Monday, April 5, 2010

Corydalis solida naturalised in a lawn

A few years ago we were travelling in Nova Scotia in early May and drove through the town of Wolfville. One of the most spectacular "lawns" I have ever seen was there, an enormous sheet of pinky purple, a colour I immediately guessed as the product of thousands of plants of Corydalis solida. It was the first time I had seen this species used this way and resolved to starting planting some of this Corydalis in our own lawn.

For a few years, Corydalis solida was available cheaply in the fall as prepacked tubers, and I purchase two packages to try them in our lawn. They are great bulbs to use for this purpose, they emerge very early and as soon as they finish flowering and setting seed they go dormant and dissappear entirely, usually long before I have any intention of mowing the lawn. In fact, my luck with these naturalized in the lawn is far better than my track record in growing them in the garden, where their early dormancy means I usually forget that they are they and dig them up inadvertently.

A few years ago I also planted some plants of a bright red flowering cultivar of Corydalis solida cv "George Baker" which has also done well with this treatment. The site I chose for these plants is a little leaner than for the others and I have to fertilize them once a year to keep them expanding, otherwise they get no care at all.

Other plants we have planted in the lawn include Scilla sibirica, Narcissus, Galanthus nivalis, Dodecatheon hendersonii, Frittalaria pudica, Muscari fragrans,

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