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Author Topic: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere  (Read 2804 times)

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #15 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.
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Spontaneously grown moss, treasured miniature (25 cm/ 10 inch) rock garden at my neighbour’s.
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A containter for ‘we’ll see what happens’ is planned again. No more oak trees, please.
Akke & Spot
Mostly bulbs. Gardening in containers and enjoying public green.
Northern part of The Netherlands, a bit above sealevel, zone 8a normally, average precipitation 875 mm.
Lots to discover.

Robert

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #16 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.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #17 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.


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.

Akke & Spot
Mostly bulbs. Gardening in containers and enjoying public green.
Northern part of The Netherlands, a bit above sealevel, zone 8a normally, average precipitation 875 mm.
Lots to discover.

Robert

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2022, 09:08:15 PM »


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.



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



Another view of Primula (Dodecatheon) hendersonii.



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.



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.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

cohan

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #19 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

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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!

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Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #20 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.




Akke & Spot
Mostly bulbs. Gardening in containers and enjoying public green.
Northern part of The Netherlands, a bit above sealevel, zone 8a normally, average precipitation 875 mm.
Lots to discover.

Robert

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #21 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.




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!



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!)



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



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.



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.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Robert

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2022, 02:16:44 AM »


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.



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



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.



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



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.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Maggi Young

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #23 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!!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Robert

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2022, 08:04:25 PM »
Akke,



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



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.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #25 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.

( 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)

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)


Corydalis is also beginning. (Park)

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.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2022, 10:00:01 PM by Akke »
Akke & Spot
Mostly bulbs. Gardening in containers and enjoying public green.
Northern part of The Netherlands, a bit above sealevel, zone 8a normally, average precipitation 875 mm.
Lots to discover.

Nik

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2022, 02:13:58 PM »
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold’s Promise’ today.
Connecticut, zone 7a

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #27 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.
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In the ‘spring’ container Ipheion is still going on.


A nice patch of Eranthis. (Park)
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Variation in Crocus. (Park)


More grey and warm weather is forecasted, some bulbs look ready to show up.
Akke & Spot
Mostly bulbs. Gardening in containers and enjoying public green.
Northern part of The Netherlands, a bit above sealevel, zone 8a normally, average precipitation 875 mm.
Lots to discover.

Nik

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #28 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.


Connecticut, zone 7a

Robert

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #29 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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

 


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