After the snow had mostly melted away (it keeps coming back every few days), there was this nice little surprise waiting in the garden. It’s a very special Adonis that I got last year from Thimble Farms in far away British Columbia. There were actually two buds showing which is a good sign for the future and payback for me missing the flowering last year (by the time we can plant here the season has already progressed past flowering on the coast of BC).
The other Adonis are continuing to do their yellow sun dance in hopes of inspiring warmer weather.
Most other things are still on the verge. The Winter Aconite are showing yellow yellow flowers but they haven’t had a bright cheery bit of sunshine on their north-facing location yet. And there are some daffodils with serious buds ready to open. I did see the sharp point of Eminium albertii still having survived the snow and looking ready to pop.
But mostly it’s thank goodness for the Adonis.
In the greenhouse I found a tiny little Romulea rosea in bloom.
I’ll have act quicker to catch it in the act of flowering next time.
And here’s a broader picture of the Ferraria for those who might be wondering what the overall plant looks like to go with those marvelous flowers.
Well, there is still plenty of snow covering up a lot of the yard, but where the snow is melted the Adonis is making up for lost time. It took only one day with the snow cover gone for the Adonis to spread it’s colorful flowers out to the sun. The other side of the yard only lost its snow cover today and yet another Adonis clump is getting a quick jump on the springtime.
While it is hard to find fault with these little treasures, I was more than a little surprised to see that the multiple buds of the single flowered Adonis amurensis that I show at the top appeared exactly where for the last 4 or 5 years I’ve had Adonis amurensis ‘Sandansaki’. This truly puzzles me because I don’t remember mixing in the species with the rare Sandansaki. And the latter was actually spreading last year. Maybe the Sandansaki just hasn’t shown up yet but it’s always been early in the past…
It is good to see the snow melting like crazy but there is quite a bit more to go before I can really go seeking signs of spring… 🙂
I first saw an image of Ferraria ferrariola while trolling through the pictures at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s South African Bulbs Collection. It was a revelation to me that a flower could be some closely modeled to the fractal images of mathematics. The flower petals curl and then recurl. Ferraria are all South African natives in the Iris Family and named in honor of the Italian botanist who first described them in the 1600’s. There are 15 species in the genus, mostly in the winter rainfall/summer dry areas of South Africa, and all are said to be frost-sensitive. For those of us in the U.S. who do not live in Southern California, these are definitely greenhouse plants. I ordered two plants from Annie’s Annuals last winter as soon as I found them as a source. The plants were a good size when they arrived but alas they did not flower. One is budding up at the moment but the plant that is flowering now actually came from Telos Rare Bulbs as just a corm that I planted this September. The flowers last only a day or two and are only two inches or less across but their infinite complexity invites closer inspection. Some of the species are described foul-smelling but I found no such issue with ferrariola. As you can well imagine I am delighted to finally see flowers from this little rarity.
I have four other Ferraria species in various stages of growth from seed and corms obtained from the Pacific Bulb Society’s bulb exchanges. By the way, I need to comment that despite its name the Pacific Bulb Society is international in scope. No other organization that I’ve been involved with has so many experts ready and willing to offer seed, bulbs, and information. The PBS wiki is THE online source of bulb information. If rare and exotic bulbs are interesting to you at all, you must joint the PBS…(end of commercial).
At the same time the last of my Oxalis species has come into flower and it’s a particularly gorgeous double.
This lovely Oxalis is another contribution from last year’s order from Telos Rare Bulbs. Between Telos and the Pacific Bulb Society’s bulb exchanges I have at least a dozen Oxalis species and varieties now.
Lastly, let me note that I think I have solved a plant puzzle that has been bugging me since last spring when one of the seed exchange packets from NARGS produced a yellow flower rather than the purple that was described for the packet. Definitely not the Boechera koehleri that was on the label. It was easy from seed and very fast growing. It flowered essentially all year and the one in the greenhouse is flowering still. Suggestions from two sources led me to look at wallflowers as a possible ID. After reviewing the NARGS seed lists I think my best guess is now Cascade wallflower.
If anyone has a better suggestion, I’m open to possibilities. In addition to identifying it, I need to propagate some more. It’s a winner.
It’s a very cold and snow-covered Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post, even one day late. The only flower that shows in the yard is the super hardy red witch hazel that I’ve pictured above. Everything else is frozen off or covered with a foot or more of snow. I have hopes that things may thaw out this week in the mean time here are some of the greenhouse flowers that are maintaining my flower equilibrium.
and the last of the many oxalis species is budding up.
As is the Ferraria ferrariola.
And in the house there are cheerful additions as well.
May the sun shine on your garden (I can see it peeking through the clouds right now).
The weather has been crazy cold for us this year. Extended low temperatures beyond recent memory. The ice storms last week left a lot of people without power but we were fortunate in only being out of power for four hours. Actually we were doubly fortunate in being out in California for ten days so we mostly read about the cold weather while we were in our shirtsleeves enjoying the sunshine.
Our place of refuge with this kind of winter has been the greenhouse.
From within the greenhouse we can generally count on 60 degrees or more on a sunny day no matter how could it is outside.
Part of what I’ve been doing in the greenhouse is planting all the seeds from the various seed exchanges I’m involved in (the Scottish Rock Garden Club, The Alpine Garden Society, the North American Rock Garden Society, The Species Iris Group of North America) and some unusual seeds from Alplains in Colorado and The Gothenburg Botanical Garden. I’ve been iterating on the seed mix and the pots that I use, now pretty much tending to 3 1/2 inch pots that are extra deep with a mix of sand, miracle-gro potting mix, and turface. I lay the seeds out on the surface and then cover them with medium sized gravel.
So far I’ve planted 97 separate species and cultivars with another 34 in hand for planting. The first ones were put in on January 18th and the draba and dianthus are sprouting. This is an enjoyable part of the season just to see what has popped up each day.
An interesting encounter in the greenhouse a couple of weeks ago came from looking closely at a pot of Herbertia (relatives of Tigridia and Cypella) which seemed to be going very dormant. I was uncertain as to whether the Herbertia tigridioides that I planted last May was actually going dormant or just dying off. When I lifted the pot I noticed a little bulb trying to escape the pot.
When I emptied out the pot I found that not only was the Herbertia not dying but it had grown quite vigorously over the summer.
Apparently these are bulbs that like to dig themselves in deep. I’ve separated them into several deeper pots and we’ll see how they do with flowering this year.
We’re expecting another 10 inches or so of snow tonight so I may have to content myself with the greenhouse for a while longer. We did get to visit Anza-Borrego while we were in California last week so I will leave with a tidbit from that trip and a promise of more to come.