Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Evening-Scented Stock Indoors
Becky has been growing evening-scented stock for more than the twenty-one years that we have owned our retirement land. When garden space first became available here, she sprinkled seed taken from our village garden. Over most of the two past decades these plants would reliably return year after year. Their recent disappearance was likely the result of an ignorant early weeder clearing a spot that also contained bulbs. In retrospect, the bulbs and the stocks would have grown together quite nicely.
New seed was purchased but nothing grew. These seeds must not be allowed to dry out after they are sown. Our recurring early spring drought probably ended them. For whatever reason nothing but weeds grew where the stock seeds were sown. Never known to be one that gives up, Becky scattered stock seeds when a pea bed was cleared. Three plants appeared but there was insufficient time for masses of flowers to appear.
When frost warnings were broadcast, the decision was made to try and pot up the stock plants. Two of the plants had grown impressive tap roots. They did not respond well to the move to a pot. The third plant had only a shallow but extensive root mass and it took the move in stride. Flowers have finally appeared indoors.
The flowers open after dark at this time of year. Attempts to capture an image with our simple camera were a total disaster. This morning we tried again in daylight. The upper photo shows several green buds that will open soon. One partially open bud will flower and scent tonight. The lowest flower was open last night. Lacking both wind and pollinators, seed from these flowers is unlikely.
The second picture was taken after the plant was moved outside in the relatively warm morning air. Natural light allowed a usable photo capture. Here again, the promise of future flowers appears in tiny buds. From their position on a table in our bedroom, no breeze stirs to fill the air with their captivating fragrance. One must bring their nose close to the flower to enjoy this seasonally incorrect but delightful scent. If this plant lives through the winter we will plant it out in the garden after spring frosts are past. We will also be looking for a place to buy new seed to begin again!