I think February is sleeping in. The days are getting longer, but it seems so slow. Standing at the Kitchen sink, staring out the window at the drizzle, I let out a squeal. Hot pink blooms at the base of the apple tree! I’m saved! Happy dance.
Cyclamen coum shouts for me to come outside and play. I drop everything to grab the camera. Kneeling down on the soggy lawn, I fumble for the Close Up setting. The rain dribbles down my neck, but I don’t care. Blooms! I see blooms!
For such a tiny flower, it packs a punch.
I mean, snowdrops are lovely but are demure, unassuming white flowers. Cyclamen coum are bright, exotic, FEISTY flowers. Round 1 goes to c. coum.
In round 2 c. coum throws a low blow to my gut. It’s a little more pricey than my usual comfort zone, especially considering that it comes in such a tiny pot. But determined to have real color in the winter garden, I stayed strong & paid the price.
In round 3 I struggled with where to showcase the winter bloomer. I keep the little bed under the apple tree empty – mostly because I read somewhere that certain bugs climb up tall plants as a way to get high into the apple tree & infect the fruit. I don’t know whether that’s really true, but it gives me a clear spot, visible from inside, for the cyclamen to show off. Good thinking, eh?
C. coum are so small that they could easily be lost under a pile of leaf debris, so in round 4 I get busy & do the winter clean up chores.
Their speckled round leafs started to show in October. By mid-January, c. coum had minuscule, bright fuchsia buds. I often found myself outside cheering them on. It took a few extra weeks for their flowers to open. That entertainment value won them round 5.
So now, I’m on my knees with the camera, looking a bit foolish, but happy. I’m head over heels. How many more rounds to go? None, round 6 is a simple knock out.
Cyclamen coum have got to be my all-time favorites – EVER. 🙂
Hardy Cyclamen is more often known as a fall bloomer. Most varieties start in August and some continue through November. There are lovely examples growing in Abkhazi Garden.
Cyclamen hederifolium (with ivy shaped leaves) is a bully & overruns many of the other varieties. There are several small patches around our yard, but I’m being ever so careful about placing each variety separately and not too close together.
On a positive note, C. hderifolium’s flowers seem to appear magically out of nowhere, and the leaves show up weeks later. That’s kind of cool, for a bully.
Cyclamen are well suited as a rockery plant, too. I’m happy to have success with some rooting well into the steep mossy rock in our side yard. My hope is that it’s tough to mix varieties when they’re each growing in their own crevice.
Garden gurus Carole & Bill Dancer have lovely masses of hardy cyclamen flowering throughout their garden beds at this time of year. Bill says the cyclamen spread effortlessly. He chuckles that the ants do the work. They happily move the sticky seeds around for him. My guess is the ants are just as susceptible to this February romance as I am.