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Author Topic: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere  (Read 3431 times)

Leena

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2023, 10:11:55 AM »
Mariette, really nice. I like the last Helleborus, that type of flowers seem to have been my favourites lately. :)
I like also the Corydalis seedlings, it is so nice to see new colours popping up every year.
Leena from south of Finland

Robert

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2023, 06:06:03 PM »
Mariette,

Thank you for sharing all the photographs from your garden. You grow plant species that would be very unhappy in our summertime hot California garden. The plants are so very beautiful and arranged together in a naturalistic way. Now that spring has arrived, is your garden still showing the impacts from last summer’s extreme weather? The plants sure look great now.

Redmires

You bring up a number of topics that interest me a great deal. Right now we are having some sunny and dry days before the next storm arrives. At least I can finally get some work done in the garden. I will offer my perspective and address each point over the coming days.



Most of the trials I conduct are informal. For example, our annual California native, Collinsia parviflora pictured above, seeds itself around our garden without any help on my part. I let most of the plants grow in place. It is fairly easy to evaluate their performance in sun or shade, soil preferences, resistance to insect and diseases, and many other variables. I can have a specific goal in mind or these informal trials can reveal new possibilities that previously had not occurred to me. In the few cases where I think I have something good or novel, more disciplined trials are a good idea, especially if I think something warrants distribution beyond our garden.

Getting feedback on plant performance in various environmental conditions from other gardeners is invaluable. I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences with specific plant species and varieties.

[Jasmin]:  Today we actually have sunshine!  It is a little over 11° C, which would feel really warm and delightful; however, we are having strong winds out of the Arctic.  Nonetheless, there is a lightness of spirit to have sun again.  The garden is a little less muddy, and there are the usual explosions of weeds rioting to take over.  The next storm isn’t until Monday evening or Tuesday, and while I am not looking forward to yet more, I am thankful to have a respite to clean up outside, and breathe deeply in the clean, freshening air.  The joy of weeding is actually the surprise of finding some treasure surfacing from its sleep, the clean air in the lungs and on the face, the feel of the dirt, the songbirds and their quests filling the ears, and the peaceful activity followed by blissful, satisfied sleep at the end of the day.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Jeffnz

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2023, 08:52:44 PM »
Mariette Great semi double hellebore, often open pollination can give an outcome as good as controlled pollination.

MarcR

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2023, 12:08:52 PM »
Mariette,

I grow very few helebores. The few I have have been blooming since late February. My leucojum vernum and my corydalis are both showing green; but, no flowers yet.
My Forsythias,  early Rhododendrons and early Camelias are blooming and some of my Magnolias, and Laburnums have buds showing color but not open. You have a lovely display of color; and I agree with Jeffnz that your semi double Helebore is especially nice.
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

Mariette

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2023, 02:48:32 PM »
Thank You, Leena, Jeff and Marc! Such semi-double or anemone-flowered hellebores look more natural and yet interesting combined with other plants, which is why I like them better than the double ones. Occasionally, such a welcome chance-seedling occurs, but 95 % go to the compost heap, being worse than their elders.

Robert, we do not suffer from such terrific storms like You, but the last 6 weeks have been very windy if not stormy. I´m afraid, many insects will loose the fight against the rough conditions, especially those which fly early in the season. Many bees and bumblebees appear to die of exhaustion.



Trillium chloropetalum is the first of the genus to flower here this year.



A spontaneous mixture of muscari, Corydalis solida and a hybrid Corydalis solida x malkensis.



Leucojum vernum and several Galanthus nivalis were either reduced or less floriferous due to last year´s drought. More of a problem is the added effect of drought and heat after several years. I always wonder that Jasmin and You are able to grow rhododendrons, for instance. 70 % of ours died within the last 10 years, as did a corylopsis, for instance. Also, many monkhoods were lost, deinanthe is reduced to almost nothing, as well as many acteas - perennials, which caused no problems before. Partly, this offers a chance to select and breed more drought-resistant clones, but then it´s a great loss, nevertheless.






Robert

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2023, 07:58:58 PM »
Mariette,

In our Sacramento garden, 95% of the Lepidote and Elepidote Rhododendrons have died over the last 10 years or so. Due to very rapid shifts in climate 110 F to 115 F (43.3 to 46.2 C) are now yearly occurrences. In the past, 110 F (43.3 C) temperatures occurred at approximately 30-year intervals, 115 F (46.2 C) temperatures are new, maybe occurring 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Climate Optimum. Section Pentanthera Azaleas have faired better in our garden, however many show signs of stress. Persistent drought, extreme at times, has caused a steep decline in our irrigation water quality. Xenobiotics in both the water and air have increased dramatically. These factors create significant impacts on our garden. Our primary goal is to create a pleasing, functional, and beautiful garden. To adapt a resilient gardening mindset, Jasmin and I are shifting to a more appropriate pallet of plants to work with in our garden. Many California native species are perfectly adapted to our changing conditions and this is our prime focus at this time, however we are open to other plant species from other regions, providing they fit into our gardening scheme.

[Jasmin]:  Yes, our climate is no longer as hospitable to rhododendrons as it once was.  Even then, we were explorers, trialing species that we thought would thrive, and hybridizing our own varieties, which we sold.  At the time, most rhododendrons were shipped from cool, coastal Oregon, plunked into containers and sold.  Most of these plants died, since they had no adaptation, and no real root strength.  Our goal had been creating lines of various rhododendrons and azaleas specifically acclimated to the hot, interior of our area of California.  In this, we did amazingly well, and had a lovely display garden both at the Placerville location, and a trial garden here in Sacramento.  We would invite potential customers to drive by and see our front garden, since it was so close to the Farmers Market.  We also sold other plants at the time, Japanese Maples, other Ericacea, among others.  As climate persisted in drought and we had the huge responsibility of caring for our parents, we were unfortunately unable to maintain both gardens well.  During caregiving, we really did not have the time to repair even the drip irrigation tubing, and plants and trees were lost.  Even the fruit orchard suffered terrible losses, not just the display garden.  In Sacramento, many rhododendrons hung in there longer, since the garden is a much smaller property and could be better maintained.  However, as Robert mentioned, many would slowly decline, until finally we had to accept the inevitable and tear it out.  The lovely display garden in Placerville is completely gone—there is no garden anymore.  I have mixed feelings, only because it is still a shock for me to see nothing there—I was not part of the clean-up there, as Robert was. Otherwise, it is the reality, and the potential for something beautiful is there, when the time is right. 
     Here, we can at least persist in our endeavor to create a beautiful haven, integrating a variety of ornamentals, and food crops.  Some are grown in containers, some are in the ground, and items that require special soils and dry conditions are in the cinderblocks.
     We continue to be very experimental, and Robert still loves hybridizing.  At least he can maintain this particular passion, albeit with other plants.  The climate changes that cause rhododendrons and azaleas to fail also impacts their bloom cycle.  There was a time early in our marriage when Robert could go into the garden, and the flowers had their regular bloom cycle, making hybridizing easy.  Over time, the flowers would bloom out of sync, and some would seem like they would blossom, but then fail completely.  If a hybridization could take place, there was less certainty the capsule would survive to ripening.
     We can look back at the wonderful experiences we had, and the fun it was.  I enjoyed naming something that we thought exceptional, and loved watching the seedlings poke their heads up for the first time.  We still enjoy this together, although there is nothing to name, and we are no longer involved in the Farmers Market or the rhododendron world.  Our one remaining dear pen friend from those years lives in Norway, and rhododendrons are doing well in his coastal climate.  We enjoy his letters, photos, and copies of articles on the subject.  Sometimes we just have to enjoy certain garden plants vicariously. Lilium martagon, and Meconopsis will always be favorites for me, so if someone posts pictures of those, I can have my momentary thrill.
     Although life and climate have changed, the best part of our years at the Farmers Market is still with us—each other!  Yes, we met at that market!  It was the best place to shop, and I brought home the best deal!

Redmires



We grow forms of Gilia capitata derived from subspecies mediomontana and pedemontana (young seedlings pictured above and ready to set out). These subspecies are the most commonly occurring forms in our area. They are extremely drought tolerant, and heat resistant. They are generally found growing on south facing canyon slopes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and upper foothills where daytime high temperatures even in the spring and early summer, when they are in bloom, can be extreme, 32.2 C or more. The seeds of these subspecies germinate quickly after the first significant autumn rainfall, and establish quickly before cold weather arrives. During the winter month’s nighttime low temperatures from 10 to 15 F (-12.2 to -9.4 C) are very common. Snow cover can be extremely variable from month-to-month, and season-to-season. There are years where there are only 15 to 30 snow cover days, and extreme season, such as the current season, where there are 90 or more snow cover days. In our region, the number of snow cover days has a dramatic impact on plant communities and ecosystems.

The commercially produced seed of Gila capitata is derived from other subspecies; there are many subspecies in California. Commercially produced seed has been in cultivation for many-many generations and there has been genetic drift toward commercial growing environments. They are markedly different form the semi-wild forms that we grow in our Sacramento garden.



Pictured above is part of a Gilia capitata project involving the mediomontana and pedemontana subspecies. They are a F2 line of plants that have an extended blooming cycle, well into mid-August. Logically, they are also being bred to thrive under our growing and environmental conditions.



Pictured is another project involving Monardella brewerii ssp. lanceolata. I have already done some preliminary selection and have retained to grow on only the best plants that rate 10 as far as excellence in plant habit. They will be evaluated for many other desirable characteristics in the coming months and seasons. Hopefully in a few years I will have something close to a finished product, ready for additional trials with other forms of this species as well as evaluating their adaptability beyond our garden. Adaptability beyond our garden is not a goal.



I also conduct trials with different combinations of plants. I know how I want our garden to look; however I frequently have a great deal of difficultly getting there. By putting different plant combinations together in a container I get an idea of what plants look good together as well as how to make successions of plants work throughout the growing season. The small container is planted with Diplacus pictus, Erythranthe bicolor, Eshscholzia lobbii ‘Sundew’ and Eschscholzia caespitosa. Combinations of bulbs, tiny-small growing perennials, and various annuals can combined together to see what happens. Many times I end up with a disaster, but at least it did not occur in the garden and need to be removed.

As far as highly variable weather conditions…  I have been working on some long-term climatic models. Some of the preliminary results from statistical analysis of long-term data sets of teleconnections suggest that the weather and climate will become increasingly variable (extremes of hot-cold, and wet-dry, etc.) as well as warmer and drier, at least here in our part of California. The weather and climate of Europe is greatly influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation. I have not analyzed this data yet, however I speculate that the onset of the Little Ice Age was triggered, at the least, by a high magnitude, long duration phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Whatever the case, we gardeners are likely to face increasingly changeable and challenging gardening situations in the future. The droughts, heat waves, and crop failures this past summer are likely just the beginning of things to come.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2023, 08:08:20 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ruweiss

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2023, 08:12:05 PM »
Bergenia ciliata flowers very early, but late frosts often destroyed the
flowers in the last years.So I hope for more luck in the next days.
Rudi Weiss,Waiblingen,southern Germany,
climate zone 8a,elevation 250 m

MarcR

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2023, 08:22:30 PM »
Rudi,

Covering tender plants with a tarp or drop cloth or placing them under a bucket can protetect them during a frost of short duration. for long freezes transparent polyethylene drop cloths are available .
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

Leena

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2023, 03:35:11 PM »
and a hybrid Corydalis solida x malkensis.

Leucojum vernum and several Galanthus nivalis were either reduced or less floriferous due to last year´s drought. .

Your hybrid looks very nice. Was it done by bees or by you?

I think also here winter 2022 followed by dry summer has reduced my snowdrops, or it looked like it when I was looking at the noses and what was coming up.


[Jasmin]:   Lilium martagon, and Meconopsis will always be favorites for me, so if someone posts pictures of those, I can have my momentary thrill.

If everything goes well, I will remember you in June/July. :)
Leena from south of Finland

Leena

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2023, 03:37:19 PM »
Last week we got a taste of spring, but now winter has returned.
Maybe for the best, because later this week there will be very cold nights (-15C) according to the forecast, so now all the Helleborus buds and snowdrops are again safely under snow.
These pictures are from today.
Leena from south of Finland

Mariette

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2023, 06:51:24 PM »
Your hybrid looks very nice. Was it done by bees or by you?

Hybrids between Corydalis solida and malkensis occur spontaneously in gardens where both are growing, I never bred them intentionally. In most cases they may be recognized by the broad lip and blush colouring. Where the solida parent was white, it´s more difficult to tell them apart. The pic shows a white corydalis with somewhat broader lip, as well as bracts that show just very slight incisions. I guess, that´s a hybrid as well. The plant in the back and left is definitely C. malkensis, showing the typically more creamy white colour of that species.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2023, 06:54:52 PM by Mariette »

ruweiss

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2023, 08:36:55 PM »
Marc, thank you for the advice.
Rudi Weiss,Waiblingen,southern Germany,
climate zone 8a,elevation 250 m

LucS

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #57 on: March 28, 2023, 04:58:58 PM »
Erythronium hendersonii
Luc Scheldeman
Torhout, Flanders, Belgium

LucS

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #58 on: March 28, 2023, 04:59:58 PM »
The first Pulsatilla slavica from the Tatra, between two showers...
Luc Scheldeman
Torhout, Flanders, Belgium

Robert

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Re: March 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2023, 08:22:36 PM »
Luc,

Your Erythronium is extremely well grown as are all the specimens that you share and display on the forum. Both my wife and I thank you for sharing.



Erythronum oregonum is currently blooming in our Sacramento garden. This species has performed extremely well in our garden despite our extreme summer time heat.



Leena,

The photographs of the snow in your garden are so very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Winter does not want to give up its grip here in our region of Northern California. Yesterday, 28 March there was a rain and snow mix falling at our Placerville property. A few miles up the road from our property heavy snow was falling with whiteout conditions (pictured).

We have experienced so many weather extremes during the past 3 years. The winter of 2020-21was equal to the extreme drought years of 1975-76 and 1976-77. The last time our region experienced drought seasons like this was likely during the Medieval Climatic Optimum approximately 1,000 years ago. The summer of 2021 experienced the warmest June through September period since 1984, with daytime high temperatures reaching 111 F (43.89 C). The summer of 2022 was a bit cooler, however high temperatures reached 115 F (46.11 C) for the first time since record keeping started in our region of the Sierra Nevada Foothills (1873). Now we are experiencing winter-like weather that we have not experienced since the 1960’s and 1970’s. Pollock Pines, up the road from our Placerville property, at elevation 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) has experienced over 90 snow cover days this year. The last time this occurred was back in the late 1970’s. Currently the snow at elevation 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) is 76.65 inches (194.69 cm) deep. When my father was building our cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the 1960’s snow amounts at this elevation during March were a common event. Two years ago I could have driven to the Cabin in late March without any snow on the road and very little in the surrounding forest. When I calculated out the standard deviation of some data sets pertaining to temperature and precipitation dating back to 1950, I found a slow increase in the standard deviation from 1950 to 2022. This also strongly suggests increasing anomalous swings between hot and cold, and, wet and dry weather events. Maintaining a healthy balance in our garden ecosystem is becoming increasingly challenging. I feel pleased that I have found a way forward to help cope with the increasingly chaotic and extreme climatic situation in our region.

[Jasmin]:  Thankfully, Robert is an excellent driver!  There were too many moments on the freeway with little or no visibility of the road, lanes, and other vehicles; yet, there are fools aplenty who persist driving speedily despite conditions.  There was a moment when it rained so hard the road was like a river and the fast cars flung rooster tails onto our windshield.  Even big trucks go fast, and rain and/or snow practically buries the nearest vehicles in their wake.

Today it is 9°C and the wind is biting.  Both yesterday and today, it seems the temperatures are dropping throughout the day rather than rising.  The ground is sopping wet, the soil heavy like pottery clay.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023, 01:16:54 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

 


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