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Spring Star Flower is a welcome surprise in the garden

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog ipheon 0401Ipheion uniflorum 'Rolf Fiedler' is a wonderful spring surprise. We all long for blue in the garden. Photo by Doug Oster

Two days of warm temperatures brought a surprise to the garden.

Ipheion uniflorum 'Rolf Fiedler' is an early spring bloomer with star shaped leaves and the most beautiful blue color.

The plants are tiny, only four inches tall and the blooms are sweetly scented. The foliage smells like garlic when crushed.

The bulbs were planted two seasons ago during the fall.

So why are they a surprise?

At the end of the planting season, in December, I'll buy what bulbs are left at the nurseries at a deep discount. This is how I can justify experimenting with something like 'Rolf Fiedler.'

Since it's something I've never grown before, when it does sprout I have to go back to my garden journal and figure out what I planted. There are hundreds of bulbs put in the ground at the end of the season in my garden. It's always a race to get them in before the ground freezes solid.

The ipheion will expand to create a colony in a few years, mine are already multiplying. I've got them planted in a narrow bed right next to the house. The soil is a little warmer there and bulbs like the space as it dries out in the summer.

I hate to keep harping on this point, but this is the time of the year to begin planning for fall bulb planting. Seeing where more early bulbs need to be planted when the time is right.

If you make your plans now, maybe you'll be surprised next spring too.

 

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