A Forever Home for the Dwarf Crinum


For the past seven months, the bulbs have been waiting patiently in my Grandfather’s enamel bowl. I chose the beloved bowl because special flowers deserve even a more special home……even if it was only temporary.

The Dwarf Crinum were some of the most prized bulbs I dug up from my house after the flood. I waited for the first frost, when the bulbs were dormant, and I dug the heirloom bulb beauties up. I was not going to take a chance of the bulbs getting lost or forgotten in the mass exodus of bulb digging.

The Dwarf Crinum bulbs were originally given to me by a horticulturalist. The bulbs were growing on their family homestead, and I was thrilled at the prospect of obtaining heirloom “unknowns”. I was even more thrilled with the bulb’s beauty.

Let me give you a visual…..Imagine a small, whimsical, pure white flower that blooms single, double or even quadrupled off a single stem. The petals are delicate and hang down toward the ground, allowing the petite face to look innocently up at the sun. Eyelashes of sweet stamens ordain her loveliness…..and I was completely smitten with my first glance. The bulbs multiplied fast and I took the bulbs for granted. I assumed all heirlooms were tough, old southern brods….I was so naive.

Unfortunately, after the first Winter, I lost all but four bulbs. I was not only ashamed at my bulb-unworthiness, but I was mad at the weather. Texas is NOT supposed to have zero degree temperatures, and if it does, a warning would’ve been nice. Would I have munlched anyhow? Probably not…..but I’ve grown, matured and not willing to lose bulbs to my stubborn “plants should be heirloom-tough” kind of¬†garden pride.

Fast forward to the days after the freeze. I moved the four surviving bulbs to a nicely protected spot near Martha Gonzales Antique Rose. I brought in beautiful compost and mulched like mad. I gave the bulbs my first fruits…..rainwater and gorgeously rich compost. The bulbs were happy and so was I. Each year I checked the progress, and before the flood,¬† the four survivors turned into over 100 beautiful Dwarf Crinum bulbs.

I love all bulbs, but these bulbs are in a category all their own.

Today was planting day., and time for a Forever Home. I finally chose a dappled shade spot between the two large Live Oaks in front of the studio. They now share a garden with Star of Bethlehem and Miss Mary’s Oxblood Lilies (for the full story of Miss Mary’s gardens, Heirloom Gardener Magazine has my full blog entitled Saving the Gardens for Miss Mary). I looked and looked, but nowhere delighted me as much as this sweet little spot, under the shade of century old oaks.

Finding a forever home is a special time. I feel I can relate….

Happy Gardening, my friends!