Friday, June 09, 2006

Sweet peas and siculum

The flower I have had most questions about this year is Siculum, also known as Nectaroscordum bulgaricum, it is classed with alliums in bulb catalogues and flowers at the same time as Allium "Purple Sensation", with us this is last week in May, 1st week in June.
The flower is like a candelabra of hanging bell shaped flowers in those subtle sludgy pinks and olives that you also get in fritillaries. It grows on a sturdy wind resistant stem, about 80-100 cm tall. I have pictured the flower in amongst a froth of sweet rocket which is an excellent flower to mix with it in a vase - largely because, while it may look wonderfully architectural on its own it develops a strong oniony smell. This can be reduced by changing the water every day, or by putting a teaspoon of bleach into the vase. The other option is to mix it with something like the rocket which is sweetly scented. Sweet rocket's scent develops in the evening - I was picking buckets of it late last night after the heat had dropped - and the smell of cloves was intoxicating. We are intending to put a bench againstthe west facing wall of the greenhouse so that we can watch thesun set over the mountains. I think that I shall plant up the area either side with clouds of white sweet rocket.
The other photo is of a rapidly emptying bucket of sweet peas - taken just to celebrate being able to pick a whole bucket of them.

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