Like many another gardener, I find myself longing for plants that won't grow in my climate. Since I contended for years with heavy soil and too much shade, I have a backlist of plants requiring full sun and well-drained soil.
So here I am with full sun and, I hope, reasonably porous soil. And it is autumn. I have long promised myself to have a go at Iris bukharica if I ever had a drier garden site.
So the first I. bukharica bulbs are in the ground here. I missed photographing the bulbs so am substituting a digital sketch... oh, well! They are rather distinctive bulbs with their pale, yellow-tinged surface and fleshy roots.
Planting instructions that came with the package recommended a spacing of seven inches. I checked on the RHS website and found a recommedation of .1m, or about 4 inches. I opted to use the closer spacing, partly to have a denser look and partly to allow for my misgivings about the plants' capacity to flourish here. It takes some getting used to - the idea of growing much of anything in the ground here! However, I have hopes for my little I. bukharicas; and who knows, if they grow well, I may attempt some of the other Aril irises!
Also in the order was a half dozen Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum arabicum) bulbs. I did manage to photograph these...
They went in at about the same spacing as the irises. I have never grown any of the ornithogalum species before and am looking forward to seeing them in my garden for the first time. But for now, I have buried six bulbs some 4 inches deep in Arizona soil and will have to wait...
One of the more nerve-wracking elements in all of this is the question of how moist to keep the soil. I find it a little more retentive than I had assumed. I used less soil amendment with the bulbs because I discovered that instead of buying woodland mulch, I have now purchased nice manure - twice! But that's another story. In the meantime, I am hoping drainage will be all right. Time will tell!