Friday, December 11, 2009

"Dangerous Pleasures"

Being a fragrant plant lover, I just could not resist the catalog description of tuberose.  I know I live in zone 4 and Polianthes tuberose is from Mexico, but I succumbed to temptation anyway.  That was last year.  I started with 5 bulbs.  By frost there were just 3 plants to bring inside.  The plant never died back and we planted it outside again this year when the danger of frost had passed.  Now it's back in the house.  Green growth has filled the pot to be sure, but I want flowers!

Every book on fragrant flowers mentions tuberose.  The fragrance is called enchanting,curiously strange. It has been called the sweetest flower and said to cast a spell.   In Dr. Jeffries book on the meaning of flowers published in 1893 the tuberose means "dangerous pleasures."  Just what do you suppose dangerous pleasures consisted of in 1893?  I guess I should stop reading about this plant, it's making me green with envy of gardeners who live where this plant will bloom easily.  But how can I stop?  I want desperately to know how to get my tuberose to bloom.

It has never died back. There's no way it can go outside in April.  Probably about June 1 we plan to plant the clump right in front of the house in our warmest bed.  Maybe we need some kind of temporary greenhouse to place over it when it gets too cool.  We have to try.  I'm not giving up easily on this plant.  It's way too intriguing.

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