give empty flowers!
However, the unique properties of phacelia do not end there either. A culture sown on acidic soils changes their acidity towards neutral, which in turn affects not only its fertile qualities, but also stops the spread of a number of weeds.
Do-it-yourself decorative flower bed in a flower garden in the form of a palette
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Cute plant - crocus
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Rudbeckia color in autumn
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First aid for colchicum poisoning
Activated carbon is prescribed (2-3 tablespoons in 0.5 liters of water), followed by washing the stomach with a 0.1% solution of potassium permanganate.
Drinking plenty of water, milk. In the future, the introduction of isotonic sodium chloride solution (up to 1 liter subcutaneously), glucose (10 ml of a 20-40% solution intravenously or a 5% solution subcutaneously) is shown. When breathing is impaired with cyanosis, oxygen is prescribed. And rather to the hospital.