|One of the three Irish histrioides x winogradowii hybrids, Iris histrioides x 'Finola' is lovely with white falls that have blue streaks. You already know of it's sister (or cousin?) the more infamous 'Katherine Hodgkin'.|
As much of the United States enjoys a bit of warm, spring-like weather ( record breaking 65 degrees here today!), I still can't believe that it is already the end of February. Is it a cliche to say things like "where did this winter go?" or is it just a jinx-worth statement? Peas can be planted any day now if this keeps up, and although I love do love me a good, snowy winter, I think I'm good.
If I tell you why I seem to have taken a few weeks off from writing you'll laugh. I am so self-conscious about my 'casual' or 'conversational' writing style, that I bought a writing program and signed up for an app called Grammarly that would help me. Over the past few weeks, I've written at least 10 posts, then saved them all as drafts - as I keep editing, and editing, and editing and editing, and then re-writing. I somehow lost my timing.
The result is that I lost my momentum - my natural rhythm which was quite simple. Taking pictures and writing that just followed whatever the pictures required. I know that it can seem random, and I had some concerns that after ten years things begin to repeat, but the truth is, each year is different in some way, as most who garden, know.
|I'm not kidding! Here is a snippet of my post feed with unfinished posts. I think I just need to relax a bit|
Remember all of those Dutch bulbs that I potted up and stashed under the greenhouse benches last October? Well, they are all blooming. It's funny (or sad?) that as we grow older, time passes much for quickly, for October seemed as if it was yesterday. That phenomenon does have me investing more in things like forced bulbs which seemed to take forever when I was a 12 year old, and often became discouraging.
|Iris reticulata 'Harmony' is a rich violet with the most classic if to cliche of falls - the sort that kindergarteners draw with crayons when ever they are asked to draw an Iris reticulata. (well, hey - at least, the sort I drew!).|
Here in New England, weather February can be fickle. OK, it can be fickle most any month of the year, but one notices such difference on those fringe months. February can keep us deep under 5 feet of snow (as in the past two years) with witch hazels waiting to bloom until March or even April, or they can burst into bloom during the first week of February.
|Hamamelis x 'Arnold's Promise' nearly fully open before the end of February. It's our 'groundhog', and a reliable sign that spring is near.|
This year, I would say that it's pretty average, as our Hamamelis x 'Arnold's Promise' has unfurled its golden threads today, and since it is nearly the end of February, the 65 degree. F temperature (even with a foot of snow still on the ground) is welcome.
|Another sure sign of spring - Leek and onion seedlings in the greenhouse! I am using cell trays this year to avoid transplanting and damaging roots.|
|Usually the hybrid lachenalia bloom earlier as well, but this year, the species (these are all aloides - group) look as if they are a bit earlier than all the rest, but they all should share some bloom time on the benches.|
|Oh 'Margaret Davis', you are indeed the queen of the Camellia world. If you were a Dahlia, you would be 'A.C. Ben.' (meaning that you are always a crowd pleaser and a good doer. And you win all the shows.).|
|This may be Tropaeolum brachyceras, or a cross. It's another tuberous form from the Andes that a reader sent me but I the flowers are still immature. In a few weeks with the brighter sun, these should open more.|
|I feel as if I repeat this sequence of blooming plants year after year! But here you go. The darling and sweetest of all of the Ornithogalums - the alpine house favorite O. fimbriatum. Low, tiny and it blooms for a long time.|
|Our rescue dog 'Bob' came to stay here from France- he needs a good home!|
Why he was named "Bob" in France, I have no idea. We do call him 'Robert' more than we do Bob, tough. I you know of anyone worthy of such a sweet rescue, contact me and I can put you in touch with the folks here in the Mid West who are setting up his placement. For a blind dog (who is now officially blind, the vets found his eyesight un-restorable), he is smart, learns and maps out the house and yard quickly (just don't move furniture around as we did once!).
He is bigger than you might think, but his fur is so soft, and he is a real sweetie. All he wants to do is to sit on the sofa or on the chair with you and cuddle. Oh, and he likes to eat, but then again, he is French!
|Happy faux spring!|
If anyone is attending the 36th Annual Connecticut Flower and Garden Show this Sunday, come see me speak at the Garden Conservancy Seminar at 2:00 PM. I'll be speaking about Rediscovering Summer Blooming Bulbs.