Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum

General Subjects => Flowers and Foliage Now => Topic started by: Robert on February 02, 2022, 03:34:56 AM

Title: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 02, 2022, 03:34:56 AM
Akke,

Thank you so much for sharing the scenes from your container garden and the scenes from around your town. I liked the blooming reticulata type Iris. We grow Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ in our garden. I divided the bulbs this winter and the plants have yet to bloom. There are large flower buds, so it will not be long until they are in bloom. I would like to grow other Iris reticulata varieties, but they are very difficult to find in our area. The same is true for Crocus species. BTW – Do you grow any Crocus species from seed? Anyway, thank you for sharing so much. The mass display of Galanthus in public settings looks very nice!


The first day of February was clear and cold with blustery north winds. Winds gusted to 40 mph (17.88 mps), with sustained wind speeds of 25 mph (11.18 mps). The temperature today was -1.95 F (-1.08 C) below the 30-year average for 1 February. It was extremely dry. There was very little moisture in the atmosphere. I spent the afternoon watering plants in the garden. January is the peak of the winter precipitation season in our part of Northern California. It has not rained for 25 days, and the 7-day forecast indicates that there will be no precipitation. After this wind storm, above average temperatures are forecasted. We are currently stuck in a stable Rossby Wave pattern (Planetary Wave) with a strong blocking pattern in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Although recently there have been some major changes in the Equatorial Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, these changes have not translated into a resumption of the what was once normal winter storm pattern for our region. The snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is slowly melting and conditions are extremely dry for this time of year. A continuation of these dry conditions will be tough on our garden as well as natural ecosystems in our region.

[attachimg=1]

The early spring blooming season has started in our Sacramento, California garden. The small flowers of Aristolochia californica are very interesting. We grow this species to attract the larvae of the native Pipevine Butterflies (Battus philenor). So far, they have not found our garden; however we know that they are in the area. They will find our garden soon enough.

[attachimg=2]

I grow a number of our native Sedge species (Carex) in our Sacramento, California garden. Carex multicaulis, Stick Sedge, is very attractive. Both the evergreen foliage and inflorescences are stiff. The clusters of whitish “flowers” are appealing. It appreciates filtered sunlight in our garden and seems to grow well in almost any type of soil as long as it is kept slightly moist. In addition, this species stays fairly small, so it fits well in our small garden. There is still plenty of room to accommodate many other plants. We have planted these for the diversity of shape and color in the garden, as well as encouraging native flora and fauna. Many species of grass skippers (genus Hesperia etc), spread-wing skippers, and checkered skippers (all family Hesperiidae) feed on, breed, and leave their larvae to be fed and protected by Carex.

Jasmin adds:  Your pictures are indeed lovely!  We are inspired enough to see if the stinzenplanten we remember are still around.  There has been so much development, we do not recognize many areas anymore, and can feel lost as much as loss (grief). 

All photos and most text is actually Robert’s.  He is the official Forumist.  Usually I am “just” an editor:  I will add punctuation, and change wording because I know how terribly mixed up some American phrasing can translate.  As grateful as we all may be for Google translate, it is not a human translator, someone fluent in whatever languages.  There are times the message word order is truly confusing.  For those of us who are blessed (or ultra-confused) with multiple languages in our heads, being able to arrange words so others can understand and enjoy is a real pleasure.  Sometimes, though, I have added some lines, but under Robert’s name.  Above, that would be the additional information about planting the Carex species for color, shape, and nurturing Nature.  Robert has asked me if I wanted to be a member on the Forum, but I am fine with either a silent role or this experiment in occasional joint contribution. I really do have plenty to do!

It took me the experience of life--including life in at least four or five different countries--and perhaps a large dose of maturity to have compassion for those who feel uncomfortable with history, and for the debates all countries go through when confronting when and how to tell their history, and to understand we are complex, and our decisions are not easy.  We like to simplify complex realities.  We feel comfortable with concrete, solid answers; with black-and-white, not shades of grey, with clear good and bad, not ambiguity.  Labels also make talking about any topic easier. 

Life, however, is not so neat and orderly.  It is no different with our discussions of plants than with our discussions of any other topic.  Think of all the debate over plant names and classification!  There is always some variation on the theme of “lumping” or making a larger group of something, and “splitting” or making a smaller group of something.  We do the same things with each other all the time:  For example, I notice Robert has a small American flag on the Forum, because this is his country.  And, well, it is my country too; yet, despite my citizenship papers, and length of life here, there is some part of me that still is not sure I feel truly American.  There are a lot of people living in this place called America who would completely understand what I mean when I feel like some hybrid something:  American to other peoples, but not really American to others in this country.  When does one feel this thing called American?  There are three hundred years between when Robert’s people arrived, and mine!  In 1642 it was Civil War in England, and getting on the “Hector Clement” (the first boat going) to the American colonies was a pretty good idea.  In my family, it was 1942, and America was, again, a pretty good idea. Yet, living here, we find America has its own problems that look a lot like what our families thought they left.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 02, 2022, 08:06:45 PM
Robert

Thanks for sharing the pictures of your garden.  Aristolochia looks so exotic to me, the containers in the background showing promise, while your Carex is so natural. As you can imagine, I like the effort you take to please the fauna as well. There’s no final ‘gardening’ plan here, still exploring, but bees need some help here and that will remain a good theme for a container garden.
Earlier when we talked about Viola odorata I started wondering if the individual plants were good at adapting to very different circumstances, another possibilty being that just a couple of seeds would survive and sort of start a new branch. In case of Iris ‘Harmony’, it’s about clones, isn’t it? Which would mean it is very adaptable, even summer is usually pretty wet here. In any case (avoiding splitting and lumping ;) )the Iris reticulata garden clones increase well here, the ones I got out of the pots last year had doubled, the repotted ones aren’t flowering yet though, ‘Pauline’ at the tree garden (pic1) is. A pity I can’t send you bulbs.
About sowing Crocus species, I just started it last season. A few are of the ‘collectable’ kind (just got seeds), couldn’t resist to sow the more common species I got as bulbs and collected a few seeds of naturalized Crocus Tommasianus in the park. First seedlings are showing. I hope to sow more this year, maybe I’ll get some from the seed exchange and hopefully some of my own ‘collectables’ I got this year.

Jasmin

So many wise words. I’m not goinig to react to most of them, it would leave no room for the rest of the month so the next entry would be March 2022. Okay, this one, nothing wrong with trying to think in shades of grey. Unfortunately even development has this kind of shades, necessary but why here?
I gathered as much that Robert is the author and you add some remarks. It’s not always obvious, but mostly there are some hints.
On the subject of language, I’m not using Google translate or similiar, so mistakes are all mine. If in doubt, I check something like Merriam-Webster for subtle differences or spelling, and in ‘extreme’ cases a beginners guide to biology.  :). In a passive, listening/reading way I’m one of the blessed, it has happened that people had  to point out to me that the conversation was bilingual.  :) Probably only works for (ost) frisian.
Regarding plant names, there could be something to say for different point of views.  I just try to introduce Colchicum instead of Autumn-flowering-without-leaves around here.

A thought I’ve had when people talk about emigration. Some are actually running to a different place, they could be disappointed. Some are just running away from here, they probably will be disappointed.

Second pic. Just took another way home to check this place. A good carpet already and more warm days to come. All the yellow dots are Eranthis, not dried grass or rubbish.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Maggi Young on February 03, 2022, 02:11:53 PM
Translations -  just a small comment - if Forumists need a translation to their own language  and do not usre the Forum's "built-in"  translation system,  this is a good option :
https://www.deepl.com/translator      :)
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 04, 2022, 04:48:06 AM
Akke,

Jasmin adds:  I really love the image of the Iris reticulata, with the rough, dark tree bark in the background.  Colors and textures draw one into the vibrancy and vitality of life.

You are fortunate; your writing and spelling are marvelous.  I still struggle:  In a couple of grades I received so many red/bad marks for spelling and punctuation.  It was only later in life I figured out that I was writing British English, not American.  How could the teachers or I know that was the problem?  I still have spelling and punctuation confusion at times.  There are words too that can confuse me.  Some words are not cognates!  It can be embarrassing or hilarious.  This computer automatically changes my writing to American English.  Sometimes I have mixed feelings about that. 

I am immensely grateful for our dialog.  It has elicited so many memories, and I am grateful:  My mother was incredibly international, a fluid, flowing, and flexible and truly humanitarian person beyond religion, culture, race, and nationality.  She gifted me an international family of so many colors, textures, sounds, perspectives, and so forth.  She lived so fully: we are more than what labels we use, more than our shortcomings, more than our mistakes, hurts, or deeds that we have done—and any wrongs could be made right through true repentance and self correction.  We could and can all be forgiven.  She saw the Light of God in everyone.  She was beloved by everyone, everywhere we went.  She taught me how to live, and I have had an incredibly rich life.  I see my mistakes were learning who I was, and where I belonged, moving in this fluid world of hers, into a world so deeply attached to labels of identity, and often demanding allegiance—either you are with them or you are the enemy—a very narrow construct.  I needed to learn for myself the lessons she taught me through her very life:  true lovingkindness, of forgiveness for everyone—no matter the deed, because we are all beloved, gifted with life by God.

I did not think I would marry an American.  Many times, whether I lived in the USA or not, I found Americans strange. Tourists left much to be desired.  I admit I acted and spoke so no one would suspect I had anything to do with the country or those rude people.  I hated having someone shout as if I were deaf, “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?” I admit that I was not always kind: I acted stupid, or maybe I was snide, “Well, I sure hope so.”  Some members of my family who came earlier just to work and hoped to return were brokenhearted to never go home again because of the war.  Others, who returned, returned to a changed world, ruined buildings, and the people they knew were dead, refugees, or the living traumatized one way or another. I could speak the languages, but no one can translate experiences.  I still remember being told as a young person that I did not understand.  I realize now how true.

After two days of very strong winds, it is calmer.  I think I picked up most of the garbage, including some child’s cloth toy doll!  We pray for the miracle of rain again.  Despite atmospheric changes, the high pressure ridge continues to build.  We are expecting even warmer dry weather.  Our birds will enjoy having access to the aviary, but I will have to water!  Prunings still lie in heaps, or scattered, some crossing the paths, and have to be moved. 
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Catwheazle on February 04, 2022, 04:08:41 PM
Rhododendron ferrugineum struggles through the snow ... and gives hope for spring

[attachimg=1]

Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 05, 2022, 02:55:40 AM
Catwheazle,

Your photograph of Rhododendron ferrugineum does capture the promise of spring as it pokes through the melting snow. Thank you for sharing the photograph. I know that I am repeating myself, but I enjoy seeing plants emerge from the melting snow. This is an especially delightful time for me to view plants in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Despite no precipitation for a month, we still have snow in the Sierra Nevada.
[Jasmin adds:  Your photo brought me such a peaceful, joyous feeling.  It is truly lovely.  Thank you so much!]

[attachimg=1]

My wife, Jasmin, was sneaking around today with the camera. She captured me chopping orange tree branches for the compost pile. We have a large composting area under our orange tree. Almost all of the organic materials from our garden go into the compost pile or are shredded and used as mulch for our garden. Noxious weeds are placed in the city waste can. The orange tree loves the compost pile; the two have lived happily together for years. In the days when it would get cold, the compost pile prevented frost damage to the tree and fruit.

Our orange tree provides fruit December into March, and then hopefully we have strawberries.

[attachimg=2]

You can see how dry the ground is. The current weather forecast is for a continuation of the dry weather. Record to near record temperatures are forecasted during the next 7 days. Temperatures could reach 80 F (26.7 C)! This type of weather is extremely abnormal!

Akke,

Thank you for the information concerning Crocus setting seed. I have been hand pollinating Crocus flowers in an attempt to get viable seed. Last year I had three genetically different Crocus tommasinianus plants that I hand pollinated. No seed. I have tried again this year. Hopefully I will get results.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 05, 2022, 08:50:55 PM
Catwheazle

Robert already said most, I just wanted to mention the beauty of two seasons in one picture. Do you always have snow at this time or is it now and then?

Despite the weather your orange tree looks cheerful, your garden seems lovely to me.  I assume you keep your Crocus t. in the shade, Robert? They might be very easy here, but it sounds as though they’re much more difficult in your climate. Took a good look at the pot today, some seedlings could have turned up, still really small. Hopefully you’ll have some seeds this year to start a more adapted line of C. Tomassianus.

In my container Iris ‘Kuh-e-abr’ started to flower
[attachimg=1]

Other plants are are waiting for higher temperatures and a bit of sunlight, but are already adding some color
[attachimg=2]

Jasmin

The feelings about our dialog are mutual. To be honest, due to personal circumstances this is not an easy time for me, your shared thoughts and memories are very helpful. I don’t think I can explain exactly why at this moment, maybe some day I will. Your mother sounds like a very wise and loving person, I can only guess you inherited that from her. I have to add that I’m not religious in any way, if talking about evolution was offending, I’m really sorry.

It sounds like you married a real nice person, what difference would nationality make? I never understood why people were idoiizing the US at high school, now I think that was just good marketing. I don’t really know what to think about the US, maybe there’s more of them ?  But then again, that would be a point here as well.
 Funny, I now live more than a hundred miles ( this is far for the Netherlands) from origin and I feel at home, growing up, not even 15 miles away, I felt like a stranger.

 About language, at school we were told, aged 12, to learn either American English or British English, they actually never told us how to achieve this. It seems that by accident things turned out right, spoken word (in The Netherlands film and television have subtitles) was mostly American English, while lessons and literature would predominantly be British English. If my spelling is corrected, not paying attention for a second, it’s to a similar Dutch words and sometimes English.
It’s probably worse for people who have a problem with the things we call letters, they are considered stupid, even if they’re not.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Catwheazle on February 05, 2022, 09:05:16 PM
<Do you always have snow at this time..

Yes. Here in the mountains, winter usually lasts until after Easter... but the last few years have been getting warmer and warmer
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Leena on February 06, 2022, 09:17:56 AM
How lovely views of the orange tree, and working under it.

Here we had a big storm and more snow a week ago, and then more yesterday, about 20cm of wet snow now on top of the snow which came a week ago, and strong winds resulted in broken cherry and plum trees in my garden yesterday. There is a lot to clear up, and new places to plant something new.
Right now it is snowing more, and temperatures are just below freezing.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Gabriela on February 06, 2022, 07:06:08 PM
How lovely views of the orange tree, and working under it.

Here we had a big storm and more snow a week ago, and then more yesterday, about 20cm of wet snow now on top of the snow which came a week ago, and strong winds resulted in broken cherry and plum trees in my garden yesterday. There is a lot to clear up, and new places to plant something new.
Right now it is snowing more, and temperatures are just below freezing.

Sorry to see and hear about the winter storm damage Leena.
We have a bit more snow than you at the moment but luckily no broken trees in this region; other provinces have experienced freezing rains with lots of damages.
It seems we are all in for a long, cold and snowy winter and a late spring in April. Looking back at my records, it seems to happen once every 3-4 years.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 07, 2022, 03:21:36 AM
Leena,

Many years ago at our Placerville property winter storms would occasionally bring heavy snowfall. The power would go out and it would become very quiet. Sporadically the quiet would be broken by a very loud pop, as a large oak limb snapped from the weight of the snow. Now it rarely snows at our Placerville property. So far this year we had only one day with a small amount of measurable snow.

Thank you for sharing the snowy scenes. I hope that your garden benefits from the additional sunlight.
[Jasmin adds:  Despite the destruction, the scenes are very lovely.  How we would love to take your excess snow from your area to ours!]

Akke,

Yesterday I went through the garden and hand pollinated every Crocus I found with an open flower. Crocus tommasinianus was crossed with other C. tommasinianus clones. Crocus vernus was crossed with other C. vernus plants. I even crossed Crocus tommasinianus with Crocus biflorus and a white Crocus hybrid. Maybe I will get some to set seed this year. I will report on my results. And, most of our Crocus are growing in somewhat sunny locations. Not 100% full sun, but still more sun than shade.

The Iris reticulata varieties are interesting and beautiful. There appears to be many named clones.

[Jasmin adds:  As much as each of us finds solace in the garden and nature, there is a time for listening to each other, for in voicing ourselves, we often gain the clarity we were seeking.  We all face personal challenges, and there is COVID, and the amassing of tanks and troops which brings too many of us the terrors we had in childhood.  It is through the hope we give each other through this Forum that we gain strength, and move beyond survival to true living, while creating beauty.

I had no notion there was anything to apologize for.  Perhaps I ought to be the one to apologize, for the commitment to nonviolence begins with the commitment to noncoercion.  My mother was deeply religious.  She had very powerful spiritual experiences as a result of her trials in the ‘40s and other times in her life.  Yes, she taught me many wonderful things, and had a true spirit of openness to all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, etc.  However, she was so strong, and so convinced, that it often left me no space to find my own self.  My searching included periods of living Muslim (I never said the shahada) [I was shocked and dismayed at the laws directed against veiling because for women it a complex situation that law cannot take into consideration], following Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, looking into Sikhism, various Christianities, and living as an observant Jew [orthopraxic—correct action--more than orthodox—correct thinking].  I am comfortable defining myself as Quaker, at peace with myself and my journey.  It is important to honor yourself and your convictions.  There is no conflict between evolution, science, and God.  Given all the violence in the name of God and religion, it is a wonder any one of us can feel comfortable with any form of spirituality.

My mother told me to marry my best friend.  It took many years to find that person.  It is important to have a companion you share values and interests with, whose company you enjoy so much you want to be isolated together for years.

Neither Robert nor I know what to think of the US either.  Just the scale of the country is astounding, never mind the diversity of people and ecosystems.  It can be baffling; yet fascinating.  There are entire communities where all of a sudden, you are in another country without ever getting on a plane or boat.  In contrast, there are people who have never lived or traveled to any other place.  Their community is all they know.  Few are like my mother or Robert and me, getting out of our familiar to experience another reality and learn from each other.

In “my” day, the side of the ocean one was on decided the English used.  My mother was from the radio generation, but even that was not listened to frequently.  Someone gave us a black-and-white television, but it sat there.  Books and reading aloud, sewing, and needlework. . . these were our pastimes.
 

[attachimg=1]

[Robert again]:  I also spent time yesterday spreading shredded autumn leaves on the garden beds. Better late than never. [Jasmin:  I watered early (still dark out) this morning, an odd experience in February, when rain once was normal.  The hose was stiff with cold.  It was just below 2º C.  The plants are much happier with some water and the mulch.]

[attachimg=2]

This season I am experimenting with some new plants in some of our semi-woodland garden beds. I have small plants of Ranunculus occidentalis var. occidentalis that I hope will bloom this spring from seed sown this autumn. This species is perennial, however they need bone dry conditions during the summer to survive. If they bloom this spring I will save the seed and grow them on each season as an annual. We shall see if this works. Other species planted are: Collinsia heterophylla, C. tinctoria, Collomia grandiflora, Nemophila maculata, Nemophila menziesii, and Erythranthe guttata. Erythranthe guttata is perennial, all the others species are annual. If this works out it should be very nice looking with the other bulbs and perennials in these beds.

[attachimg=3]

I grew a batch of F2 Galanthus nivalis seedlings. The small plants are now old enough to bloom. Someday they will be a pretty sight.  A bonus: Jasmin thinks these are sweet.

[attachimg=4]

Our miniature small-cupped Narcissus species and hybrids are just beginning to bloom. Starting last year, new hybrids are being created each season. In a few years there will be new plants to evaluate each spring.

[attachimg=5]

Our Hoop Petticoat Narcissus continue to bloom. The flowering stems of the later blooming varieties are just starting to elongate. From 1 January to 1 March we have a parade of blooming Hoop Petticoat Narcissus. New hybrids are being created, however nothing noteworthy has appeared to date.

In our seed pans new Tulipa, Lilium, Narcissus, Calichortus, Diplacus, and Erythranthe hybrids are emerging. There are many new things to look forward to in our garden. This is very exciting! Right now I am most excited about the Diplacus angustatus, Pansy monkeyflower, seedlings that are developing flower buds.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 07, 2022, 03:22:49 AM
[attachimg=1]

For all the science enthusiasts out there…

One of my brother’s colleagues at UNR alerted him to the Tonga volcanic eruption pressure spike. My brother checked our Placerville barometric pressure data and there it is! This spike is from the second, larger eruption on 15 January at 4:14:45 UTC. The pressure spike can be seen on our chart occurring at 4:00 a.m. 15 January 2022 in Placerville, California. There are some additional reflection spikes but we have not looked for them yet.

Fun stuff!
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ArnoldT on February 07, 2022, 05:07:18 PM
Robert

That's so interesting.  So the pressure spike is somewhat like the wave of pressure we feel when standing close to a firework display.  I guess we could estimate the speed of the wave by knowing the moment the eruption took place.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 08, 2022, 02:14:35 AM
Arnold,

I agree, the pressure wave was very interesting!

I did some estimations of the speed of the pressure wave. The strongest eruption occurred at 4:14:45 UTC. 8 hours later at 12:00:00 UTC the pressure wave was detected on our Placerville barometer. The distance from Tonga to California is approximately 5,403 miles. So my estimated speed of the pressure wave was 675 mph. The speed of sound is approximately 740 mph @ 0 C. Some PhD. physicists that I know informed me that these types of waves travel a bit slower than the speed of sound. Their rough estimates of the speed of the wave were very close to mine. These are all estimates. The temperature, moisture content, and other variables of the atmosphere impact the speed of the wave.

The pressure wave caused a rapid shift in our local atmosphere of approximately 1.7 hPa.

All of this was very interesting and fun to detect and calculate.  8)  8)  :)
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ArnoldT on February 08, 2022, 11:58:04 AM
Robert:

I'm sure there is a formula somewhere that predicts the decease in wave intensity as distance increases.  With light it's the inverse of the square of the distance. (this is the inverse square law.)  With the physical propagation ( molecules bumping to each other) of the sound or pressure wave air density, humidity and surface topography must be taken into account.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 08, 2022, 08:58:15 PM
Lovely to see pictures of different seasons. It sounds worrying that your spring comes earlier every year, Catwheazle. Still it must be beautiful to see spring emerging when the snow melts. Here it’s about averages, last year it was cold winter one week and literally a week later some fine spring days, enjoying flowers and bees. This season has been generally mild and with little precipitation, but the air humidity prevents drying out.

Robert

I’m looking forward to news of your hand-pollination, on some website, Maggi (the name does ring a bell  :) )suggested; just try. I did. It doesn’t look good for the Narcissus nylon, but they could easily be sterile. Crocus and Colchicum are waiting for results. Generally speaking, as soon as the bees show up, I’ll let them do the job, I’m happy if they are. 
C. Tommasianus ( or the dutch variety, I assume you read about them in ‘ The World of Crocuses’), seems to occur mostly in (semi)shaded places here, related factors can be important of course; less competition, less mowing (taking care of the park and public green, they are careful most of the time, and even more so recently). Could this influence setting seeds?

The named Iris varieties started as pleasant, they have become interesting knowing ‘Harmony’ does well at your place too. So far ‘Harmony’ is doing best, I’m curious how the repotted ones will do, comparing them as they have similar conditions.

Your Narcissus look beautiful, I must admit that I relate to them in the same way as to Galanthus, I like them, but it seems easy to be satisfied with a small collection. Jasmin, I got a handful of G. Nivalis from the park, torn out/ dug up by wildlife, might be common but it makes them more special to me.
I hope to see more of your Diplacus angustatus, looked them up and immediatly loved them. Both  Nemophila I had in mind for give-away-plant this year. You seem to have a lot of good plants over there.

Btw apparantly the shockwave was measured here, practically the other side of the world.

Jasmin

It’s not something you said or suggested that made me apologize, just knowing it’s not accepted in some christian communties in the Netherlands. Wearing a veil is supposed to be oppressive here (did they ask the women?), but what these communities do to their children and neighbours is cultural, according to some scary, populist parties. If this small country can have such diversity, it would be strange if a geographical bigger and more challenging country, didn’t.
Strong or bossy, it could both apply to my mother. I’m grateful that finally she’s considering that luck wasn’t always on my side. Got a lot of thinking to do, what you write is really helpful.

Iris ‘Harmony’  doubled.
[attachimg=1]

Spontaneously grown moss, treasured miniature (25 cm/ 10 inch) rock garden at my neighbour’s.
[attachimg=2]
 
A containter for ‘we’ll see what happens’ is planned again. No more oak trees, please.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 09, 2022, 01:32:57 PM
Catwheazle,

Would you please describe your gardening climate and the changes a bit more for us?

Akke,

Wonderful and inspiring photographs!

I especially enjoyed the spontaneous moss rock garden. The reddish toned rock with the green moss is very pleasing. Your container full of blooming Iris ‘Harmony’ is very showy. In our garden, I am finally seeing color on our Iris ‘Harmony’ plants. They were divided this year so next season I am hoping for more flowers from the additional clumps throughout our garden.

I consider myself a beginner when it comes to the Genus Crocus. I am not familiar with the book “The World of Crocuses”. I will see if it is available from our public library. Thank you for the recommendation! I have progressed a bit more with the Genus Narcissus, but not much. I certainly have my own ideas concerning the directions of my breeding efforts. As per the quote of Henry David Thoreau – I have always stepped to the beat of a different drummer.

Anyway, great photographs and information to share. Thank you again.

[Jasmin adds]:  The colors and textures of the displays, and the photograph quality are absolutely exquisite.  The iris flowers are stunning in the intensity of rich color, and the petals appear so silken, like a soft caress.  The rocks with the moss are incredible.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 09, 2022, 08:58:29 PM
Robert

The moss garden was a really nice discovery, plans are being made for a second one, creating slightly different conditions.  Paying attention to stone colour might add to the pleasure of this puzzle.
The ‘Harmony’ container is a showy one, somehow it skipped autumn and winter and decided spring was a good idea. Beginners luck. It certainly gives inspiration for my own big container after getting some more experience. I’m looking forward to your I. ‘Harmony’ and how flowering times compares to the ones I repotted. ‘Clairette’ planted in the same tub, is less vigorous.

I’m no expert on Crocuses, just read a book and look around. Fortune is on my side, C. Tommasianus grows in various places here, less than a mile away. As I’m still exploring, and enjoying that, I can’t predict about being expert in anything else than enjoyment, let’s see what the drummer does.  At least you seem to have good library.
I hope you’ll be able to share results on your Narcissus soon, meanwhile I’ll treausure my sweeties.

Concerning pictures, I just try to show plants as they are, right colours and (thanks Jasmin) the silken look for instance. Phone does most of the job actually and I didn’t even get this one because of the good camera. I must admit that I got hooked, using it as a diary as well. What’s more important, your pictures, snowy or with autumn leaves, inspire me to take a better look at my surroundings. Travelling abroad, getting to know about other people and culture, is important. Having a close look at what’s nearby is valuable as well.

Another detour, Helleborus orientalis(?), not much colour around but this one.
[attachimg=1]

Jasmin, this is near one of the abonded Jewish cemeteries. Maintenance is minimal but it’s not crumbling down or overgrown. A sort of monument and warning, but maybe difficult to read as such.

Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 09, 2022, 09:08:15 PM
[attachimg=1]

Viola adunca ssp. adunca is a very common species at higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and the northern portions of the U.S.A. and southern Canada. I am very pleased to have a clone that survives, blooms and hopefully sets seed in our summer hot low-elevation garden. This species is so tiny, we are excited the photograph turned out and presents just how beautiful the flowers are.

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The early forms of Primula (Dodecatheon) hendersonii are in full bloom now.

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Another view of Primula (Dodecatheon) hendersonii.

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This box of midseason Primula (Dodecatheon) hendersonii will come into bloom in about 10 to 14 days. Just watching the flower buds rise up and swell is thrilling. My late blooming selections will start blooming in about a month. New hybrids are in various stages of development.

[attachimg=5]

Arctostaphylos myrtifolia is still blooming. The nectar is a reliable winter food source for our native hummingbirds.

There has been no precipitation in our region for 31 days. This is traditionally the peak of the precipitation season in our portion of California. There is no precipitation in the forecast. Our Sierra Nevada snow pack is now dropping below average. The Sierra Nevada snow pack traditionally supplies irrigation water during the summer and autumn months as the snow slowly melts in the spring and early summer. In addition, record high temperatures are forecasted for the next several days. This morning the 500 mb heights at 42N – 135 W were 5860 meters. This is extreme for this time of the year and the location. 850 mb temperatures were 14 C this morning! Our weather pattern is stuck! I continually monitor the 300 mb northern hemisphere charts, as well as the OLR charts for signs of change toward a potentially rainy pattern. I do not see any pattern shifts that look promising. The PNA, NAO, and AO indexes show no signs of a shift in their trends. As gardener and one very concerned about the impacts of anthropogenic climate change, these now extremely persistent yearly patterns are very worrisome.



Jasmin adds:  Our conversations have been a form of naikan for me.  This is a Japanese structured meditation.  To this I have added the photos of Catwheazle’s rhododendron, Leena’s heavy snow and broken tree limbs, and your most recent rock and moss picture.

Adversity, like Leena’s snow, can break us, or we can become more compassionate.  Some people turn hard, like a rock, imprisoned by fear and pain.  Some are like Catwheazle’s rhododendron in the snow, a cold exterior, but some beauty hidden within.  Our choices make the difference; we can transform pain into influencing the world around us in a positive way.  We prune our plants, removing the dead and broken, giving them air to grow more beautifully.  Doing so with ourselves takes courage.

Forgiveness does not condone, or remove the importance of consequences; it frees us to live fully in the present:  We are not who we were, nor are we who we will become.  We open as a blossom, making the future a wonder and beauty.

A flower is made of layers of textures, structures, and cells with colors.  Gardening is a painting: combinations of layers, thicknesses, and perhaps you stroke the dot with a sponge or the side of the brush or your thumb. Our personal histories are pointillistic.  The dots blend to make these larger, and larger histories that can only be appreciated with distance.  Sometimes, we are just not far enough.  Some events are of such a magnitude we can neither forget them, nor can we live with them in our mind every day.  It is like Monet’s late paintings in L’Orangerie.  If you are too close, and have excellent eyesight, it seems like nothing more than blobs of colors.  However, if you step back, and blur your eyesight, the flowers and gorgeousness of his garden are crisp, clear, and uplifting, as precise as everyone’s photographs.

I am so thankful that neither of us inferred any meaning that was never implied! 

Veiling is an amazing experience.  The Holy Qur’an is in difficult, hard to interpret language.  It is clear there should be no compulsion in religion.  In the Hadith, The Prophet Muhammad never said anything.  Women’s experiences are so individual.  Some resent it, but shari’a, culture and family (Parents, husbands) will kill you.  There is no choice.  Other women love the privacy, the personal space.  Japanese create this amazing, fluid personal space that functions the same way.  Some women love to go out without make-up and nice clothes.  Before COVID, some Japanese women donned surgical masks for the same reason!  Veiling can be extremely practical.  I remember a wind came up suddenly, with sand blowing around wildly.  I rearranged my head scarf into a face veil and comfortably hiked while those around struggled with sand whipping their faces.  When one is accustomed to veiling it feels naked without it.  It is not an easy adjustment.

The media can both aid and confound our understanding of each other and our world.  Documentaries and nature programs can enlighten us.  However, it is easy to think what we see is really how it is, the whole.  We look at the news, and think, “Oh, this is how these people think/are”.  My mother always said:  “Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear”.  Gossip, propaganda, and opinion create problems.  Her other saying was, “Only God and the lamppost know the truth”.  Our perspective is only a segment—a close-up image, or tail of the tiger, not the whole tiger.  It is important to give the benefit of the doubt and forgiveness as leniently as possible.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: cohan on February 10, 2022, 07:24:51 PM
Some nice discussions to read ( I won't try to jump in so late, except to say that diversity is always enriching, and it's always useful to try to understand the nuances- or at least be aware of them!-when looking at the complex and divisive social issues we see).
Always interesting to see how gardens are growing and what the weather and climate are like in other places! It's been an interesting winter here- a warmer Nov than recent years, colder December, mostly warm again through Jan and Feb so far. We had a few cold days last week (days -18, one night to -34C) currently in a warm spell, with days as warm as 10C- lots of melting, puddles and ice. In a few days it will get a bit colder, and many paths etc will become very treacherous- each day's freeze/thaw makes surfaces that still have snow/ice smoother and smoother!
None of these weather extremes are unusual for us, *but* both the cold in Dec and warm before/after have been longer than usual. Snowfall was probably near avg in Dec, but low otherwise. A couple of views of plants at this season-

1 Wild Native Picea glauca living up to its name

[attachimg=1]

2 Wild native Eurybia conspicua-- still months away from new growth here, so I take enjoyment from the remains of last season!

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3 Aquilegia seed heads in the garden-- plants that remain erect and showing above snow (not that there is a lot, right now!) are very welcome in the garden!

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 11, 2022, 10:29:42 PM
Cohan

Great pictures, even if little is growing in your garden now, it’s wonderful to see the beauty that is still there.
Most winters we get some of this freeze/thaw days, be careful. This season ‘heat’ records have been broken, I’m curious how this one will turn out on average. A bit of freezing is expected tonight and then another period of mild but mostly grey weather. When talking about precipitation, this is dry season here, not a drying season though.

Robert

The weather situation at your place doesn’t sound good, it makes one wonder when we’re going to wake up.
Showing your sweet Viola adunca reminded me of V. arvensis which turned up last year, no signs of it yet.

Jasmin

There’s so much beauty in what you write and how you write it. I’ll probably discover more layers when rereading them, though other people can interpret them differently. For now I’ll cherish them and keep them in mind while doing more useful thinking.

Media, including pictures, can be selective, just showing you the part they (want you to) see. If that’s not troublesome enough, people can read the same words and tell a different story.

This picture of progressing spring is an attempt to tell the ‘whole’ story, didn’t find the tricks to do so yet.




Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 12, 2022, 02:12:35 AM
Cohan,

I enjoy your wintertime scenes immensely! Plants and gardens are can be very beautiful during the winter. Frequently, I like the dry remains of plants during the winter. Sometimes I delay cutting the plants back until late winter-early spring.

[Jasmin’s comment]

Cohan, your pictures are divine!

This Forum is a garden made of all of us. It is not complete without any one – join in please!

[Robert’s comment]

Akke,

Yes, our weather is very troubling in a long-term climatic sense. Over the past 20 years there has been an increasingly persistent trend toward a blocking high-pressure pattern off the west coast of California during the winter. This has lead to persistent drought conditions, at times extremely severe. There have been a few years with much above-average precipitation; however drought has been the persistent pattern. I have analyzed the data in numerous ways and the trend is always consistent with a persistent dry pattern.

Rapidly rising temperatures is also a troubling climatic issue. For example, February 2022 is currently running 3.10 F (1.72 C) above the 30-year average. The first 5 days of the month had below average temperatures and now we are 3.10 F above average! Today’s high temperature was a record high temperature at our Placerville property. Yesterday’s high temperature at our Sacramento home was a new record high temperature; although my data for our Sacramento home is not as long-term as the Placerville property data.

Having written all of the above, Iris ‘Harmony’ opened its first flower today. Finally! I finished the winter pruning a few days ago and now I am attempting to finish mulching the garden beds with crushed autumn leaves. I am spending much time watering, so this slows the process.

We both enjoy the great photograph of the Crocus. I found more Crocus species in the garden today that I did not know that I had. Things are coming together well in the garden. The flower show is moving forward.


[attachimg=1]

Our dry weather continues with record to near-record high temperatures.

The flowers of Prunus ‘Okame, have started to open. I fell in love with Prunus campanulata 40 years ago; however I was not able to obtain a start of this species. Prunus ‘Okame’ has been an acceptable substitute. We grow Prunus incise, the other parent of Prunus ‘Okame’. Our tree will be blooming later this spring. [Jasmin adds:  I attempted to capture the intensity of contrasting strong colors, the incredible blue with the deep pink flowers.  It is so hot here lately; the picture makes the flowers look melted.  I feel melted personally!

[attachimg=2]

The buds of Iris ‘Harmony’ are still waiting to open. With the sunny days and record high temperature I thought that they would be open now. Still waiting! (After writing this the flower opened!)

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Pseudomuscari azureum has been a satisfactory species in our garden. To my delight, they have not propagated aggressively.

[attachimg=4]

I do the best I can to be creative with the plants that I have in the garden and very common species that are available locally. I grew this group of Narcissus papyraceus from seed. I know that they are nothing special, but I like the fragrance of the flowers. I also like the old-fashioned “China Lily” (at least this is what they were called locally by the ‘old timers’ back in the 1970’s). The old- fashioned “China Lilies” have disappeared except maybe in some long abandoned homestead in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Based on the Narcissus species and hybrids in our garden maybe I can create a substitute? This is a realistic version of working with what I have and attempting to be creative.

[attachimg=5]

Many Cyclamen are still blooming in our garden: both in containers and out in the open garden. We grow Cyclamen persicum both in the open garden and in containers. With our mild winter weather Cyclamen persicum grows easily in the open garden without any protection from cold weather.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 12, 2022, 02:16:44 AM
[attachimg=1]

By some miracle, many years ago I received seed of Crocus angustifolium. I managed to get one seed to germinate. The plant grew to maturity in the open garden and bloomed for the first time last year. I dug the bulb (actually then two bulbs) out of the garden to protect them and increase their numbers before planting more out again. I was very surprised and pleased that one of the bulbs bloomed again this spring.

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I have a number of Narcissus cantabricus-like seedlings blooming. Eschscholzia ceaspitosa seeds around in the containers and I just let them grow.

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All sorts of miniature, small-cupped Narcissus are blooming in our garden now, both species (maybe) and hybrids of my own making. This is one of my hybrids that blooms its little heart out. It is nothing special, but I like it. Jasmin is very fond of the miniature small-cupped Narcissus.

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This is a new batch of F2 Narcissus ferandesii-like seedlings coming into bloom.

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We have a number of small-cupped Narcissus hybrids in our front garden. I am working with them and my existing miniatures to see if I can create miniature Narcissus in a variety of colors and with fragrance. There are likely much better ways to accomplish this goal; however for me the most realistic way to proceed is to work with what is at hand.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Maggi Young on February 12, 2022, 03:12:39 PM
Quote
[Jasmin’s comment]

This Forum is a garden made of all of us. It is not complete without any one – join in please!

Hear, hear!  Great comment, Jasmin!!
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 12, 2022, 08:04:25 PM
Akke,

[attachimg=1]

The first flowers of Iris ‘Harmony’ have finally opened.

[attachimg=2]

As one can see from this photograph, additional flowers are coming along. I divided and transplanted the bulbs this winter when the new growth first emerged. Maybe this was not the best timing but it worked. I now have this variety scattered in 3 locations in our garden. Plants will be blooming in all three locations.

I have attempted to grow other reticulata type Irises without success. The variety Harmony appears to be a very tough clonal selection. They have been growing in our garden for at least 5 years or more and are clearly increasing well. At one time I had ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ and another variety. If I find some at a local nursery I might try them again.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 12, 2022, 09:53:51 PM
You’te right Maggi. Jasmin, your comments are so to the point.

The Prunus in blossom against the blue sky is incredible, I love how you caught the colors. It’s really pleasant to discover plants in your own ‘garden’, in your case Crocuses, in my case Viola arvensis and the little one I didn’t identify but enjoyed immensily.

Crocus angustofolius is semi-common here, nevertheless a Crocus to enjoy.
[attachimg=1]
( I try to get the colors right, sometimes adding a bit of shade. Cutting edges seems necessary to prevent pictures ending up upside down, sorry Maggi. No other adjustments are made.)

Today was a sunny day, made this picture of (probably) my favourite winter tree. (Park)
[attachimg=2]
Always shining at sunrise.

Looks like ‘Harmony’, mistreated during renovation and still there, at least the houses will be much better regarding heating. (Just a long way home)
[attachimg=3]

Corydalis is also beginning. (Park)
[attachimg=4]
Wandered into the ‘wood’ on the ‘mountain’ and found some. Spot, my dog is a look-out, she has learned hugging is on my side so she won’t step on flowers in front of me. Mostly.

The miniature Narcissus you show are lovely, it seems a good idea to adapt to what is growing well at your place, adding that you’ve shown a lot of pretty local species. I’m thinking about a good balance between the adapted/adaptable and a handful of more challenging ones.

Cohan, it sounds like your weather is not much different to mine, only colder, very changeable. About a year ago, skating, even on the canalized stream (nights-15C),  a week later  the bees were enjoying sun, temperature and flowers. This year we’ve just had a few days of winter, next might be different, or even March.
Your wetter seems more about patterns, Robert. We’ve got avarages to work with, however, drought 2019/2020 and the flooding (Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) should ring a bell.

PS Robert

Just read about your Iris ‘Harmony’, it really seems tough. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare to other clones here.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Nik on February 13, 2022, 02:13:58 PM
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold’s Promise’ today.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 13, 2022, 05:16:31 PM
Nik

Your Hamamelis look beautiful in the snow.

Very different here, just a bit of sun today, more Crocuses opened up in the big container. Galanthus Elwesii is there and hidden in the back, a tiny white spot, Colchicum hungaricum ‘Velebit star’ is flowering.
[attachimg=1]

In the ‘spring’ container Ipheion is still going on.
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A nice patch of Eranthis. (Park)
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Variation in Crocus. (Park)
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More grey and warm weather is forecasted, some bulbs look ready to show up.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Nik on February 13, 2022, 07:07:18 PM
Hi Akke,

Today we had only about 3 inches of snow. It has been a very mild winter. Temperature is supposed to dip to -10 C tonight, but today it is above freezing and I am enjoying the fresh snow melting on our rock outcrops. We are a long way to the weather and blooms you are having.


Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 14, 2022, 02:11:01 AM
Nik,

I agree with Akke 100%, the winter Hamamelis scene is beautiful. Hamamelis grew well at our Placerville property; however due to the prolonged drought we did not keep them irrigated and they are all gone now. We tried one Hamamelis here at our Sacramento home.  It grew well for a number of years; however it too is gone – the climate became just too hot during the summer and no cold winter weather.  [Jasmin adds:]  I miss the scent of the Hamamelis.  It bloomed just as the Ume finished.  It was planted not far from our most-used door to the garden.  I also really enjoy the snow on the rock outcrops.

Akke,

I enjoy the scene of your large container! Also, the scenes from the park. The large tree with the morning sun is very nice. I often enjoy the branch structure of deciduous trees back lit by dawn or dusk lighting.

[Jasmin adds]:  The rich colors of the Crocuses, Eranthis, and the Iris are delightful in their intensity.  Tree structure and lighting is truly pleasing.  Filling my mind with the lovely scenes of everyone’s garden and locale is very uplifting.  Sunday evening, 6 p.m., some light, wispy high clouds float through, making an amazing sunset of yellows, oranges, mauves, and pinks.  There are hints the weather might change, good news if indeed it does:  From our mouths to God’s ear—we need rain! 

[Robert continues]: The warm weather has brought some of our native bulbs into bloom. When driving to the Placerville property there was a stretch of the highway (still in the Valley) where many Dichelostemma capitatum were in full bloom. Triteleia laxa will not be far behind. Both species and others grow wild on our Placerville property, however they are higher in the mountain foothills so will be blooming later in the season.

[attachimg=1]

The morning chorus of our dawning spring garden is well into its first act. Rhododendron mucronulatum ‘Berg’s Best’ does well in our Sacramento garden and has vibrantly colored flowers.

[attachimg=2]

In our garden the fragrance of flowering plants is in the warm air. For me, the scent of flowering fruit trees is especially pleasant. Our ‘Flavor Queen’ Pluot is nicely scented and will have delightful fruit later during the summer season.

[attachimg=3]

I use very common and/or overlooked plants to create our garden symphony. Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia is both a very common species as well as a species that is never considered suitable for a garden. I enjoy this species for the fragrance of its foliage. These plants germinated as volunteers in the pot where they grew last year. Eschscholzia lobbii are also volunteered in this pot. I placed this pot near a path where the fragrance can be enjoyed as I walk by. In addition, this annual species generally germinates best after a fire. I always save seed from plants that germinated without the use of fire or liquid smoke to stimulate germination.

[attachimg=4]

Yesterday, the first flowers of Diplacus douglasii opened. This is another common and completely overlooked species. The plants and flowers are very tiny, but incredibly sweet.

[attachimg=5]

Since Diplacus douglasii is a tiny plant, in our garden it is an ideal container species, where the intricate flowers can be viewed closely and appreciated. I am so very excited to be cultivating such a common plant. These are my own F1 seedlings, so additional generation may bring additional delights.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 14, 2022, 02:12:25 AM
[attachimg=1]

The fallen flower petals of Prunus ‘Okame’. I admit that I enjoy the carpet of flower petals on the ground, as much as I like the flowers on the tree. In addition, to view the petals as they fall and flutter to the ground is especially peaceful.

Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Leucogenes on February 14, 2022, 11:14:56 AM
Hello Robert

As you know, I read every word from Jasmin and you with utmost interest and great enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I often lack the necessary time to comment on every report from you.

Diplacus douglasii really forces me to express my joy. Wow...what an enchanting tiny beauty...totally unknown to me until now I am particularly interested in the native creatures of your California home...you know.

Also, the recent Lewisia rediviva specimen you showed caused my heart to race. The magnificence during bloom will be overwhelming...I am sure.

Best regards and health to you both....

Cheers
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 14, 2022, 05:58:34 PM
Hello Thomas,

Horticulture and working with plants is such a fascinating journey.

I work with the plants that are available to me and close at hand. Orchestrating the plants into a pleasing garden tapestry is such an exhilarating, creative process. And then, each plant species is a world in itself to explore.

The Genus Diplacus and Erythranthe are very fascinating. I have been working a great deal with our local species, of which there are many.

Lewisia rediviva is generally found on serpentine in our part of California. It is easy to cultivate, however it is also very demanding as to its cultural requirements. I grow a few plants in specially prepared sites in our garden where they grow well. Both Diplacus and Erythranthe are easily amenable to our garden. Now I grow hundreds each year, both my own hybrids as well as specific genetic lines of the species. I am very enthusiastic about our local Diplacus and Erythranthe species.

We can get so much valuable information from this Forum as well as Ian Young’s Bulb Log. I enjoy Ian’s comments on some of our California native species that he and Maggi grow in their garden. For example, his comments concerning Veratrum fimbriatum are very fascinating to me. I will never grow this species, however I do want to grow our local Veratrum californicum var. californicum. His comments are full of tidbits of information that provide clues as to how to grow this (and related) species and use it effectively in the garden. He does this with a myriad of plant species. I have such gratitude for this resource and his continuing efforts.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 14, 2022, 06:41:42 PM
Robert

I’m joining Leucogenes in his enthousism for Diplacus douglasii, absolutely charming. I’ve been looking forward to them (in a vicarious way?), had a sneak preview when you mentioned them earlier.  Your attention for overlooked local plants is inspiring, Eucrypta is very attractive without being showy. It’s also reassuring that enjoying fallen flower petals is done more often.

It’s very pleasant to share in all the completely different scenes, Nik, your snowy rock outcrops look great. Though winter is not forecasted now, it might still visit.

Jasmin

Your beautiful description of the sunset made me think of rain immidiately, I hope you got some.

Here Scilla libanotica fliowered.
[attachimg=1]

I’ll spare you the pictures of the destruction in the park done by city employees, normally they’re very careful, I’ve send a notice. I put in a request to be careful with ( almost 100% certain) Gagea Lutea too, more than a 100m2 doesn’t get a chance because of mowing early.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Leucogenes on February 15, 2022, 11:06:26 AM
You put it very well, Robert...working with plants is a journey.... partly to distant worlds.

I have sown many species again this season...including a great many North Americans. These are becoming more and more my favorites. The two absolute highlights will probably be Sphaeralcea caespitosa and Astragalus loanus.🤞

Membership in the Eriogonum Society is one of my next steps.😉

Thank you so much for always expanding my botanical horizons with your reports....
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 15, 2022, 03:24:13 PM
Thomas,

I hope that some day you are in a position to share the results of all the seed sowing you have done over the years. Although I grow very different North American plant species under very different circumstances, I am still keenly interested in what you are doing with plants. Understanding what species grow well for you and even what species did not work out would be very fascinating and enlightening to me.

I hope that you can post some photographs of your results in the future.


Akke,

I enjoy and appreciate all that you are sharing with us on the Forum. I am extremely interested in how your container garden will evolve over time. It appears that you have a completely different pallet of plants species to choose from compared to my situation in California. For example, you are exposed to a different range of Viola species than the ones I work with here in California. I am very interested in how these Violas species work for you.

Yesterday here in Sacramento, the first F2 seedlings of Viola purpurea ssp. purpurea started to germinate and show cotyledon leaves. I was crossing my fingers and hoping they would germinate and grow, and now they have appeared! For me such a simple thing is very promising and exciting. I have a set of Viola glabella seedlings that are surviving into their second growing season. I will be repotting a portion into a different soil mix that I believe will be more to their liking. And then there are our other local native Viola species that are in various stages of development. It is spring and so much is coming along quickly now.

Thank you again for sharing so much. The close up photograph of Scilla libanotica was enchanting!

I will post more as I can. Right now I am starting an irrigation repair job up at the Placerville property so will be very busy at times.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 15, 2022, 07:14:42 PM
Robert

Thanks for sharing so much information and pictures, seems there’s a lot of reading and enjoying to catch up in the diary section. Meanwhile, pleasure and being inspired is going on, I’m not trying to achieve the ‘perfect’ container, just learning and having fun. Seeds are germinating and I’m equally excited about the ‘local’ species as I’m about the ‘exotic’ ones.
Concerning species we grow, it might be more fascinating that we actually grow a few that are the same, given the very different circumstances. Muscari azureum, or pseudo, is just starting to show flower buds, I’m afraid I drowned some previousely, they seem fine at the moment.
Talking about water/rain, next week a lot is expected here, are you’re going to get any? Maybe our general/my private situation isn’t too bad, groundwaterlevel has been low for a few years now, we used to think about getting water out, now there’s plans to keep it in.
Good luck with repairs.

Jasmin, thanks for all your wise and helpful words. I’ll keep them in mind and at heart.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 16, 2022, 06:30:19 PM
Akke,

Unfortunately, we received no rain from the most recent storm that passed through our region. There was a light dusting of snow at the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, however this was hardly measurable. The persistent dry weather is very troubling.  [Jasmin adds:  Your lovely thoughts did bring the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets due to the sheer number of clouds of varying shades of grey.  I hoped some very dark clouds would come, to have that as background for the Okami cherry, but they did not get that black-grey color I hoped for.  I too am pondering our shared thoughts.  Now two of our cockatiel hens have laid eggs—actually one had three and the other one—and these are restless and demanding until they have their clutches and brood in earnest.  If any wonder where I disappear to, it is bird slavedom.]

[attachimg=1]

The dry storm front was followed by strong, cold, dry winds. Generic hybrid Crocus opened their flowers in the sunshine.

You are so fortunate to have such a wide variety of plants available to you. Caravans and porters rarely come to Sacramento, California. This is why I garden the way I do, attempting to turn the most mundane and common plants into something interesting and exciting (at least for me). When I read the Crocus, Narcissus, and Galanthus threads on the Forum, I feel a sense of admiration for the plants. The efforts and creativity of many people has created a world of plants and gardening that is very inspiring. The plants may be unobtainable here in Sacramento; however the Forum threads fuel my desire to be resourceful, to see if I can transform our local common plants into something new, interesting, and exciting.  [Jasmin: I prefer the optimism of gardening to the news.  I really like the color of Mr. Mylemans Eranthis hyemalis “Schwefelglanz”, and yes, I felt so bad about his Galanthus elwesii “Kite”, whether the damage is slugs, or virus, perhaps even the bark he used, or frost.   So maybe I am not such a Galanthus brute!  I just do not want too many taking over the yard.]

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I am finally getting our garden beds covered with shredded autumn leaves. Better late than never. Most of the Galanthus have finished blooming and the Erythroniums are just getting started. Erythronium multiscapideum is our local native species and they grow well in our garden. Other common native species such Iris hartwegii ssp. hartwegii and Iris macrosiphon grow well in these beds along with our local Sisyrinchium species: S. bellum, S. elmeri, and S. idahoense var. occidentale. In the far bed are many Camassia leichtinii ssp. suksdorfii. This species is common and sold by the thousands; however I have a large local gene pool to draw upon to breed and expand upon what already exists. This makes gardening fun and interesting.

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Our Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata, is starting to open its flowers.

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In our dry garden, Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’ is in full bloom. Our native Manzanita species are a major food source for our native hummingbirds and a myriad of native insect species.  Nearby, Arctostaphylos ‘Sunset’ is also in bloom. The coppery new growth of this variety is very attractive.

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Moraea macronyx seems happy in our dry cider block planters. This species blooms consistently each year and is such a pleasure to see in bloom.

Soon our dry garden will bloom with many local native Themidaceae, native Allium species and a host of native annuals.

Now, off for a few days to repair the irrigation!
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 17, 2022, 10:38:49 PM
Robert

The scenes you share are so pretty, the contrast of different seasons has become so much more attractive lately, before, flowers and foliage growing would have got my full attention instead of the whole picture. The beautiful snowy pictures shown here have added a great deal to this at well.
Is your generic hybrid Ruby giant? The purple stands out to the other colours anyway.

Sometimes a picture isn’t even necessary, Jasmin, your description of the Okami cherry triggered my imagination. I didn’t google the Okami, just made a picture in my head to fit your description, stlll I hope you can make this picture.  The weather here is not very pleasant, strong winds and more to come, I might even move some containers into shelter.

You seem to have much more challenges in your climate, I just like the way you’re working with them, showing so many beautiful plants in your garden and wild ones. Sometimes it feels that we had to do with what was available as well. Where I grew up, geographically from your point of view inside ‘de Keukenhof’,(it is located to be more accurate about 5  to 10 miles to the west because the soil was leaner and better draining, that was real tulip territory) dutch Tulips were favourite generally. Where I live now, just over a hundred miles to the northeast, Stinzenplanten found their origin. Yup, I’m fortunate, there’s so much to enjoy within a (short) walk with the dog. There is and will be a lot of species to share with neighbours and other people, it’s charming. Getting bulbs or seeds, there’s  possibilties here, I’m worried about the seed exchange though, at the moment I’ve started practising hand-pollination as I acquired some lovable species as bulbs. Seedlings I’ve sown are increasing every day, we(neighbour is a big mental part of this) will see what local species are sown additionely, some indigenous Veronica seems very likely.

Trying hand-pollination.
[attachimg=1]
A bit messy.
Sold by thousands, with a possibilty to observe by tens/hundreds of thousands, often overlooked.

Temperature is good, this Tulipa bud is in hurry
[attachimg=2]
Hope the wind doesn’t destroy it.

Scilla Mischtschenkoana is late despite above average temperatures.
[attachimg=3]
Just love ‘the little blue bulbs’

To my standards, a difficult one.
[attachimg=4]
Crocus cyprius flowering for the first time, hopefully many more times to come.
(Up to a point,this one really would have liked your dry winter,Robert )

Jasmin

Take care of your cockatial hens, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are good company, my chicken was. Her offspring were better friends with my father as he ran the vegetable garden.


Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Mike Ireland on February 18, 2022, 03:53:05 PM
Two daphne in flower at the moment, hope they still are after the "howler" we are having today.
Daphne bholua Jaqueline Postill & Daphne mezereum seedling.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Mike Ireland on February 18, 2022, 03:56:14 PM
Cyclamen coum, a lovely dark flower.  Unfortunately not in my garden,  at a friends in south Lincolnshire.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 18, 2022, 08:59:38 PM
Mike

Your Daphne look beautiful and peaceful, I hope the storm didn’t damage it. At the moment we’re probably getting the worst, better to see tomorrow when day comes. Wish everyone the best.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Mike Ireland on February 19, 2022, 11:46:02 AM
Akke the daphne & the rest of the garden look fine this morning.  Amazing what the plants can stand up to.
Surprised the greenhouses have survived without a little damage.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Mike Ireland on February 19, 2022, 12:03:11 PM
Crocus tommasinianus the day before the big storm, not opened today as it is very dark & overcast.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 19, 2022, 06:51:26 PM
Mike

Jasmin:  Your Daphnes are lovely.  Daphne mezereum is particularly sweet.  Thank you for sharing your friends’ Cyclamen coum also.  Cyclamen are one of my favorites:  the flowers, foliage, and the seed capsules always delight me!  Your most recent photo of the crocuses was superbly beautiful!

Akke

Jasmin:  Your pictures are always so lovely!  Sounds like we are all suffering strong winds these days.  It continues to be extremely dry, with no rain in the forecast.  I will absolutely have to water!  I think your imagination is better than the picture I scribbled of what I hoped for:  A background of slate grey-blue, dark Prussian blue, and black; the Okami cherry lit from the setting western sun, which highlights the bark and pink flowers with a peach glow.

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With the heat everything is opening in an explosion of flowers:  buds are just about everywhere.  The risk now is there is a prediction of a deep frost that could kill.  We shall see.  As for the birds, they are far ahead of their past March-April pattern.  All our birds are rescues or rehomed from previous homes.  The four cockatiels are all hand-fed, human-bonded birds, very unlike our budgies and canaries that were all aviary parent-reared.  However, it does lead to very humorous situations.  So far the canaries are tamer than the budgies.  They all know my proper place is to serve!

[Robert]

Akke,

The Genus Crocus certainly works for us in our garden. Yes, the previous picture posted was of Crocus ‘Ruby Giant’. When I bought the bulbs many years ago they were labeled as mixed Crocus: Yellow, Lavender, and White. Many years later I purchased Crocus ‘Ruby Giant’. These match the other Crocus, so I am assuming they are the same.

Crocus cyprius is a great recommendation for our garden! I did an Internet search for Crocus cyprius to see if they were available in California or even the U.S.A. I did not find a source. This is a VERY common dilemma I run into when looking for specific plants for our garden. So, like so many other plant species, Crocus cyprius goes on my “if by some miracle I come across this plant” list.

I have a great deal of success growing Crocus from seed. 60% of the Crocus species in our garden were grown from seed. On the other hand, I cannot get any of our Crocus to set seed, despite hand pollination. Maybe I will get seed this year. Next year I will grow some Crocus in pots so I can better control the environmental conditions. Maybe with this method I will have success.

I recently read an article about “China Lilies” in California. Narcissus tazetta ssp. chinensis was brought to California during the California Gold Rush of the 1800’s. They can still be found growing around old building sites dating to the 1800’s. Maybe the China Lilies at these old sites qualify as Stinzenplanten? The old timers I talked with back in the 1970’s used the term “China Lily” to include Narcissus tazetta ssp. chinensis as well as some other old Narcissus that were found at these old sites from the 1800’s as well as the very early 1900’s. It is all very interesting.

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Diplacus pictus is now coming into bloom. I originally bought the seed from Seedhunt, a small California-based mail order seed company. If one is interested in growing California native annuals, they are one seed company to check out. They do have a web site.

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Pseudotrillium rivale is native to Northwest California. Our hot, dry Sacramento, California garden is very different from their native environment. I have a few plants that are doing very well in our garden. They also set seed! I am very pleased. [Jasmin:  He is “pleased”!  I should think the words “completely excited” are more accurate!  The garden really is transforming into the visions we have held and conversed about for so long.]

[attachimg=4]

About 20 years ago I grew a random batch of seed gathered from numerous named Pulmonaria varieties growing in the Placerville garden. The Placerville garden is completely gone now; however some of the offspring of these named varieties are growing on in our Sacramento garden. They do extremely well in our garden.

[attachimg=5]

This is another plant derived from that original batch of seed.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 19, 2022, 06:54:40 PM
[attachimg=1]

Our high elevation forms of Erythronium multiscapideum are now coming into bloom. They appear to be less tolerant of the current unseasonably warm and dry weather than our lower elevation forms of the same species. My reference to elevation is relative. Erythronium purpurascens grows at a much higher elevation than the “high elevation” Erythronium multiscapideum site. The two species cannot be confused. If the “high elevation” Erythronium multiscapideum are hybrids with Erythronium purpurascens, then they are very ancient hybrids, now well separated from E. purpurascens in a phylogenetic sense.

Our low elevation forms of Erythronium multiscapideum are just starting to open their flowers now.

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The first flowers if Eschscholzia lobbii are now starting to open. I got a late start with Eschscholzia lobbii ‘Sundew’ this season, so they will be coming into bloom later in the season. This makes things easier when one wants to maintain seed purity!

[attachimg=3]

Gagea fibrosa is a sweet little plant. They are easy to grow, cheery when in bloom, and easily grown from seed.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ruweiss on February 19, 2022, 08:44:03 PM
Pre-Spring is rather early this year, severe late frosts could be fatal.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 20, 2022, 01:35:21 AM
Rudi,

Your garden is looking good.

Our temperatures have been well above average. Now the forecast is for the weather to turn cold with low temperatures from 0 C to -2 C. This will cause a great deal of damage in our garden if it indeed turns cold with -2 C low temperatures.  :'(  The 7 day forecast is for precipitation on day 7. It has not rained in over 40 days! 44 days without rain during the winter months is the record. This record might be broken. We are constantly watering. It is winter, it should be raining!  :'(  Maybe my tears will water the plants.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ruweiss on February 20, 2022, 07:10:08 PM
Many thanks, Robert.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 20, 2022, 07:40:31 PM
Rudi,

I enjoyed your photograph with the green plains in the background. The woodland scene with the Crocus was very nice too. I hope that your garden can avoid a killing frost this spring. Two years ago, mild warm weather in February was followed by a hard frost in March. Many plants in growth were killed to the ground. They did resprout later, however there were no flowers later in the season and no fruit on the fruit trees. The same scenario seems like it could repeat in a few days.

Anyway, may your garden escape frost damage this spring and thrive. I look forward to seeing more scenes from your garden. You grow species that are not familiar to me. Ranunculus calandrinioides is one example. Thank you for sharing the photograph.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 20, 2022, 07:50:51 PM
So many beautiful pictures and drawing. Jasmin, your drawing was actually my first mental picture, in the second one it was a black cloud with a silver lining against a bit of blue sky. Lovely.

Mike
Good to hear everything is fine at your place, not much damage here as well (wind direction wasn’t too bad at the worst part).

Fraxinus excelsior at the park didn’t survive, I liked this one.
 [attachimg=1]


Rudi, Robert
I hope your gardens won’t suffer from frost, our february average is expected to be (near) record. As usual this is accompanied by a lot of rain, we’re getting plenty of that today and it’s still going on, more strong winds are forecasted tonight.

Nice to see Crocus Tommasianus in so many places, they used to be enjoyable but simple to me, I appreciate them even more now. I’ve hand pollinated ‘just a common variety’ with ‘Roseus’ and if ‘Ruby giant’ isn’t too late, I intend to do the same.

Robert

You have so many attractive Californian species, another thanks for sharing these lovely plants. I’m not familiar with most of them, this year I hope to see my first Erythronium, but that’s also lack of experience, not just availabity. More exploring to be done😀.
Pulmonaria officinalis is in my book of Stinzenplanten (Gagea Lutea is mentioned, but possibly indigenous), this one does seed around here, it’s growing in the pavement. On the subject of Stinzenplanten I’m not sure if the ‘experts’ agree, some seem to be more comfortable with a list, while others put emphasis on definition, it’s not my discussion (although I have my own inspiration) Stinzenplanten are described as imported long ago (not many dates are mentioned, C. Tommasianus is actually ‘young’ introduced;1847) from abroad or other parts of the Netherlands and doing so fine here (no care necessary) that they seem natural. Sounds like your Narcissus tazetta ssp.  chinensis fits right in, people might have a different opinion.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Nik on February 20, 2022, 08:17:45 PM
At 3 pm it is -1C and glorious sunshine today. The creeping thyme seems quite purplish and the first new sporophytes are signaling that spring is about to arrive soon.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 21, 2022, 08:32:52 PM
Nik

Your purplish Thyme looks beautiful, is it always like this, or does it get greener with higher temperatures?

Jasmin, this was more or less what I imagined, adding a bit more of grey to the clouds and maybe some sunlight on the flower. This one was staged, Crocus cyprius is easy to move, I just got it out of shelter.
[attachimg=1]
Every cloud has a silver lining they say, in this case bad weather (storm and stormy weather since wednesday night) gets accompanied by pretty skies.

Problems with water are the opposite of yours, we’re having too much at the moment and ( not helped by wind direction) it’s difficult to get it out. Water level on the city canals is expected to rise until tomorrow morning, it could cause additional damage.

Not disturbed by any of this, Scilla rosenii pops up and is trying to flower at once.
[attachimg=2]
This is a new one and I already like it😀, ‘the little blue bulbs’ do have a  certain appeal for me 

Jasmin

Good luck with the slavery, my chicken was just bossy, chasing the cat away from its food even when it made room for her and her children to eat. Bizarre and sad news, 87 rooks were killed in the storm when the tree they were hiding in broke.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Nik on February 21, 2022, 09:36:46 PM
Hi Akke,

These are beautiful pictures!

My creeping thyme is green any other time. With purple flowers.
I was just outside looking at a young deer eating partridge berry (MItchella repens) in our backyard moss garden. They try to help too much. They ate most of the witch hazel flowers I had in the front yard. Oh well, it is what it is…

I love all of your updates of spring coming to the Northern Hemisphere.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 22, 2022, 03:16:49 AM
Nik,

The golden moss (I presume) is very interesting. Were they planted purposely? Another plant I know nothing about, nevertheless they are very attractive.  We also like the purple thyme.  We really enjoy seeing and hearing what is happening in everyone’s gardens.

Akke,

The discussion about the Genus Crocus certainly has me thinking. All the species that I grow in our garden do extremely well, both spring and autumn blooming species. Per our Crocus discussions, it seems worth my effort to explore the possibility that other species might do equally well in our Sacramento garden. As stated earlier, I am devising various experiments to better understand the complexities of getting them to set seed in our garden. I have requested Janis Ruksans book “Crocuses” from our public library; however you made reference to a book “The World of Crocuses”. I cannot find any references to this book. Can you provide any additional information, such as the author or publisher?

I will share the results of my research.  I like to investigate the technical aspects of why plants do what they do given various environmental variables. Yes, I like and want an attractive garden that is fun to enjoy; however the science behind the plants is also very interesting and pleasurable.

I hope that your garden faired well in the windstorm. Spot (this is your dog’s name?) looks very regal perched on the Ash log. [Very attractive]

[Jasmin]:  Your crocus with the sky is really dramatic.  Just this evening we are getting the deep, dark clouds I longed for when I photographed the Okami cherry. 

We started to protect all the tender things we could, but tomorrow we will have others to add.  The deeper cold is set to arrive Wednesday through Friday.  The coastal Delta region is lower and more susceptible, as your country is to high water.  Our area is a bit higher; however, the two major rivers—the American and the Sacramento—dominate here, and they have plenty of creeks and streams.  So, we, too, always have varying degrees of flood potential.  This is where development has been a dismal disaster:  They built so much of the floodplain, and channelized the rivers, creeks and streams forcing the water into a more destructive force.  The natural terrain and plants served to absorb and cushion the water.  We need water so desperately, and we pray it comes gentle, rather than some of those torrential downpours.

Sad about the rooks, poor dears.  Your hen sounds like she was an excellent mother.  As for my demanding dears, Naomi is such a natural.  In many ways she is the easiest, although no one can handle her except myself.  Dariya, however, likes the self-pleasuring, but has never liked the egg part of the deal.  She has always acted traumatized when she has an egg.  This year she is extremely fussy and restless every time.  She is healthy, and there is no egg-binding, so there is no reason for the drama.  Unfortunately, a sex change is not possible.

[attachimg=1]

[Robert again]:
Our weather is shifting dramatically. Temperatures are much cooler and the wind is cold. We might get some rain tomorrow and the next day. This would be a blessing. It might also snow at our Placerville property in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Frost is forecasted after the storm clears. Some locations in the Sacramento Valley might dip to -2 C to -3 C during the early morning hours. I have a few plants I need to protect. Also, the pace of our garden has slowed dramatically. I am happy with this.

I am also noticing a major shift in the Rossby Wave pattern in the Northern Hemisphere. The east coasts of North America and Europe are likely to see a new weather patterns in the next 7 to 10 days. The NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and AO (Arctic Oscillation) indexes are still in positive territory; however they are beginning to trend lower as the jet stream shifts. The weather is always interesting and full of surprises!

The first flowers of Iris macrosiphon have opened. I prefer our California native species versus hybrids. I have made some nice selections of Iris macrosiphon and other local native species. I hope they all bloom this year. I would enjoy sharing photographs. Their flowers range in color from white to deep inky purple and a large variety of shades in between.

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Iris ‘Harmony’ blooming with the last flowers of Cyclamen coum.

[attachimg=3]

Akke,

I had to edit this comment when I saw your photograph of Scilla rosenii. I grew this Scilla cilicica from seed. Yes, the tiny Scilla species are great container plants! It would be nice to grow other species.

[attachimg=4]

I grow a number of trees in containers that would become much too large for our garden if I planted them in the ground. Pictured is Cercis occidentalis coming into leaf.

[attachimg=5]

I grew this Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis, from seed gathered from a tree that I have been visiting since the early 1970’s. It set flower buds this year and will be blooming for the first time very soon.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 22, 2022, 03:20:27 AM
[attachimg=1]

I also enjoy our native California Buckeye, Aesculus californica. I appreciate both the new growth in the spring as well as the drying foliage in the early summer. Its early dormancy is completely in rhythm with our summer dry interior California climate. I am hoping that my container grown specimens can eventually display their mature smooth white bark. The bark is very attractive when viewed during the autumn and winter months.  [Jasmin:  The white flowers grow on upward-reaching spikes that look like candles.]

[attachimg=2]

Late this afternoon Jasmin alerted me that the first flower of the season opened on Nemophila maculata. There are plenty more that will be opening as the season progresses.

[attachimg=3]

Many more Erythronium multiscapideum are opening in the garden.

[attachimg=4]

We cannot have too many Erythroniums in our garden!
[Jasmin:  Now that weeds are being conquered, and mulch set, there is a great deal of space—an exciting blank canvas to fill with treasures!  Just this afternoon we were enumerating plants for this area.]

[attachimg=5]

Our only named variety of Pulmonaria in our garden, Pulmonaria ‘Benediction’
[Jasmin:  I like the purple-flowered Pulmonarias, but it is the pinks that have the more interesting white-speckled foliage.]
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ruweiss on February 22, 2022, 09:13:11 PM
Akke and Robert, many thanks for your kind comments and the good wishes,
that late frosts will not be too severe. Off course I wish the same to you.
Last year a severe late frost did much harm to our roses in our meadow garden,
a rambler rose froze down to almost ground level. This place is a frost pocket,
our other garden by the house is much warmer. We started our Cyclamen coum
population about 30 years ago with 4 tubers from the Turkish Black Sea region
and it seems that these plants enjoy our climate. They now spread all over the
meadow and also at the drier places under the conifers.
Crocus tommassinianus had a rather slow start, but now the seedlings spread
quite nice.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ruweiss on February 22, 2022, 09:25:22 PM
Robert,
Ranunculus calandrinioides is from Morocco, but grows quite well in our climate. It flowers very early
in the year and goes underground in the summer. The flower in the picture is from a plant
in a covered frame, but the flowers of my other plant in my crevice garden starts also flowering.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 22, 2022, 10:21:37 PM
Nik

The way you enjoy your garden is invigorating, you seem to appreciate everything that’s happening. Thinking about moss gardens, we, me and my neighbour, are doing the same.

Robert

You explained (January 31) about changing leaf colour, would this be the same? It’s not very likely that I can see this on my creeping Thyme this winter, given the weather forecast.
The situation here is much better, water level is going down and there’s less precipitation, previous two days we got the normal average of February. It seems a lot of work has been done since 2012 when lower levels led to more problems, apparently undoing the channelizing helped.
Regarding development in lower areas, a lot of that in the Netherlands, this is more or less political. Policy doesn’t seem to be based on likely possibilities in the near future, best-case scenario’s are favourite, at least we’ve learned to leave some space for flooding.
I really hope that your plants will not be damaged by frost and some rain over there. Things turned out okay here, some flowers were broken  because of the wind, got some sheltered, it could have been much worse.

Your pictures are so colourful, Nemophila maculata is looking much better than on the package (commercial) ones. Iris macrosyphon is another beautiful local species, more pictures are certainly welcome. Only local Iris here is pseudacorus, since the water is cleaner it’s fine and some are even growing on small floating duckling islands. Instead of saying how lucky you are, the thought to look around  better,  crossed my mind.
Sounds very logical that your Buckeye has summer dormancy, yet, I would never have guessed right at the pub quiz😀. Our local chestnuts are unfortunately infected, an experimental treatment with heat is applied on some of them around here, time will tell. Another tree, your Cercis occidentalis, is something to look forward to, found some beautiful pictures. Is it just pruning to keep it containersize and would it work for Quercus? It would be a nice thing to do for my neighbour with an oak that probably fell out of the sky (crows?).

Enjoying a bit of filtered sun this morning, some very fresh green against the dark evergreen is a pleasant sign of spring.
[attachimg=1]
Just a park scene.

Another bit of Crocus
[attachimg=2]
I wished for a picture with the flowers open, but the sun made the bark of the Beech tree light up.

‘The World of Crocuses’ is written by Janis Ruksans, thumbing through it, I found delicious Crocuses that would (at least at flowering time) be happy outside here and others that wouldn’t be happy here at all, first kind suits me best beside the ones I had.  There’s also seedlings of dutch garden Crocuses sown last season, they seem to be sprouting now. You’re investigating, I’ve started trying things, it is fun and a beginning,😀 I hope to be able to share some useful information as well.

Scilla cilicica is sweet, when did you sow it? Flowering time for the little blue bulbs planted here, is starting. In general my expectations would have been, much earlier flowering at your place. Repotted Harmony is not here yet.

Jasmin

I like animals with their own character, Dariya and Naomi have enough of that I think. Lucky (my chicken) even let me swap the eggs, hers wouldn’t work. Hopefully there’ll be some pictures of the yougsters in a couple of weeks.


Rudi

Just read yout comment, thanks. Normally severe frost aren’t going to happen anymore here. Three storms within a week shouldn’t happen normally either.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 23, 2022, 06:17:59 PM
A lot of sun today.

[attachimg=1]
Scilla decidua

[attachimg=2]
Crocus chrysanthus ‘advance’

[attachimg=3]
Crocus korolkowii, the one on the left, didn’t survive the storm.

[attachimg=4]
Colchicum hungaricum ‘velebit star’, tiny but beautiful.

[attachimg=5]
Ornithogalum lanceolatum is flowering.

It felt and looked like spring today, I hope your plants are allright, Robert.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Nik on February 23, 2022, 07:40:47 PM
Thinking about moss gardens, we, me and my neighbour, are doing the same.
Akke, yes, mosses are wonderful. Here is a portion of our backyard in late summer.
Thanks for posting all of these beautiful spring pictures!
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 23, 2022, 08:08:49 PM
Nik

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your moss garden, neighbour is probably going to like them as well.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Nik on February 23, 2022, 08:22:02 PM
And here are few pictures I just took today. The great thing about mosses, lichens and rocks is that they look fine any time of the year. A Japanese maple seedling made it into one of the pictures too. This area of our backyard is right next to our second floor deck.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 23, 2022, 08:32:49 PM
Nik

What a great view. First one looks like a cuddly toy, some more pictures to share.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 24, 2022, 02:45:00 AM
Nik,
 
Your pictures of the rocks, moss, and lichens are amazing.  They instantly bring to mind many traditional Japanese rockery gardens.

Rudi,

Thank you for the detailed information concerning the plants in your garden. If I understand correctly, your Crocus tommasinianus propagate both by seed and division? The information on Ranunculus calandrinioides was extremely helpful. In some ways, it appears that Ranunculus calandrinioides is similar to our native Ranunculus occidentalis var. ultramontanus: Both species are dormant during the summer, appear to be tolerant of some moisture during the summer, and are native to mountainous regions. I am not sure on the last point. I need to start doing research on this species.

Is it okay if I ask more questions about your Crocus tommasinianus and their ability to set seed? Although our garden conditions are different, both my wife and I truly appreciate learning how various plant species respond in differing garden conditions.

Akke,

Your last set of photographs is simply amazing. Although Jasmin and I have decades of various gardening experiences, I am starting over as a gardener (my first season). Basically, I am a beginner all over again. Most of the plants you are showing, I know nothing about. I apologize for my ignorance.

For example, I planted the seed of Scilla cilicica during the autumn of 2016. The seedlings germinated during the spring of 2017. The first flowers did not appear until the spring of 2021. The past 15 years were challenging ones for us, and we struggled to save plants, to keep them alive. We lost so many plants during those years. I feel so fortunate we were able to save one plant of Scilla cilicica. Now that we can take care of them again they are thriving. I feel sure they might have bloomed sooner had we been able to take proper care of them. We did the best we could with the circumstances, and feel incredibly fortunate to be able to garden again. We are excited and enthusiastic like young children at play. It is just pure pleasure!

[attachimg=1]

Here is another section of our garden that has been cleaned up and partly mulched with shredded leaves. There is a great deal of wide-open space for planting.

[attachimg=2]

I was so pleased to find more Narcissus triandrus in another part of our garden. I stripped the flowers of pollen for breeding projects and cross pollenated the two flowers with other pollen. Last year’s crosses have germinated and are growing well. Slowly the garden and old projects are coming back to life again.

To answer some of your questions:

> Cercis occidentalis is easy to grow and keep small in a container. I trim the roots and repot them every 3 to 4 years. The new growth gets pinched and trimmed as necessary for shaping. I have one native oak, Quercus wislizenii, in a container. I see no reason why one of your local oaks could not be kept in a container and trained. Both Jasmin and I have been influenced by the art of Japanese bonsai, and this permeates our garden pruning and grooming style.

> Yes, the leaves of the thyme plant are turning color for, more or less, the same reason my Clarkias were turning color. The exact environmental variables might be different; however the plants are all coping with photoinhibition. This is a very simplified answer.

[attachimg=3]

Yesterday, 22 February, the clouds began to build. Extremely cold weather was in the forecast so Jasmin and I stripped our orange tree of ripe fruit, and the questionably hardy container plants were moved into places of protection from the cold.

[attachimg=4]

Storm clouds built all day; however it never rained. The most we encountered was a brief downpour of grapple as we drove through Diamond Springs, California. It has been 46 days since there was last measurable rain, a new record for the winter months.

[attachimg=5]

At the end of the day the clouds were dark and threatening; however during the night the skies cleared and it became very cold. Record low temperatures were tied both at our Sacramento home and at the Placerville property. Tonight, temperatures are forecasted to drop even lower. New record cold temperatures are very likely. The good news is that our frost protection measures worked well. It appears that they will continue to be effective tomorrow morning. Most of the plants in our garden are hardy, so the cold did not impact them, except that their growth has slowed considerably. The dramatic swings from unseasonably hot to extreme cold are more common in late March or throughout April, never this time of year.  We appreciate when other Forumists not only share images of their garden plants, but also information about the plants and the weather conditions.

I have a busy work schedule for the next few days, so I will sign off until later.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 25, 2022, 10:09:56 PM
Nik

You're right, so I made some changes too. 

My neighbour loved your pictures very much, thanks again.
[attachimg=1]
Asplenium trichomanes looked great in the setting sun, it found its own way here.

Robert
 
Your pictures are really beautiful. the green promise between the brown leaves attracted my attention this season/subject, something to treasure. N. Triandrus is lovely, I hope your crossings work out, it looks like seedpods are growing on some of Narcissus nylon group here, first try, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
And then I scrolled down... Really impressive, and looking full of rain, sorry to hear you didn’t get serious precipitation. Still, very beautiful pictures. Clouds like that would get my attention here as a warning to wind and rain, not of frost.
Is Aesculus Californica (previous post) always ahead?

Please don’t apologize, your knowledge, experience and observations of plants is by far superior to mine, I hope I don’t sound like a know-it-all, I’m just reading and observing. Luckily I found some very good advice and enjoying the whole thing😃. Scilla decidua is from Janis Ruksans, other pictures (all second year) came from a very well assorted dutch garden centre and all were grown from bulbs, the  abundant colours I wanted to share, not keep for myself.
When it comes to bulb growing from seeds, I admire your Scilla cilicica, it’s lovely and you grew it from seed, there’s some seedlings here showing up for a second round/year already and it makes me happy. I don’t know if your S. Cilicica was slow, after all the reading, I was surprised to see a few Allium Cupanii and flavum and something unidentified (mixed bulbs) flowering last year.
[attachimg=2]
Scilla Siberica (stinzenplant) showing up in the park, as far as I’ve observed there’s no special care for bulbs. Again, we’re lucky to have this collection of naturalizing, non-weedy plants.
In general I’m also curious if there are more widespread garden plants in completely different conditions, like Crocus Tommasianus and Viola odorata.

I’ll share weather conditions, Robert. They’re not very reliable however from this small part of the World, one winter can be serious, and this one wasn’t there (and might still visit). We’re used to changes, but extremes are getting worse. At the moment your our weather forecast looks like yours, a tiny bit of freezing at night, (semi) sunny days.





Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 26, 2022, 03:24:57 PM
Akke,

I am enjoying your postings immensely.  8)   8)   8)

Our garden survived two nights of record breaking low temperatures.

In addition, some books arrived from our public library to help me better understand the bulbs and other plants being used in gardens in Europe.

I will post the details and some photographs of new plants in bloom from our California garden later today or early tomorrow morning.

The Forum is certainly a source of encouragement, new gardening ideas and perspective for me!  :)   :)   :)
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ruweiss on February 26, 2022, 08:18:22 PM
Robert,
Crocus tommasinianus spreads itself by the ability of producing many seeds, vegetative propagation is only useful
if you need special colors and forms. I started the C. tommasianianus population in our garden many years ago with
a cheap packet of Dutch bulbs.
Near our meadow garden is a neglected orchard with old apple trees, a paradise for birds an many other endangered
animals. In early spring it is decorated with C. tommasinianus, seedlings which escaped from the garden beside.
The attached pictures are from former years, I also showed most of them in the forum.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: ruweiss on February 26, 2022, 08:22:00 PM
More Crocus
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 26, 2022, 08:46:04 PM
Rudi

Your C. Tommasianus are lovely.

Robert

Thanks and likewise.  ;)
On my walks and observing my own containers, enjoying the spring and flowers, sharing, in a broad sense,  has become a great bonus.

Yesterday evening weather changed, a cloudless and cold/freezing night was followed by a sunny day, not much wind as well, a good time to take the long way home. At this time frosts are not unusual here, they can be severe in March as well, it doesn’t sound like that at your place.

Big dutch crocus, not my favourite, but together a nice carpet. The green in the back is mostly Eranthis, picture taken on almost the same spot.
[attachimg=1]
I'm still trying to find a way to show carpets of flowers, might take some time, practice and a good idea.

Morning walk. ‘Wildlife’
[attachimg=2]
A Poicephalus senegalus has been living in the park for over twenty years, he was joined by a Psittacula eupatria (aided by Wikipedia) a couple of years ago and they ended up as a lovely couple, though both male. About a month ago two more exotic ones turned up, hopefully they’re male as well as we have invasive  Alopochen aegyptiaca dominating the water already.

The best clumps/lumps of Crocus I’ve found so far.
[attachimg=3]
The old churchyard is a really good place to enjoy bulbs as well, easily missed, just started visiting this place less than a year ago.

Gagea Lutea flowering in the old churchyard.
[attachimg=4]
 Apart from liking this one, there is actually a change that it’s really indigenous and not planted here, which would be really special. The old city was built on a ridge left in glacial times and is on ‘higher’ grounds, fine soil for bulbs. It doesn’t look like research is being done, happily I’ve discovered that more people love it.

I think you mentioned ‘Buried Treasures’  when talking about books and libraries, I looked that one up, unfortunately this one is not available here, there might be some possibilities I’ve not looked at yet.

In exchange, it turns out that you have quite a number of californian species that are attractive, for example Nemophila. Even before you mentioned them, they were on the shortlist of annuals to grow-and-give, it’s fun to grow plants and share the results (a pot of nearly flowering plants) with other people.  Got Limnanthes douglasii as well, I wonder if this is a ‘weed’ or a weed around your place.

Inspiration about the given/dropped oak is all on your account ::), my neighbour likes the idea of keeping it small (looking oak like), very much. We’ll try, any advice is very welcome.

Jasmin, I hope your hens are doing fine. I remember Spot (my dog) being pregnant, actually she did fine and is now a lousy grandmother.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 26, 2022, 08:55:31 PM
Nik

Just missed your avatar, it's good.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 26, 2022, 09:37:46 PM
Our garden survived two nights of record low temperatures with minimal frost damage. Except for a few burned flowers on our Star Magnolia and some burned new growth on our Orange tree, all our other plants were completely unharmed or were properly protected from the cold. Actually, it was not that cold. Low temperatures ranged from 29 F to 30 F (-1.7 to -1.1 C) respectively on 24 and 25 February. Given the much above average temperatures during the previous weeks, I was expecting much more frost damage. Our Apricot and Pluots trees were in full bloom and there was soft new growth on many species. I observed none of the characteristic blackened foliage typical of frost-damaged plants. Our proximity to the Sacramento River may have had some moderating influence.

Preparing for the frost had some “happy-accident” occurrences. I discovered an Erythronium citrinum var. citrinum in bloom. I had thought that the plants had died and here they were in bloom! In addition, our Eranthus hyemalis have been setting viable seed and many seedlings are appearing in the vicinity of the mother plants. This is a very simple garden pleasure, but one with which I am delighted.

[attachimg=1]

Recently, two major roots on our Buddleia broke. We decided to remove the Buddleia and replace it with a nice specimen of Actostaphylos manzanita with pristine white flowers. This is from a seed accession from one of my outings to Amador County, California where I found this exceptional plant.

[attachimg=2]

More of our California native species are coming into bloom. The first flowers of Ranunculus occidentalis var. occidentalis are beginning to open. This species can bloom profusely and make a striking display.

[attachimg=3]

Our early Themidaceae species are just starting to come into bloom. Dipterostemon capitatus ssp. capitatus ‘Skunk Hollow White’ is another outing accession from a site near the South Fork of the American River. This selection is by far the best white Dipterostemon capitatus I have grown to date.

> Please note the name change: Dichelostemma capitatum is now Dipterostemon capitatus. I attempt to stay current with botanical name changes as they are used in California.

[attachimg=4]

This is one of my new Narcissus hybrids under observation. I like the ruffled flowers and hope that the flowers will be well shaped when they bloom next season.  [Robert has always had a fondness for ruffled flowers].

Akke,

Janis Ruksans book Crocuses arrived from our public library yesterday. This book and a few others that come from our public library will help me better understand Crocuses and follow the Forum discussions of this Genus.

Scilla, Muscari, Gagea, Galanthus, Acis, Colchium, Crocus, as well as the less common Tulipa and Narcissus species are virtually unknown in our part of California. Species and hybrids from all these groups can thrive in our region but are never seen in > 99.999% of the gardens in our region. This is somewhat of an enigma to me, but not completely surprising. All the local nurseries that once might carry these items closed during the past 10 years, and currently there is very little interest in gardening by our local residents.

Rudi - Akke

We generally pre-edit our postings. We will have a great deal to respond to, however thank you so very, very, much for your comments!  :)   8)   :)   8)
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 26, 2022, 09:38:12 PM
Robert

Talking about weather, as expected a very mild winter (keeping in mind that dates are only being recorded since 1901).
https://nos.nl/artikel/2418994-uitzonderlijk-zachte-winter-in-top-10-warmste-winters
I’ll translate/summarize if necessary.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on February 27, 2022, 08:24:32 PM
Rudi,

Thank you for all the photographs of your naturalized Crocus. There is clearly a great deal of genetic diversity. It appears that your naturalized Crocus set a great deal of seed. Have you ever noticed how many of the naturalized Crocus set seed? Only some plants or most of the plants? My understanding is that, like in the Genus Narcissus, in some cases Crocuses can be aneuploids. Obviously, this can be a source of complete, partial, or intermittent sterility. My Crocus tommasinianus have never set seed despite hand pollination. There are no indications of virus infection. Maybe it was just unfortunate that the few plants that I have turned out to be aneuploids or perhaps there is some other sort of incompatibility. Perhaps there is not enough of a population. I will keep experimenting. I am not surprised at all that my hybrid Crocuses appear to be sterile. From what I am reading on the Forum and from other sources many Crocus species seem to set seed easily. Another bit of information I have not run across yet is if Crocuses are obligate out-breeders or if they can be self-compatible? Inbreeding may be a useful breeding tool, however it is not a good way to maintain genetic diversity in a population.

Rudi, I also found the old apple orchard to be very interesting. The trees seem to be very old and on a standard rootstock. The orchard is so very different from modern orchard practices. When I was young there were many old fruit orchards in our area that looked very similar to the apples in your photographs. The only difference was that in many cases the trees were almonds, olives, pears and in some cases apples. Most of these orchards are gone now and the land is now urban and filled with some sort of buildings, asphalt, and concrete. Some of the orchards died off due to disease and now there are other fruit trees. In some cases the existing trees were top-worked with new varieties. When I was in my 20’s I was hired by farmers to top-work their fruit trees. I also tee-budded thousands of fruit trees that are now in orchards that are still in production. It is an interesting feeling for me to drive around El Dorado County and know that I grafted or budded many to the fruit trees in the local orchards.

Akke,

We cheated with the climatic report in Dutch: First Jasmin and I looked it over and sort of got an idea of the article. Many Dutch and English words are very similar, plus, Jasmin Knows German. Then we cheated and sent a copy to my brother, a PhD. in Atmospheric Science. The next morning we had a full translation. I am not sure what he did but he has access to the university system and many skilled professionals. There is also a chance that he sent a copy to my sister who lived in Boxtel for many years. She is most likely fluent in the Dutch language. Anyway, the climatic report is extremely interesting. Thank you for sending it. I will keep a copy, as it may be useful for my long-term climatic research.

Limnanthes douglasii is a very common species in parts of California. It was once very common in our region; however rampant and uncontrolled urban development is rapidly destroying their habitat in our area. It is very difficult to impress the scale of urban development in our area: Gigantic and astronomical does not seem to encompass the speed and completeness. Square hectares of habitat for many life forms have been lost. I am attempting to save unique ecotypes and other significant forms of some of our local plant species. In addition, I am documenting what currently exists but what will likely be lost very soon. Maybe if a few humans survive the catastrophe they are creating, someone might be interested in what once existed.

Limnanthes alba ssp. alba and ssp. versicolor are also common in our area. They currently grow in areas where widespread development is not likely to encroach—or so we hope. With these plants the question is how climate change will impact their distribution in our region. This is another aspect of my research, which does not have an easy answer; wildfires and other human activities such as commercial logging are rapidly changing ecological habitats in our area. How the plants and plant communities will respond is currently unknown to me. What is clear is many of our local unmanaged ecosystems that have remained undisturbed are extremely resilient to the environmental forcing created by climate change.

We have quite a few Nemophila species that are native to our part of California. I see Nemophila maculata frequently when in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Nemophila menziesii can be found within walking distance of our Placerville property. There are other species. Nemophila heterophylla is very common; other species are less frequently seen. Examples are Nemophila parviflora, N. pedunculata, N. pulchella, and N. spatulata.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on February 28, 2022, 08:41:42 PM
Robert

It would have been special if you hadn’t cheated, Dutch and German are different languages   :). The KNMI (royal dutch meteorological institute) is a good source of information regarding weather and climate, their approach is scientific, accentuating the difference between weather and climate, while at the same time explaining/warning about climate change. Btw, it’s not difficult to live in the Netherlands for many years not learning Dutch, we’re very impatient and switch to English right away, and then complain.
I’m glad the frost didn’t do too much damage, breaking the ice on Spots bucket (my dog prefers outside water to tapwater), I was surprised to find so much of it.

Erythronium citrinum var citrinum sounds like a very welcome surprise, I can only compare to the discovery of small local species last year.

Your pictures with all the different flowering plants look so pretty, majority here is still Galanthus, Eranthis and Crocuses (still thinking about a good way to give an impression). Scilla is following.
[attachimg=1]
Scilla ‘Indra’ , some kind of S. caucasica, new in my container.

Choosing (available) californian species as this years annual, was a happy coincedence, getting to know their original surroundings a bit by your writings adds much to the pleasure. If things work out there’ll be some local common plants soon, easily overlooked ones but appreciated in a container. Most have probably already gone due to agricultural development, urban development (as I actually have a place, though very small, it also feels self-centered and from a ‘comfortable’ position to comment, getting a house here is a major problem) might even improve the situation. ‘Nature’ over here consists mostly of very wet or very dry and poor soils, leftovers, while we’re highly ranked in the list of food exporting countries. Milk comes from the factory and nature is some (monocultural and overfed) green with cows. I’ve done a quick read on your last diary, I fear our own species have mostly gone.

About the ‘new’ species and hybrids like Galanthus, Crocus, Narcissus, Muscari and Tulipa that are for sale in most garden centres, as long as you want categorie ‘the big Dutch’ you’re fine, they’re displayed like you would learn in marketing class. If you’re not attracted to them, it could take a few years to discover the other lovely ones.  I’m still surprised that people love my ‘very common’ stinzenplanten and allies,  at least it makes it easy to give plants/bulbs away as they’re appreciated. Gagea is different, lots in the park and no bulbs for sale in the Netherlands.

A new project.
[attachimg=2]
First picture of our (neighbour and mine) new mini-moss-project. We’ll see what wlll happen and will try to resist watering.




Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Akke on March 01, 2022, 04:41:53 PM
First leaves on Sambucus nigra.
[attachimg=1]
No wind at all, picture is right side up.

Robert

These figures give an impression on dutch climate, https://www.knmi.nl/klimaatdashboard
Neerslag=precipitation, gemiddelde=average and lente=spring.
Title: Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
Post by: Robert on March 01, 2022, 07:05:08 PM
Akke,

[Jasmin]:  El holandès no es el alemán?  Dutch isn’t German?  Like Spanish isn’t Portuguese?  And American hasn’t been English for how long, if ever?

Some humor is better in person, or with knowing a person a long time!  With my mother’s relatives, there were “international relations” (a Norwegian married a Swede), and we could joke and tease with each other.  To have dark, gallows, humor takes a particular knack, talent, and tact:  During my university years, I knew this very sweet German fellow, who was that kind:  As students of history, the darker humor, and his timing always helped me get through the rougher parts, just as emergency room doctors and nurses etcetera types of jobs utilize this humor to get through their days.  I still think of him and his quiet commitment and courage to tend this difficult history.  He and others like him, in Germany and other countries, is reason we can nurture better democracies, nations, and world. So your statement brought all sorts of good memories.

As for the cheating:  I only dream in Spanish, German, or American anymore.  To be honest, I really did not have time to borrow language CDs and movies in Dutch.  It worked for me with other languages, such as French.  French, because I skipped that class, just as I cheated myself of Latin.  I was young and so excited about Existentialism (religious and not) and life: I was more interested in this artist in Paris (lived in a student studio) and taking these artist-given private tours of the museums than literature.  I was convinced Sartre would approve. I was the honor student with memory who did great on tests and wasn’t too bright, I guess.  I lived so many oxymorons.  Somehow, I never did drinking, drugs, smoking, or sex.  With my lungs, smoking was going to be the death of me.  With my religious mother, I knew if I got into that kind of trouble, I was definitely going to get Hell from her—and not Hell, Norway either.  Nowadays, it is common for women to be 30 or 40 when they have their first child, but when I was born [January 1967] that was rare.  With such old parents, this age difference left us with challenges.  As for the artist, we had a fight on Bastille Day in a World Cup year.  There was so much yelling and shouting, no one noticed us.  What an amazing, great life!  I have really been blessed.

I really love the rocks for the moss garden.  Suiseki is the traditional Japanese appreciation of certain rocks for their aesthetics.  Plain rocks are incredibly beautiful.  I am looking forward to seeing how your grouping transforms.  The brick wall with the fern was super.  I recognized the area of crocus where you photographed Eranthis earlier.

[Robert’s Comment]

Akke,

Thank you for all of the links to climatic information.

[attachimg=1]

I thought you might like these photographs of Limnanthes alba taken several years ago in our region. In our area, populations of Limnanthes douglasii are declining rapidly due to encroaching development. This species is still abundant in other parts of California, but locally we are rapidly losing our native wildflowers.

[attachimg=2]

Limnanthes species can respond well after a fire burns through an area. This season, it is possible that I might be in the right location at the right time to gather some seed of Limnanthes alba.
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