Tuesday November 4, 2008 Helen’s Haven, Red Bed, Crinum ‘Sangria’

Crinum 'Sangria'

Crinum 'Sangria'

Gardening with Confidence ™

The Red Bed



Crinum ‘Sangria’



I tend to like anything old fashion and I particularly like old fashion Southern things, especially plants.  Crinums fall into this category.  As a child in Norfolk, Virginia, I met my first crinum. 


We Yoest weren’t flower gardeners; we grew veggies with a rose or two in the mix.  One day, riding my bike in the neighborhood with my trusty dog, Sport, I saw this lush looking foliage with an exotic flower.  Knocking on the door to ask what it was, the lady said it was an angel lily. Years later, I found out this baby was a crinum, more specifically, a milk-and-wine crinum. 


Jenks Farmer owner of LushLife Nurseries in Columbia, SC www.Lushbulbs@sc.rr.com sold me my first one – ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ and it is now in my back west facing garden called – yep, the Crinum Bed.  Ellen keeps company with many crinums.  I choose ‘Sangria’ to go in my Red Bed because if its name.  I actually have 6 in there…three at the streetscape, and three near the fountain. 


The Red Bed garden is one of my Oasis gardens in my waterwise garden designed.  It’s Oasis not by design, but by necessity.  Since the fountain is there, there is a lot of splash.  The fountain reservoir is refilled with water collected from my rain harvester. I often times forget I’m refilling the reservoir and overfill it.   It is also on the lower side of a slope which seems to stay more moist than the top of my garden (there is a 16 foot change in elevation from the top of the lot to the bottom.)  And it shares the side of my neighbor who has the best looking fescue grass in the all world – really!  It is watered for as often and for as long the City of Raleigh will allow.   As you can imagine, the spray heads are not exact.  The entire south side of Helen’s Haven gets a lot of this yards’ irrigation over spray.


All this water is wasted on crinums though; however, they really don’t care.  All my other crinums are planted in a Xeric Zone.  Most crinums will take whatever you throw at them or none at all.  If this crinum didn’t have these fantastic, lush, red leaves, it would be keeping company with ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ in the Crinum Bed with the other Xerics and be just as happy.


With regards to getting it ready for the winter.  It will take care of itself. You gotta love that!


This photo was not taken in my garden though.  I took this photo near the Roof Garden at the JCRA.  Tim Alderton tells me it has been in for 2 years and this is its first bloom. Three of mine have been in for 1 year, and the other three for 18 months.  Here’s to hoping they will bloom for me in 2009!




  1. tina said

    My first crinum was a passalong from an old time southern gardener. I just love them. Yours is lovely and nice story too.

  2. Thank you Tina. Don’t you just love them? Funny you should mention it as a passalong plant…Felder Rushing writes about them in “Passalong Plants” with Steve Bender…Crinums Never Die. You gotta love that!

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