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Author Topic: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere  (Read 3231 times)

Nik

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #60 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!
Connecticut, zone 7a

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #61 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.
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 #62 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.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2022, 08:24:26 PM by Nik »
Connecticut, zone 7a

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #63 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.
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 #64 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!



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.
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 #65 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.

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.
700404-1
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.





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 #66 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!  :)   :)   :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

ruweiss

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #67 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.
Rudi Weiss,Waiblingen,southern Germany,
climate zone 8a,elevation 250 m

ruweiss

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #68 on: February 26, 2022, 08:22:00 PM »
More Crocus
Rudi Weiss,Waiblingen,southern Germany,
climate zone 8a,elevation 250 m

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #69 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.
700429-0
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’

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.
700433-2
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.

 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.
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.

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #70 on: February 26, 2022, 08:55:31 PM »
Nik

Just missed your avatar, it's good.
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 #71 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.



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.



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.



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.



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)
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 #72 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.
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 #73 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.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2022, 08:31:00 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Akke

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Re: February 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #74 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.
700521-0
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.

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




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.

 


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