Monday, March 14, 2011

A fan of freesia

Last fall I planted the double white and double blue (actually more like fuschia) freesia shown here.
I first picked up a pack of mixed freesia bulbs as an impulse purchase from Lowe's about 7 years ago. This was my first year of gardening in the ground, and I had never planted bulbs before. Or much of anything besides herbs in pots. This is the first spring that those original bulbs (a mix of single red, yellow, purple, and white) haven't produced blooms, mostly due to a freeze in February the killed the foliage. They may still bounce back.

When I look at gardens around Austin, I always wonder: why don't more people plant freesia? It's low-maintenance (sometimes I remember to add a little bone meal or compost to the soil, but it still blooms if I forget) and has low water needs. It likes our winters, as long as we don't dip into the 20's for an extended period of time (rare here). A single bloom stalk in a vase makes a dramatic presentation and lasts for days. Plus, the scent is amazing: clean and floral, but not overpowering. Maybe it's just my kind of flower, but I highly recommend planting a few.


RBell said...

Freesias have been on my 'Gotta Get' list for quite a while - just haven't yet made the plunge. Doesn't their foliage go dormant in the summer?

Amy said...

Yep, their summer appearance is probably their downside. Once they're established, the foliage comes out in fall, looks nice and green all winter, then blooms just after the daffodils. I give them a while with dead-looking foliage in the summer, then remove it.