LOG 52 -- 26th December 2007
Above is a view looking over the middle section of our garden at the brightest part of the day on the shortest day of the year. The one good thing was it was a clear day with only light cloud so we got the benefit of what light there was, on a cloudy day it is quite miserable wandering about in the gloaming - I can only imagine what it must be like for Finn Haugli in Tromso where it is dark from November to February. I am getting more excited now at the prospect of meeting up with Finn in New Zealand in around three weeks time.
It is not only us that miss the bright light but also the narcissus who continue to grow in the hope that they will find better light - this causes them to eventually flop over as the stem weakens. If our winters are going to continue to be on the mild side then we will just have to get used to this. How I wish we could have cold weather from November until the end of February and then a real spring it would be much better for me and my bulbs. As you can see there is quite a lot of leaf growth, mostly from the narcissus, in the bulb house so I need to be watching out for any signs of aphids. I have sprayed most of the leaves when they first emerged but I may need to spray again if I detect any aphids.
Narcissus in bulb house
The long stems and leaf growth do serve to feed the bulb well and with careful watering and some supplementary feeding to come later, I am hopeful for a bumper crop of bulbs this year.
Crocus laevigatus and hadriaticus
Crocus laevigatus continues to flower throughout the winter as it always does and a late flowering on one form of Crocus hadriaticus is also providing some interest.
This is the scene in the Prop house - so called because it used to be the glass house where I propagated our alpine plants both by seed and cuttings mostly struck in a mist unit - then the bulbs encroached on a corner now they have taken over all the top space. The mist unit is consigned to underneath the bench where I still root a number of cuttings every year.
Flowering interest in the prop house is also mostly Narcissus like this pot of seedlings raised from N 'Camoro' seed.
Another pot of seedlings of Narcissus romieuxii are also just starting to unfurl their flowers.
There are plenty of leaves here with Tulip, Arum, Cyclamen, Sternbergia, Narcissus, Galanthus, Ipheion and Acis all present. Some have flowered and are now building their bulbs while others will not flower until the spring.
Crocus korolkowii 'Lucky Number'
Here are plenty of shoots appearing from the crocus pots which I hope will wait until I come back from New Zealand before they flower. Especially the some of the new ones I got from Janis Ruksans this year like Crocus korolkowii 'Lucky Number'.
There is not much growth visible in the frit house except for the trough full of Tropaeolum tricolorum on the floor. Have you ever wondered why there are no autumn flowering Fritillarias? I have. There must be something in their evolution that has prevented them from flowering before the spring unlike Galanthus, Crocus, Colchicim etc. which all have some autumn/winter flowering forms. There is so much more to discover about bulbs and I hope to explore some new directions as well as visiting the regular favourites next year.
Necessity requires a short log this week so here is the final shot for this year looking across the trough area of the garden - it teaches me another lesson about my new camera. The dark vignetting at the corners is due to the lens hood appearing when I have the zoom on the wide angle setting - something I must be aware of in the future.
I wish you all a very happy, successful and healthy year in 2008 and I will be back to start another series of bulb logs, I hope you will be around to read them.
My thanks to Maggi for checking my spellings every week, to Fred Carrie for keeping the site running and posting my logs, to Len Rhind for compiling the index to the bulb log, the updated edition of which will appear shortly and to all of you for your loyal support and reading each week. I will be making the five years of the bulb log available on a CD disc if anyone is interested email me through the website for details.
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