It tried — to be a Rose —
And failed — and all the Summer laughed —
But just before the Snows
That ravished all the Hill —
And Summer hid her Forehead —
And Mockery — was still —
The Tyrian would not come
Until the North — invoke it —
Creator — Shall I — bloom?
I was not certain what it even looked like until a few years ago. The Missus and I were out on a walk at the sister-in-law's cottage several years ago, when I spied a bright blue flower on the side of the road that I had never seen before. Silly and unthinking me, I picked it and took it back to the cottage.
When I got home, I did an internet search - I was getting a little suspicious that perhaps I had found a bottle gentian. A search of Google images brought up pages of the same little flower that I had sitting in a vase on the table. Of course my guilt was not assuaged by the dire warning accompanying these photos that indicate the plant is somewhat endangered and rare. For a couple more years I searched the same area, looking for proof that I hadn't killed the last of a species in that particular habitat - no luck.
Enter Act II. We purchased our new home, in 2008, complete with 17 wonderful wild accompanying acres of bush, swamp and clearings (slowly returning to nature). As well there is about four acres of clearing that is home to the local hydro-line. Whilst walking this area that first August, I came across a few bright blue flowers - bottle gentians! I was as excited as most people would have been if they had just panned a one pound gold nugget from their property. In addition, I also discovered a similar coloured flower in the same vicinity, but with a completely different form. A quick internet search showed me, I was the proud owner of the habitat of not only bottle gentians, but also fringed gentians - think two gold bricks.
Later that fall I carefully harvested the seed pods from a couple of these plants. That winter I germinated the seed. It germinated readily but produced the tiniest little plants - looked more like moss than anything. They were extremely delicate, and I lost most before they ever reached the great out doors. I transplanted them into larger pots and kept them in a row in my garden for the first year. The next spring I had two viable plants, that I set into my perennial beds. Below is the stronger plant of the two. Don't you agree it is a plant worthy of the perennial bed - great form and that amazing blue colour, that is so illusive in domesticated plants.
|Upon inspection of our property this fall, this is the only wild specimen I could locate - the area is just getting too grown up with small trees, and I think gentians do not like competition.|
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.