Last year I ordered and planted two yellow stargrass plants (Hypoxis hirsuta). Although the books/references say they should do well in dry sunny conditions (among others; it seems to be pretty adaptable), they didn’t do great in the dry, sunny area I put them in. It didn’t help that something came along and ate the leaves (probably the accursed rabbits). I put jars over them to protect them from future snacking and made sure to water them regularly, hoping to nurse them through.

While I was firtling around with them, one tiny corm came loose, so I potted it up as a sort of insurance. Come last winter, the pot went in the garage along with all the other overwintering containers. As usual, those protected plants emerged much earlier in the season than their outdoor counterparts and that included the baby stargrass. Much to my surprise, it flowered.

Again, the books and references all say it has six tepals and anthers. The first flower on this one produced eight tepals and eight anthers. Other flowers from this plants have produced either six or eight parts. Interesting. Anyway, my insurance strategy seems to have paid off, because thus far it looks as if only one of the two original plants survived.

Hypoxis hirsuta 1This is the first flower.

Hypoxis hirsuta 2And here is the plant a week or more later, with both types of flowers. Some spent flowers can be seen at the back. And no, I did not pull off two petals and anthers from the bloom on the left.

Let’s see…what else. I dethatched the lawn today – it’s amazing how much stuff comes out of a little bit of lawn. Most of the year’s vegetables have been sown or pricked out by now; all that’s left are the potatoes, corn, and sugar beets (another new crop to experiment with this year).

I also experimented with taking some cuttings from the purple-flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus). Perhaps spring wasn’t the best time to prune it – some of the cut stems bled a lot. It’s anyone’s guess whether any of the cutting will take. All of the roses seem to have come through winter well, and shock horror, all the the camassias (Camassia quamash) have survived too. They took so long to sprout and seemed so meagre last year that I had serious doubts about them.

Also, I went to Richters Herbs with some colleagues and picked up quite a few things to extend the herb collection with. Oh, and I had an impulse buy of ‘Black Walnut’ gladiolas.