Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Trillium History--So Good!

 Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A quiet morning on the mountain above Peacham Pond. The sky is rosy pink suggesting rain by nightfall. A zephyr blows from the west, ever so lightly that the maple leaves float up and down but don't make sound. The birds are quiet too for some reason and the bigger animals of the forest, the deer, bear and moose are nowhere to be seen this morning. Karl the Wonder Dog and I had a very nice walk and now back home we wonder how many animals stood motionless and watched us pass. We do not know.

Trilliums in our woods and gardens have long since passed and are in the final stages of forming seed pods.  Trillium erectum up top has big pods and grandiflorum (white), luteum (yellow) and undulatum (pink centered) featured below here all show swelling pods. Trilliums grow easily from seed but the gardener must pay attention to seed pod growth and harvest them before the ants do. Ants are the chief recorded seed dispersal agent of trilliums although I think deer might follow a close second as they probably destroy more trillium populations around the US than disrespectful people do.Trilliums are slow to germinate and take 7 years on average to flower so patience is a requirement.

Occasionally people ask if we sell trilliums. We have sold some but generally do not because they have never been popular enough to warrant the time. I can be convinced to sell some but not right now as we are in the middle of daylily season and things are busy.

Although I cannot share potted trilliums right now, I do want to share a marvelous article written by Cole Burrell. Cole is a great plantsman and I really like his book Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right From The Start (Rodale Press). I have recommended it to many gardeners and have given it as a gift several times. But the article that I think is so special is one that friend Barry Glick just shared. It's Burrell's Obsession and Exploitation: 
The Cultural History of Trillium. Here it is as a pdf file.


I know you'll like it just as much as you would like a swath of pink centered, last blooming Trillium undulatum pictured here as a closing memory.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a loon talks loonish in a noisy voice I can hear from here. Have a great gardening day. Stop and see us! The daylilies remain strong and Gail has some nice late bloomers starting.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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Always here to help you grow your green thumb

1 comment:

Jodi DeLong said...

Thank you for this post on trillium, one of my favourites. Some of them are native to Nova Scotia, but I left behind a collection of both natives and nonnatives when I moved to my current spot. I'm preparing an area for woodland perennials for next spring, and red trillium will be one of the first I plant, because my late husband loved them so.