Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A plateful of cyclamen, with regret

One of the five, old cyclamen tubers I got from Marian. They all were over 20 cm/ 8 inches in diameter and almost 10 cm/4 inches high, with leaves and flowers sprouting from the top.

Sometimes I just want to kick myself, and hard. Why? Well, two years ago, I got five old, large Cyclamen hederifolium tubers from Marian, a wonderfully talented gardener in my neighborhood who I met briefly just before she moved and left her amazing garden behind. Very fond of cyclamen of any kind, I planted them like delighted squirrel under a weeping old Japanese maple in front of our bedroom window, where I thought I would be able to enjoy their delicate and nodding flowers first thing on drizzly autumn mornings.

A baby tuber beside the old lady; cyclamen thrive in the mild climate of Pacific Northwest and naturalize easily in gardens here.

Last summer I got help with some of the Sisyphean task of weeding this garden. But only now, waiting for some flowers to emerge, did I notice that these hard-handed young guys hadn't cared much of what had stuck into their rakes. They had pulled off four of the five of my cyclamen tubers from the ground and apparently disposed them into the compost bin of their big truck. So now I only have this old lady left, together with a sore conscience for my own laziness. I mean, if you don't do all of your own gardening (which is fine when things get too tedious), how difficult is it at least to mark plants that are dormant? None of that 'everybody makes mistakes' compassion will do today, I'm full pure and clear regret.

Flowers and leaves sprout from woody stems called "floral trunks" on the top of old tubers. They eventually form showy mats of tiny flowers, preferably under large trees.


Ruben said...

Just det, märka ut bör man! Jag tänkte gå en runda nu på hösten och märka ut åtminstone de viktigaste plantorna. Men, tanke är en sak - handling en annan! Varför är det så svårt att komma till skott när det gäller just detta?

Ha det gott!

James said...

What a terrible thing to happen. I've honestly never seen cyclamen tubers that large before! Are they even remotely salvageable or have they almost definitely been killed to death?

Gardener in the Distance said...

You're being too hard on yourself, Liisa. If the gardeners you hired don't have the sense to ask about something they're not sure of, they shouldn't be chucking it out. It's not like cyclamen are a rarity.

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Ruben, just det där att komma till skott är nog nyckeln... Nu är en sommar över igen, och mycket blev ogjort. Men nu har jag lärt min läxa om att märka plantor, i alla fall!

MMH - they took the whole lot with them, so there is no hope. It is such a pity, I loved those big, old ladies!

Faisal, I agree with you about them asking, I'm so surprised they didn't. And even if cyclamen are not a rarity, for me the big old tubers were a living link to a gardener and garden that I loved and appreciated, and therefore invaluable... lesson learned, I hope.