Camassias really are under stated and deserve a place in any managed wild flower meadow, following on nicely from the bluebells. Camassias begin to follow just as other wild flowers emerge complimenting the likes of the wild hawkweed and yellow rattle in shades of yellow and blues, buttercups quickly follow suit with daisies at the foot and cow parsley wavering over head. Setting aside an area for wild flowers is much more than just letting the weeds grow, it is is fact an intensely managed area of any garden that requires fore thought and careful planning. Let the grass grow to long and the effect is lost, allow invasive species to overtake and you loose the precious wild flowers.
Planting a succession of Spring flowering bulbs and corms will help keep your wild flower meadow interesting and under control. Enjoy (winter aconites) Eranthis that emerge in late winter through to the swaying starry blue, Camassia in mid May and all those that flower in between.
Camassias are unaccountably uncommon in gardens in the UK and Ireland. You don’t often see the bulbs for sale in garden centres and they are not common in gardens either. Yet they are easy and beautiful and, should you feel so inclined, they are good cut flowers too.
I think the reason why they don’t get picked up in garden centres is that the the colourful picture on the packs shows blue starry flowers, just like scillas, and potential customers do not realise that they are bigger – much bigger – than scillas. They also bloom about three months later.
But when you can get 20 scillas for a couple of quid but only five camassias for the same price you need to know what they are or have a lot of faith to buy camasias.
It’s a shame because camassias are lovely plants and the few species are all…
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