January 13, 2007

Winter (ish) arrives

Romulea bulbocodium
The first Romulea to bloom this winter, is R. bulbocodium. Grown from seed, they we're surprsingly easy. The Narth American Rock Garden Society seed exchange often offers many species, and I was inspired by fellow gardener Roy Herald to try some, besides, he shared a decent collection which he started from NARGS seed. Now, I can't seem to get enough of these South African corms. The Brit's grow them for exhibition in bulb pans, and they make an extraordianry disply when grown tightly, but some of the images that I found on line, especially some magnificent specimens grown by Jim Almond in the UK, show that one likely must pot a few hundren corms in a pot to get a decent show. I have four. But at least, all four bloomed this year, and are slowly dividing, since I started with two last year!

Romulea bulbocodium from seed

The color is a nice grape-soda purple, but seems to be impossible to photograph well, either because of my camera setting, or the winter light, or maybe both.

At least the heating bills for the greenhouse have been infrequent. With all of the talk in the news, about the snows in the western US, and our record warmth in the east, we've probable had enough of the prognastication. Today, it became cold. So cold, that the glass on the greenhouse frosted over. In typical years, I bubblewrap the glass, but this year, since I was traveling the entire month of October, I missed my deadline for wrapping it. Now, I will take my chances that it will continue to be moderately cold.

Narcissus romieuxii Ex 'Julia Jane' in home made pot
This week, I can focus on this blog again, at least for a few days, since the first manuscript for my book was sent to my editor, which gives mee a weekend to breath, but only a bit, because my job is heating up with other deadlines due next week. Oh how I wish I had time to work on pottery, a gardening book maybe, and other projects, but then again, I lvoe my day job, but it is does suck up time and energy. When I look at accomplishments this past year, creative directing four DVD's for Paramount Home Entertainment, a musical touring stage show for My Little Pony LIVE, writing a book on design, concepting a few feature film concepts, editor for the PRimrose Journal (which I have had to cut back on), and this blog, I guess there is no wonder why I have little time. Why is it that as we get older, time and becomes so precious? Oh yeah, my book is a design/innovation book, for graphic designers and marketers, on design trends and influence, not a gardening book - the later will come someday, perhaps.

A Draba Lasiocarpa, from seed, tests a few blossoms in the alpine house. This high elevation alpine is in the cabbage/mustard family, and when you look at it's cruiciform blossom, you can clearly see the connection. This is one family where the flowers generally look the same, it's the plant itself whose characteristics define it.


  1. I love that tiny little narcissus. I found your blog via www.coldclimategardening.com. I'm coming back to learn more about unusual plants.

  2. Hmm. Think you should get the bubble wrap up. You have such lovely plants, it'd be terrible to stress them if/when the temps plunge.

    I was surprised your book isn't on greenhouse gardening. I think you should definately think about one, your plants will illustrate it nicely. And the fact that they are small and sparce is good, so the beginner will know what to expect. Full and lush is for years on down the road, right?

    I love growing from seed but I'm not a greenhouse gardener yet. Your delicate little beauties charm me, though... and if ever I have opportunity, a greenhouse will happen!

    Meanwhile, I am collecting tiny plants that I can put up in hypertufa and keep out doors... Hosta cats eye is my starter plant for that endeavor. Love the little guys!


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