27 February 2009

Crocuses Never Croaked

The first signs of spring have popped up. After the house was purchased 20 years ago, these species crocuses (Crocus chrysanthus) were found growing along the walk-out basement foundation, near the east-facing basement door. Sometimes called Snow Crocus, these have consistently bloomed every year with no attention or care.

Late fall, a new raised deck off the first floor was constructed over this area. Construction debris was left about throughout the winter, and only the early morning sun penetrated into this area. But the crocuses came back, diligently poking through the pieces of wood and straining to bloom again in a newly- shaded spot. I believe this is finally the year to move them. A new location must be found where they can be better-appreciated in early spring, and where they can enjoy the early spring sun and thrive.

Years ago, hybrid Dutch crocuses were planted. These had larger flowers, bloomed later, and came in more variety of colors than the species crocuses. However, these hybrids did not multiply much, and the plants and blooms shrunk more and bloomed less each year.

For The Record:
  • Heavy compacted soil
  • Partial sun, now mostly shade
  • No fertilizer

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: species crocus

23 February 2009

Presidents Day Cactus

Many years ago a Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) was purchased after the death of the Christmas Cactus. The Christmas Cactus was always a bit gaudy with its intense red-pink blossoms. The Thanksgiving cactus looked more serene, more different and unique - a 'requirement' for 'serious' gardeners.

The difference between the tropical Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus is that the Thanksgiving has sharper serrated leaves as compared to the more rounded leaves of the Christmas cactus. And the Thanksgiving cactus is supposed to bloom during November, when Thanksgiving is celebrated.

In the past, this one has bloomed at any time between Christmas and February. This year it picked Presidents Day. I could have begun the bloom earlier by exposing it to cold earlier (like keeping it outdoors during the fall), but I am happy for something blooming this time of year.

13 February 2009

Is this normal?

These photos were taken way back in December. Both the grape hyacinth and blue dutch iris bulbs were left in the ground after last year's blooming for the first time. Now, just as winter begins in December, they are undergoing a spurt of growth - poking their heads out of their beds. Not just sneeking a peek, - but judge for yourself!

Will these plants survive the winter after the massive bust of green growth at this time of year? Will they even bloom when spring comes along? They were not fertilized in the fall, so what gives? Is this normal?

08 February 2009

Jack Frost Paints With Roller

Frost on the car this morning created a very unique pattern never seen before. It is as if the pattern was made with a broad brush or roller rather than a small brush. This frost was found not only on the windshield, but also on the car itself.

Not much happening this time of year.