March 1, 2009

Getting ready for another snowstorm

Gethyllis ciliaris

I've had this rare bulb for two years, but they have remained dormant, until this winter. According to Paul Christian, these should have masses of leaves, spiralled around their length and then spirally arranged. These then, are covered in long white silky hairs on both sides. The flowers are large, pure glistening white and very strongly fragrant.

As with all members of this genus very sharp drainage in an infertile, mineral soil is best.

We received some new pigeons in the mail, after someone read about the 'Sharp-Shinned' Incident last week. Margaret has to inspect every bird that goes into her loft. This one passed.

The species or wild form of the florist cylamen, C. persicum, blooms like crazy in these days which are getting longer every day. The radiant heat of a longer day length, keeps the greenhouse floor warmer, longer, so even when the sun begins to set, the heat causes the glass to fog over, before the furnace turns on. Of course, spring also bring with it Nor'Easter's, we are getting one tonight with 16 inches of new snow expected by tomorrow at noon. Ugh,but with temps dipping near 0 deg, F tomorrow night, we need the snow cover again, to protect any plants that are starting to emerge, such as the snowdrops, Hellebores and the early crocus.

The bees are active again, yesterday the daytime temperatures reached 50 degrees, enough for the bees to go on cleansing flights, the small cup near the door of the hive is full of sugar water, which they can feed off of while the weather continues to shift.

Our Indian Runner Ducks took a run out of their pen today, while I took advantage of the warm weather. As I was spreading manure on the vegetable garden, they ran around, but cautiously remaining in a tight flock, in case Margaret spotted them.

In the rock garden, a mouse, or vole, or something, had made a very nice hole in the wooly thyme. It's so nice to have to ratters like Margaret and Fergus, who rather lay on the bed on the down comforter than chase rodents!

A spiny Acantholimon or 'Prickly Thrift', an alpine plant from Crete, this species which I lost the tag,except the 'Crete' part, is a trough but prickly plant, it is handling the rough weather very nicely.

I repotted one of the Tropaeolum tricolorum into a larger pot ( double potting it actually, as to no disturb the roots and tuber). It seems to really want to climb like crazy, so the trellis will help. native to Chili and Bolivia, this species love to climb, and requires a nice branchy support or a trellis. It grows from a potato-like tuber.


  1. Hey Matt, I'm in rocky Mountain National park,on a mini vacation-hiking and snowshoeing,great weather! gathered some pennstemon seeds,some native maple and an Artemesia...not sure what kind yet..Our regional bee organization is having a fantastic program this next week.I have built two hives and gotten everything ready for some new package bees in April.I felled a bee tree by accident, then tried to make amends by gathering them as best I could and making a makeshift hive box for the winter.It was too late in the season for them, and they were gone by spring. I did try to feed them, but I didn't know what I was doing then, but I got the bug...no pun intended.I've burned a large area for seeding bee and butterfly plants,fortunately I have a lot of nectar plants on my farm already.Good luck with the weather! Brian

  2. Fascinating photographs and I love all your livestock. Hope it doesn't snow too badly. What a winter this has been.

  3. You have a beautiful blog and I enjoyed the photos that you posted. The bird was really pretty. I live near a duck pond and there are giant Canadian geese everywhere.

    It rarely if ever snows in Northern Cal where I live. In fact, I planted some flower seeds today. Hopefully, Spring will visit you too and soon.


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