|Scilla aristidis up close. This tiny, slightly tender Scilla species from Greece does fine in a bulb pan in the |
greenhouse. Plus, the fact that it blooms in the middle of January when it is below zero outside beyond the
glass, makes it even better.
|Tropaeolum x tenuirostre a rare natural occurring cross of two species from Bolivia|
Under glass, winter can still bring many flowers, mostly from the species that would typically be growing in the Southern Hemisphere. South African bulbs and South American tubers bring most of the color during January. The tiny, vining tuberous Tropaeolum species ( Nasturtium, really), are starting to bloom again - this year, much earlier than any year in the past.
|Tropaeolum x tenuirostre climbing on a Japanese maple branch. I do need to find a nicer way to display these small, vining tuberous nasturtiums. Nice wire, or a small, bamboo grid may do it. Time to get my crafty skills|
going -maybe this weekend.
|They are SO nice, that I have to share another view - Lachenalia bulbifera, always the first of the South African Cape Hyacinths to bloom in my collection.|
All that is often needed for many primula seed are first mixing the tiny seeds into slightly moistened sand, placed in a plastic zip lock bag, and then exposing the seed mixture first to warm temps 64º - 72º F for 2-4 weeks, then move the baggies to the fridge where temps are kept 25º - 39º for 4-6 weeks. After this treatment, you can sow the sand with the seed on the surface of a sterile mix, and place the pots either in a cold frame, cold greenhouse or best yet - outside, as they now perform best if exposed to temperatures which are 41º - 54º F.
I know, at this point you are probably thinking that this is just too difficult, but allow me to simplify things. You can just sow your refrigerated seed in pots, and set them outdoors in late February to receive snow, and freezing temps, as long as it stays above 20º. The melting snow will help the seeds germinate ( hormones and temperatures have close relationships, as do temperature shifts from day and night, and naturally occurring hormones).
|A Clivia Cyrtanthiflora group, a cross of ours, blooms with its long, tubular blossom.|
|Common Redpolls visited our thistle feeder today.|
|Lastly, the undulating petals of a Nerine undulata dancing in the January sunshine before the evening shade causes the glass to frost over for the night, in the greenhouse.|
|The pups discover the remains of the Chinese cabbage, frozen solid, but it's both something to gnaw on, and something to eat. So much for those winter pansy's in the same bed.|
|I yelled at them from the deck, and even at their young age, they know how to act guilty.|