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Bells of Ireland

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Seeded 20 1 1/2" blocks with Bells of Ireland, after giving them a couple of weeks of freezer temps* as recommended in growing guides. With any luck, they'll eventually each put out a dozen or so tall stalks with stiff green flowers.

They're such unusual flowers that I'm giving them one more year of trials even though they have been increasingly affected by a fungal infection, Cercospora Leaf Spot. I've read that the disease is carried on the seeds, but it also probably winters over in soil and plant debris. I'm going to try planting in a new location this season to see if I can get a good crop.

A small amount of leaf spot disease isn't a huge problem because I usually remove most of the leaves. Which is not much fun, because they have little thorns hidden between the flowers. Oh, and the scent when you have buckets of them in one place is...strong.

Also seeded Feathertops (Pennisetum villosum), Veronicastrum 'Alba', 'Magic Fountains' Delphinium, and a few row of Zinnias that are intended for the hoophouse. Yesterday Rich transplanted 50 Stock 'Katz Mix' and a few cress plants that I'm growing for their wispy seed shoots, and dragged a long hose down to the hoophouse so that I could water without lugging 5 gallon buckets.

Of course it's still snowing, and a low of 14F is predicted for the next two nights.

*I used to keep all of my seeds in the freezer, well wrapped, figuring that the seed stock is kept frozen in the seed bank in Svalbard, but they were taking up too much space and our cellar is relatively cool so they got shifted out of the deep freeze.


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