March 5, 2007

Frit's and Acacia's

Acacia pravissima blooms in the cold greenhouse in March

Native to New South Wales, Victoria, Australia, where the seem for this Acacia came from, this lovely acacia with it's unusual triangular evergreen foliage announces spring has arrived at the same time that the Witchhazel 'Arnolds Promise' does, otside the protection of the glass. I have a certain fondness for all Acacia's, they instantly bring me back to my childhood, when my parents would drive to the New England Spring Flower Show, one hour east of us, in Boston. Throughout the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, I would look forward to a particular contributor at the great east-coast flower shows, the famed Stone Family Acacias, an important collection of large-tubbed Acacias, trained and sometimes forced into bloom for spring display. For anyone who ever had the pleasure to see the collection, you know what I mean.

In my own home town of Worcester, MA, the collection was displayed a few time at our own Horticultural Hall. The scent of the primrose yellow clouds drifting over the ferny soft bright green foliage scultped to forms more reminiscent of victorian umbrellas on trunks, than of trees, was simlar to that of baby powder. I imagined that someday, I would have my owen collection of magnificent Acacia trees, and I suppose I do, although the collection consists of three species. Amybe if I win the lottery, then, I would build a greenhouse to meet the requirements for all the plants that I would want to grow! Clearly, i would be an ecentric millionaire!

Hamamellis x. 'Arnolds Promise'
Even though we had 70 deg. F temps in early January, and this shrub started to throw out some color, it all retracted with the cold blast that has stayed with us for 8 weeks. I thought that maybe we lost the blossoms this year, but here they come, although a few weeks later than normal, now. Tomorrow, it is supposed to become fridgid cold again, with wind chills below zero F, but, I expect that this Witchhazel will still burst forth into bloom, as the mild weather catches up. I love the yellow against the snow.

Fritillaria gracea

These poor bulbs we're bought at our local home depot, marked down in November, so I threw them into a pot, along with the other Frits that I keep protected in the greenhouse. My Frit collection is growing, this I may plant out in the garden again, but say, doesn't it look like it has twice the petals than it should? Am I crazy or what?

Fritillaria sewerzowii

Like clockwork, this Frit blooms exactly the same week, every year. Really, quite easy when grown in pots, kept in a cool or cold greenhouse. This was the first Fritillaria that I started growing in pots, which I never let freeze, and keep dry on a bench, inthe greenhouse during the summer...I now have many more species that I am starting to grow this way. They are addictive, because not only are there so many species no available, they are pretty easy to please.

Fritillaria stenanthera

This pale pink Frit is blooming in a broken pot, last year, it's first year with me, it suffered some damage to the blossoms with rot. Expected, since I grow these cool growers in a greenhouse along with all sorts of plants, so the conditions are not ideal, but I try to find micro climates, and move them around to recieve either more sun, colder temps on the stone floor, etc. Easy 'nuff.

1 comment :

  1. What great pictures... I planted some frits this fall, and can't wait to see what they look like when they come up.


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