Tag Archives: shade and drought tolerant

Meadow Blooms 2 – Chionodoxa

Chionodoxa - Glory of Snow near Dunlop House
photo by SVSeekins

In March a couple of years ago I started noticing patches of tiny blue flowers along the roads of older neighborhoods.  Here were flowers flourishing in areas that hadn’t been manicured for a very long time.

I soon realized these blooming meadows are the naturalized dreams of gardeners past. I’m charmed by that romance.

It turns out these hardy bloomers are Glory of Snow, or, if you like unpronounceable names: Chionodoxa,      Try to say that easily the first time around! 🙂

Glory of Snow originated in Turkey & Greece – along the Mediterranean.  I’ve heard southern Vancouver Island compared to a Mediterranean rain forest, so it makes sense these plants survive well here.  What surprises me more is that they’re hardy to zone 4!  They can withstand a whole lot more cold. Do these grow in your neck of the woods??

Chionodoxa - Glory of Snow in rock crevice
photo by SVSeekins

Aside from naturalizing well, these plants are also valuable to me because they’re:

  • winter blooming
  • drought tolerant 
  • low maintenance

Once planted, just leave them to their own devices.  How great is that?  I’ve even seen them surviving in shallow crevices of rocky outcroppings.

Chionodoxa - Glory of Snow meadow behind Dunlop House
photo by SVSeekins

They seem perfectly happy in lawns, too, although I’ll bet they do better if the grass isn’t cut until late April when they’re done for the season.  That would mean it’s more of a meadow than a lawn.  C wouldn’t go for that.  He likes lush, but trim.  That’s why I’ve added Glory of Snow as under-story plantings in our shrub border instead.

The best patch I’ve ever come across is around Dunlop House Restaurant, a heritage building on the grounds of Camosun College, and the facility of their Hospitality Management Program.  C’s mum took us there for supper the other night.  The meal was lovely, and the meadow: spectacular!

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

P.S.  Here’s some other meadow faves:

Nix the Lawn

The lush green symmetry of a well-tended lawn is something I can appreciate.  But I can’t be bothered fussing with it myself.

Just down the road our neighbors have a teeny tiny front yard.  They chose something other than the classic square of grass.  There’s something artistic about it that really appeals to me.

checkerboard yard
photo by SVSeekins

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© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

Flower Count – day 2 – bergenia

In some ways I should like bergenia more than I do.   It has good traits that usually rank high in my books.

bergenia - pig squeak
photo by SVSeekins

Evergreen
Winter flowering
Drought tolerant
Low maintenance
Inexpensive
Hardy to zone 4
Shade tolerant

I do celebrate the blooms when they arrive.

This year I realised that the deer celebrate those blooms, too.   Hmmmm.  No wonder the bloom time seemed so short. Deer don’t seem to snack on the fleshy leafs, so the patches survive.

bergenia - elephant ears
photo by SVSeekins

Elephant ears is a common name for this plant.   Kinda makes sense because of the large, rounded plant material.

Pig Squeak is another nick name.  Apparently it makes a noise when rubbing the turgid leafs, but I’ve never noticed.

In other gardens I’ve been impressed with a occasional lovely display of colourful foliage, or strikingly large blooms.  Perhaps those were other cultivars than the one in our yard.

In mid-summer the patches look kind of ratty, and I don’t really care for that.  C doesn’t like them much either, so we don’t pay them much attention.

I reckon bergenia does a fair job as a ground cover in really tough spots of the yard.  For now they’re safe.  There are higher priority areas around the garden.    That is until I somehow find some horticultural treasure that would suit that space better.

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2012.

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