Lowe and Behold

I discussed in an earlier post my discovery of the Giant Squill (Scilla peruviana) in England last year.  It’s probably my own shortsightedness but I had never seen one in the U.S., even though I was raised in California where all kinds of plants prosper.  So last fall I was delighted to note their presence in the Brent and Becky catalog (with the disclaimer that it was only marginally hardy in zone 7).  Imagine my surprise when I discovered two racks full of “Carribean Jewels”.  Now I am a frequent visitor to Lowe’s and Home Depot for other things but their plant offerings are usually mass market stuff and damaged by neglect and exposure after a very short time in the store.  But every once in a while you can find a real bonus there if you arrive when the plants arrive.  As it so happens these had clearly just come in the door and one plant will give me an advance viewing of the plants I’m growing from bulb in the garden.  They, by the way, are continuing to prosper despite the concerns about growing them in Zone 7.  They show no damage from having their green tips exposed to some very cold weather (we’re headed for 18 degrees tomorrow night so the cold is still with us).  

 

Scilla peruviana 'Carribean Jewels' from Lowes

Scilla peruviana 'Carribean Jewels' from Lowes

Outside I’m seeing many, many Daffodil and Tulips raising their green points above the ground.  Especially nice to see was the Tulip sylvestris which I’m hoping to naturalize at the entrance to the woods.  And the birds are showing a lot more activity in the yard and in the woods.  The first Robins have appeared both here and in the neighboring National Parkland.  This morning the Cardinals were in full force all around the backyard.  And yesterday, as I was making coffee at the kitchen window a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk flew down to the grass and began hopping about the shrubs, most likely looking for rodents I guess.  This is one of the smaller Hawks and it tends to hang out around bird feeders (not looking for bird seed).  As it happened my SLR was hooked to the computer downloading pictures so I grabbed my trusty Canon S2 (the best camera is always the one you have available) and got off a few shots before I decided to try to get the SLR.  And, of course, the hawk was gone by the time I got back.  Points out the need to be prepared for the unexpected …

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk

10 comments on “Lowe and Behold

  1. Layanee

    What a pleasure to visit you in your MD garden. That scilla is beautiful and what a tease since I cannot grow it in RI. When is your grandbaby due? Mine is due in one month. The first and it is a mystery so far as to he or she.

    1. jw

      Well, you might want to give that Scilla a try. Everybody has some place that pushes the limits of their “zone”. Our granddaughter, also our first, arrived full force last October and we have been thoroughly captivated by her. Her middle name translates as beautiful flower — what could be more appropriate!

  2. Jan

    I, too, have been pleasantly surprised by the occasional find at Lowes, Home Depot, and even Kmart! I wonder, with the economy the way it is and everyone cutting back, if we will continue to more than the usual bedding plants there. Anyway, I am glad you found your lovely scilla.

    Jan
    Always Growing

  3. Tatyana

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so glad I found this post!For a month, I was trying to remember the name of the plant I bought during last year NW flower and garden show. It didn’t have a tag, they just told me its name. Well, I forgot that name. I remembered “Giant”, but what the next word?!!! Now I know – Giant Scuill! Thanks again!
    Tatyana

  4. Jan(ThanksFor2Day)

    Wow, I am going to keep an eye out for this gorgeous plant! Don’t think I’ve ever seen one before at Lowe’s or Home Depot…or anywhere, for that matter;) I love to shop at those 2 places for plants, they usually have something decent that I grab at the last minute!! But that plant is certainly different.
    I have a question about the hawk…you left a comment on my blog. Do you think my hawk could be a Shar-Shinned hawk? I get them frequently and sometimes wonder if I’m getting both Cooper’s hawks AND Sharp-Shinned, or just ONE type. I’ve done quite a bit of online research and pretty much concluded they were Coopers hawks but now I’m re-thinking it!

    1. jw

      Well, you set me to doing some more research. The Cornell web pages indicate this is a very tough ID. In the end I concluded that mine is more likely a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk (because although the chest stripes are more continuous than normal for the Coopers, the size of body (more Crow-sized than Dove-sized) and thickness of feet seem to indicate Cooper’s Hawk) whereas yours would seem to be an adult Sharp-shinned (more Dove-sized and square tail feathers). Thanks for asking the question 🙂

  5. Jan(ThanksFor2Day)

    Hmm, just checked back to see if you replied…and now I’m really confused! I’m now going to be obsessively looking for every detail in these photos to try to narrow this down.Thank you (I think!!)

  6. Jan(ThanksFor2Day)

    Well Mac, I’m back!
    I have concluded that my hawk is definitely a Coopers Hawk. I went through this same research last year…and after going back & forth, the key for me was the size. So far I’ve never had a hawk visit that is the size of a jay or dove. They quite large…larger than a crow, in my experience. And I get some pretty darn large crows. So, after doing internet searches to include the link you give, if you look a little more closely, I think you’ll see it fits the Coopers Hawk category. Sorry to wear out this topic–but it is a difficult thing to differentiate the two, as you know! In the end what I kept coming back to was the size.

    1. jw

      My original thought that yours was a Sharp-shinned Hawk was based on the thought that it looked small in the pictures. Let’s conclude then that we both have Cooper’s Hawks, and even, perhaps, mine might be the offspring of yours since it it’s not all that far from Virginia to Maryland 🙂