There’s a house in my town, a beautiful red-brick Victorian with white gingerbread trim. It sits atop a steep hill, with long stairs leading up to the front door. Its yard is a nightmare, a series of steep stretches of grass and, closest to the sidewalk, a garden bed that’s practically perpendicular. Every year, I eye that garden—it’s on my way home from the grocery store—and think how glad I am that my beds are dead flat.
Then midsummer comes, and I’m dumbstruck, because that impossible garden bed becomes a blaze of fire, thanks to the bulbs of crocosmia the owner has planted. Every year, I’m surprised to see them flare up on that hill. And every year, I wish to hell I’d remembered to order some crocosmia bulbs for my own garden. They’re not particularly expensive. But they look much better in person than they do in their photos (like many people I know!). I don’t know why I put off ordering them. Well, yes I do. When the bulb catalogs come, along about this time of year, I get seduced by my old favorites, the lilies and tulips, and since I’m trying to adhere to a budget, there’s no room on my order form or in my garden for more exotic bulbs.
I’m going to change that, though. There are so many under-the-radar summer bulbs that I love—gladiolas, tuberose, tuberous begonias, and the wonderful acidenthera, also known as butterfly gladiolas (more on these in a later post). Crocosmia come in yellow and crimson forms. And I am making a vow, right here and now, that next summer, I’ll have some of their delicate, intricate beauty in my garden. That way, I won’t have to kick myself every time I drive home from the grocery store and say, “Damn! I forgot to get any crocosmia again!”