If we had a well defined winter in this country I imagine there would be months of nothing at all happening followed by a relatively quick transition into full on growth. It seems that one season starts before the last one has finished and the acceleration into full growth runs at about 0 to 60 in six months with a few misfirings along the way. I’m not really complaining, six shots of snow every week for months is not what I’m hankering for.
Seed sowing. Earlier this week I sowed seeds of Actaea pachypoda ‘Silver Leaf’, Erythronium dens-canis, Primula sieboldii and Tulipa sprengeri. I’d bought them last year from Jellito, rather later than I should and when they arrived I thought I’d keep them until this season rather than sow them straight away. Jellito have excellent instructions on their website and these four items all required similar conditions, namely 18-22°C and moist for 2-4 weeks, then -4 – +4°C for 4-6 weeks followed by 5-12°C for germination. I sowed them in pots and they have bottom heat and a cover on top of them to hopefully give the 18-22°C first phase. Then they go in the fridge.
They will be the only seeds I sow this early; it’ll be February before anything else goes in and that won’t be much. Without supplementary light and heat I don’t find I gain enough from early sowing for it to be worth it. All the other pots are of things I sowed last year, notably those chunky little Impatiens that I
half-inched liberated from somewhere I shouldn’t.
It can seem like nothing is happening in the garden but we have had very little by way of frost and there are a lot of things easing themselves into growth, but very slowly. All the Fuchsias are making new growth; bluebells, crocus, Camassia, snowdrops, tulips and other bulbs are well on.
Camellia yuhsienensis. Almost all the camellias you see about are hybrids and as in many other groups of plants the species are by comparison understated and refined. They also quite often have a sweet perfume. One reason they are not grown more is that they are comparatively tender and this one is in a pot which I can bring under protection if the weather turns nasty.
Tillandsia species. This is one of a few plants we have that have been in Sue’s life longer than I have, well over thirty years. For as long as I’ve known it it has sat like Botticelli’s Venus in its shell, no compost, occasionally watered, rarely misted and never fed. This is the first time it’s flowered, hardly a testament to it thriving on neglect, but it has survived and is attempting to procreate. I read somewhere they die after flowering; tell me that isn’t so!
I fixed my fork. Iim on trend and have joined the make do and mend bandwagon. My digging fork had a plastic handle on top of its steel shaft and when I pulled a bit too hard on it whilst digging parsnips it broke. As it happens, I’d broken the business end of another fork a couple of years back and had made a dibber out of the handle and shaft. I was able to remove the handle and fit it to my broken one. I need some tape for the handle, which is rough, but it should see me out. I hate throwing things away and buying new, especially since so much new stuff doesn’t last five minutes.
Geranium incanum. Or at least that’s what I bought it as, but looking at pictures online I think it’s probably something else. It has quite woody spreading stems and the silvery leaves look better now than they did all summer. I don’t remember it flowering. Any thoughts anyone?
And that’s your lot. Awakenings will doubtless feature in other northern hemisphere musings, with contrast coming from the antipodes. The Propagator’s comments is where you need to head, gateway to SoS-land. See you on the beach.