Day 129: camassias

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year

Icy blue  Camassia cusickii

Icy blue Camassia cusickii

May is camassia time, and if you’re lucky enough to live near a garden where they’ve been planted en masse, you’re in for a treat. While there might just be an argument for enjoying a single snowdrop or bluebell, the prettier cousin of your kitchen garden asparagus really is better experienced in large number, where the individual spikes of star-shaped flowers in blue or white merge into a haze. If you’re a bit clever, like the folk at RHS Wisley, you can plant different varieties to extend the season from early May right into June – the early flowering Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii being relieved of duty half way through by Camassia cusickii. They like a moist soil and can be naturalised in grass – but as with many bulbs in grass, be prepared to put up with the leaves long after the flowers have gone. It’s the price you pay for a glorious transition from spring to summer. 

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.