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Author Topic: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere  (Read 3397 times)

Robert

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January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« on: January 07, 2024, 02:13:18 AM »


I was going through some of my photographs today, getting myself organized for the coming season. I came across this photograph of Primula jeffreyi (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) that I enjoy immensely. I thought this photograph might be a great way to start the new year. The photograph was taken on 29 July 2019 in a hydric/mesic meadow near the old Upper Forni Ranch in El Dorado County, California. This meadow was likely a shallow lake at the end of the last Ice Age. This meadow still has some characteristics of a lake. In the spring during the snowmelt runoff it becomes a shallow lake for a short period of time. Later in the season the high water mark is easy to see ringing the meadow. Later in the summer this high water zone is filled with thousands of Calochortus minimus in full bloom. This too is a delightful sight to experience.
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.
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MarcR

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2024, 04:57:14 AM »
Robert,

It is a very beautiful plant.  It also grows well in sandy loam with plenty of leafmold if kept moist.
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

brianw

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2024, 09:38:37 PM »
I have never thought of Calochortus as water meadow plants?
Edge of Chiltern hills, 25 miles west of London, England

MarcR

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2024, 01:47:13 AM »
brianw,

Most Calochortus are not wet meadow plants; in fact, many calochortus are high desert plants.

Many plants that do not need standing water to grow well can become semi-aquatic if the alternative is dying out.

Most Crinums are examples of that trait.

The plant pictured in the wet meadow is NOT a Calochortus.  It is a Dodecathion [primula].

The Calochortus was NOT pictured growing with wet 'feet'.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 01:59:10 AM by MarcR »
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

Robert

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2024, 02:44:34 AM »
Hi Brian,

I will try to give you a quick and short explanation to a subject that is rather complex.



Calochortus minimus is tolerant of soil moisture in relationship to temperature. The y axis of the graph is temperature, the x axis is tolerance to soil moisture. At high temperatures Calochortus minimus has little tolerance for moist/wet soil. At low temperatures Calochortus minimus has high tolerance of moist/wet soil. In addition, when the meadow referred to is flooded the soil where the Calochortus is growing is frozen. I have recorded soil temperatures at 10 cm and 15 cm with data recorders for years at similar sites in this area. Basically no water infiltrates into the frozen soil. By the time the soil thaws the high water levels have receded or are receding quickly. I have recorded soil moisture content at various sites. Even on fairly heavy soils (high clay content) the initial drop in moisture content after flooding can be relatively quick in the first 24 hours. In the gritty granite based soils at this site soil moisture levels drop at an even faster rate. Anaerobic soil conditions are not an issue in this situation.

I have been studying Calochortus minimus in the Crystal Range of the Sierra Nevada Mountains for decades and have detailed data sets on a wide range of variables. I have recorded this species at elevations as high as 9,500 feet (2,896 meters) and as low as 4,800 feet (1,463 meters). The high elevation populations of this species can remain in mesic conditions during the complete growing season. I have frequently seen this species in full bloom at the base of a melting snowfield. Conditions are extremely moist, yet temperatures are always relatively cool. At the lower end of its range soil conditions are generally moist when the plants are blooming, yet become extremely xeric during the summer and autumn months. Temperatures during the summer are very high and the resting bulbs have no tolerance to high levels of soil moisture at this time. These are conditions generally associated with most species within the genus Calochortus.

Another interesting note is that I also observe this same relationship of temperature to tolerance to soil moisture with other species such as Lewisia triphylla and Lewisia nevadensis.

Brian I hope I provided enough information to answer your comment/question. A whole article could be written, but I have other priorities at this time.

Yes, you are correct, I am referring to Calochortus minimus that are not in the photograph. Excellent comment/question.
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

Mariette

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2024, 07:10:58 PM »
A beautiful picture and very interesting research and observations, Robert! In my garden, I´m struggling with many bulbs and perennials from North America, which stand deap frost in their homeland, but succomb to the mild and wet winters here. After 1050 mm of rainfall last year, part of my vegetable plot looks like this.



Till now, the weather was very mild with temperatures around 10 °C during days and even nights. This causes some untimely flowers, like on this Daphne mezereum.



Unusual combinations like brunnera and eranthis flowering at the same time, as well.



Right now, the temperatures are dropping to -8 °C, which will cause a lot of losses, naturally.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 07:17:11 PM by Mariette »

Robert

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2024, 02:55:41 AM »
Hi Mariette,

You have created such a beautiful garden despite some great adversities. The clay soil is a tremendous obstacle. It also appears that the vagaries of the weather can be challenging too. The garden may not be at its best right now, but I am sure with spring weather the garden will turn around and look great again.  :)

Last year our garden flooded for short periods of time during periods of heavy rain. Fortunately our clay-loam soil perks well and the standing water was soon gone after each storm.

Our garden here in Sacramento, California is coming along well. Temperatures in December were well above average. Currently, the weather has turned cold. Snow levels in the Sierra Nevada Mountains have been very low. We had a trace of snow up at our Placerville farm.



Many of our Hoop-Petticoat Narcissus are blooming. This pot full of Narcissus romieuxii types are looking good right now.



A few of the Narcissus bulbocodium types are also blooming.



A new batch of Narcissus papyaceus are coming into bloom. I like the fragrance so I do not mind growing new seedlings hoping for something better.



A few Galanthus are blooming. Our winter/spring event is when the Ume, Prunus mume comes into bloom. We do not have room for trees, so I grow them all as bonsai-like plants. I take cutting of all the different types I can get hold of. At one time there were many Japanese living in our neighborhood. They were wonderful people and some of their old Ume trees are still in the neighborhood.
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

ian mcdonald

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2024, 12:39:28 PM »
Robert, Happy New Year. I read with interest your account of the Dodecatheon in the hydric/mesic meadow. During research I looked at an old map and saw a feature called mesic/mersic mere. I had never come across the word before and had to look it up.

Leena

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2024, 04:16:34 PM »
In the gritty granite based soils at this site soil moisture levels drop at an even faster rate. Anaerobic soil conditions are not an issue in this situation.

Interesting discussion about flooding and soil moisture. The key thing must be the gritty granite like you wrote.
Here most winter damage to plants had come when autumn has been very wet, and if the soil is saturated with water when it freezees.
It is in winters like that that I have lost many peonies and also bulbous plants, probably to fungal problems.

Nice picture of D.jefferyi. :) Is it bigger/taller than other Dodecatheon? In Finnish it is called isojumaltenkukka (bigger/greater flower of gods).

Here winter has been colder than usual. Snow and freezing temperatures started in mid November, and it is has been below freezing almost all the time since. Before New year the temperatures dropped and it was around -20C day and night, the lowest -26,5C, but not so bad as in middle of Finland where it was below -30 all week, and in Lapland below -40C. It was about 6-10 degrees colder than usual.
Now it is around zero, but will get cold again at the end of the week. Long term forecast says the next three months will be below average, but it depends on polar vortex.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2024, 05:35:14 PM by Maggi Young »
Leena from south of Finland

Robert

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2024, 08:26:39 PM »
Hi Leena,

Thank you for reminding us about the correlation between saturated soil that freezes in the autumn, damage to plants and plant losses. It is an important consideration and something I am concerned about in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as snow cover becomes less reliable, especially in certain habitat niches. My data indicates that without snow cover; well below 0 C temperatures can persist at least to 15 cm in depth in the soil. What is interesting is that once there is some snow cover the upward heat flux in the soil stabilizes the soil temperature at 0 C for the duration of the snow cover.

There are two locations at about 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) elevation where there are seasonal seeps in poor draining andesite-based soils. Around one seep conditions are hydric or nearly hydric for the duration of the winter. The seep generally remains free of snow unless the snow becomes very deep. When there is no snow cover and temperatures fall to 10 F (-12.2 C) or less the water in the seep freezes solid as well as the saturated ground around it. How deeply these temperatures penetrate into the ground is not known to me, however from visual observations it appears the cold penetrates at least 10 cm or more into the soil. Species such as Lewisia triphylla and Erythranthe microphylla thrive. The tiny Lewisia bulbs might freeze? Frost heaving dislodges many of the Erythranthe seedlings, however some seem to always survive.

At the other location nothing but grasses, sedges and the annual Limnanthes alba ssp. versicolor grow. This site is much larger and remains hydric much longer into the late spring – early summer season. The ground here too freezes below 0 C when temperatures are very low and when there is no snow cover.  Maybe this is why only grasses, sedges and Limanthes grow at this site?

Clearly the relationship between soil moisture and temperature is an important consideration when attempting to cultivate various species in our gardens. Some species may have greater ability to survive saturated autumn soils that freeze going into the winter. Leena, you are in a much better position to access this situation, however this is clearly an extremely important consideration.

Another consideration worth noting is genetic variability. I prefer growing populations of plants whenever possible and appropriate. Repeatedly, I find that some plants always survive extremes when I grow a large, genetically diverse population of plants. Inbreeding has its purposes, however genetic bottlenecks, including bottlenecks in inbreeding species can lead to the complete loss of the species to cultivation. Avoiding genetic bottlenecks is even more important with obligate outbreeding species, for example some Meconopsis species or many Liliums. This is an idea that needs to be investigated further.

BTW – Your snowy landscape looks beautiful! It might be miserable in the cold. I guess this is a good time to warm oneself by the fire and enjoy something hot to drink.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2024, 01:03:01 AM 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

Robert

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2024, 02:31:06 AM »
Robert, Happy New Year. I read with interest your account of the Dodecatheon in the hydric/mesic meadow. During research I looked at an old map and saw a feature called mesic/mersic mere. I had never come across the word before and had to look it up.

Hi Ian,

Yes, Happy New Year.

I needed Jasmin’s help to make the leap from dialect to American English.  ???   :-[

I hope I understand.  :-\
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

Leena

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2024, 12:18:38 PM »
I read that all around Europe it has snowed this week, and yesterday also we got a lot of more snow.
70cm tall peony supports in the second picture have captured snow on top of them.
Leena from south of Finland

pfirsich48

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2024, 09:09:11 AM »
looks like someone is skiing in your woods

Mariette

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2024, 11:04:44 AM »
Here in the west of Germany it looks much the same as in Finland, though temperatures didn´t fall below -7°C during nights. From Monday onwards we´re to expect +14 °C with 9 °C during nights - and weather encouraging such beautiful and interesting flowers as Robert is able to show us right now.  :)


Robert

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Re: January 2024 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2024, 09:17:38 PM »
Hi Leena,

The pictures of your garden with snow are beautiful. Your wintertime photographs with snow cover always remind me of wintertime in the high country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Being out in the snow can be a pleasant experience providing one is dressed appropriately, and there is a warm spot to retreat to when I have had enough. Sierra snow is generally very wet. Once inside by the fire, getting dry is necessary. Even with Gortex I get wet snowshoeing around in the snow.

[Jasmin]:  Is it typical for the snow to get as deep in your area? 
     The sad fact of no longer having typical snow cover is the drivers.  It was normal for us, “the locals”, but people would come from other areas in the summer, buy a place, and then the first snow would decide it was too much—especially when we would have periods of getting completely snowed in.  Now, without the traditional deep snow, the people who now live in the area drive as if there were no snow on the ground.  We still get plenty of black ice:  the rain forms an ice crust on every surface, making it very dangerous to walk or drive on.  In eastern Washington, they receive dry snow, which is very bizarre, because it floats around like dust.  Since it is not wet, the drivers do not have the same precautions, which is much too nerve wracking for us “wet snow” people.  However, they are more likely to get freezing rain, a phenomenon I dislike immensely, it is so dangerous.

Thank you for sharing the photographs.

Mariette,

Your snowy photograph reminds me of snow at our Placerville farm. 30 years ago, the snow could get a bit deep at times. These days it rarely snows at our farm. Currently, there is very little snow in all the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the high country we have about 60% of average to date. At lower elevations there is no snow, or it will be gone very soon. Currently we have entered a very rainy period. Snow levels are very high. What little snow there is at lower elevations will be rained on and will soon be gone. Little or no snow is not a good situation for water storage and the summer irrigation season in the Central Valley of California.

I finally saw a photograph of Crocus ‘Pixel’ in the September 2023 IRG Journal. What an intriguing and beautiful flower! Personally, I like it a great deal. Having a variety of chance hybrids blooming each season must be a very satisfying experience. I bet something new shows up each season.

[Jasmin]:  I also enjoyed both your picture, and ‘Pixel’—such a sweet flower!



From what I can understand early spring Galanthus blooming season is a commemorated season in Northern Europe. For Jasmin and I, Ume blooming season is the closest we have to an equivalent. We have no room for full-sized Ume trees in our small Sacramento garden. I grow all our Ume as small potted bonsai-like plants. This white Ume is from a cutting taken from the tree a few houses down the street from ours. It is always the first to bloom and its fragrance is very strong and intoxicating. On a sunny day I can clearly pick up the scent on this tiny little plant.



This Deep Pink Ume came from our Placerville farm. At one time we had many varieties of Ume at our farm. There are not so many today. This start came from a very old tree at our farm. The Ume also seeded around at the farm. Some of these are still growing. They are all different and I have starts of all the ones I like the best.



We have a few Galanthus in our Sacramento garden. For me personally, Acis is a great substitute. They perform better in our hot, dry climate. Pictured is Acis tingitana.



I have written about our success with Ranunculus occidentalis in our Sacramento garden. Until 3 or 4 years ago, we had no success attempting to establish this species in our garden. The dormant plants always rotted out during the summer. Now this species seeds around our garden freely and is strongly perennial, even in the irrigated parts of our garden. This is just step one. Hybrids with other related species offer many other possibilities.



Primula (Dodecatheon) hendersonii is another species that always died out in the irrigated part of our garden. This is the first seedling to survive in the irrigated part of our garden. We grow many seedlings each season from a very genetically diverse set of plants. We will continue this process until we achieve a genetically diverse race of plants that are strongly perennial in the irrigated part of our garden. There are many exciting breeding directions we can take things from there.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2024, 09:20:06 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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