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Author Topic: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere  (Read 2018 times)

Robert

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January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« on: January 02, 2022, 07:17:53 PM »
Hi Akke,

If I understand correctly, you garden in containers? This can be very rewarding. Although I have space to grow plants in the ground, I still grow many plants in containers. I think that they like the added attention.

Our mornings have been frosty with low temperatures about -1 C, so not too cold.
40 years ago this was normal; however frost during the winter has been sparse in the last 10 years. Some of our plants are having a difficult time adjusting to the mild winter weather. Here it is 1 January, this Rhododendron occidentale pictured below is attempting to bloom. This has been its habit over the past 5 years, or so. It is an early blooming form of this species; however this is far too early! Generally, it blooms about 15 March.







Leucojum aestivum is a harbinger of spring. Back in the 1970’s I had a friend that lived in Chico, California – about 100 miles north of our home in Sacramento but still in the Central Valley of California. His backyard was kind of a wilderness: a semi-abandoned garden from the 1920’s – 1930’s. One early February day, I came across Leucojum aestivum blooming in a forgotten part of the garden. Our Leucojum aestivum is an old garden relic, most likely planted in during the 1940’s shortly after our current home was constructed. It might be a common species; however I enjoy having it in our garden.



After 15 years or so in cold storage, I started to plant seed from mothballed projects last summer. Pictured is an exceptionally nice “old fashioned” type pansy grown from some of this seed. It has a nice mounding, compact habit, some heat tolerance, and nice flowers. The flowers are not especially exceptional; however the other qualities are well worth passing on to the next generation of plants. The next crop of hybrid seeds has now germinated and is growing well. I will be planting out the seedlings in a month or so.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2022, 08:02:55 PM »
You’re right Robert, my major gardening is containers and it is indeed very rewarding to see everything up close. Even some ‘weeds’ got my attention. Lucky me, there’s a couple of places nearby where I can enjoy masses of flowering bulbs that I like.
Your Leucojum aestivum don’t sound common, they got history. In my ‘main’ ‘back’ garden there’s Galanthus nivalis that probably has been there since the park was created on the old defence walls 140 years ago, comman, enjoyed them already but now they seem a little more special. Gagea Lutea (‘nothing special’) got my real attention, this might actually gotten there naturally. Despite the Netherlands being bulb country, we actually don’t have many that are actually dutch  (sorry Leena not much natural bulbs around here,  mostly naturalized).

Photo In my containers Colchicum (merendera?) atticum is in flower.

Ps I got seeds of Viola suavis for my neighbour hoping for simple but likeable viola, do you know them Robert?
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: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2022, 02:14:59 PM »
Akke,

Colchicum and related species certainly are beautiful garden plants. We have only the pink species in our garden. Each autumn season they create a lovely scene in our garden.

I am not familiar with Viola suavis. I hope we get a report on how it performs in your garden. I have my hands full growing our local California native Viola species. Progress is slow, however there is a way forward with them. Of course, I am also growing (breeding) the very common bedding type Violas and “Old Fashion” type pansies.



Our weather has shifted and temperatures are now well above average! I have been busy lining out the autumn planted California native annual species. Above is a small planting of Layia platyglossa.



With a little bit of luck, Lupinus succulentus will put on a great show this spring.



These are advance generation Gila capitata seedlings. Again, with some luck, a good line will develop.



Collinsia tinctoria is one of 3 California native Collinsia species that I will be growing this year. All have done well in the past.



Many of our California native annuals reseed themselves without any help on my part. These Clarkia gracilis ssp. gracilis are growing thickly with a few Eschscholzia caespitosa. I did not sow the seed; they are all chance seedlings. I am going to let them grow as is, and see what happens.
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

Mike Ireland

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2022, 02:44:02 PM »
Corydalis shanginii ainii always seems to be the first plant to flower in the alpine house.

Generally one stem & then weeks later the whole pot will flower.
Mike
Humberston
N E Lincolnshire

Maggi Young

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2022, 03:30:57 PM »
Corydalis shanginii ainii always seems to be the first plant to flower in the alpine house.

Generally one stem & then weeks later the whole pot will flower.
Crumbs! That seems very early! Lovely!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Robert

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2022, 07:30:06 PM »
Currently, the period of cold rainy weather has ended in our portion of Northern California. Temperatures have moderated and are running about average for this time of year. The mornings have been foggy at times, with clear skies during the afternoons.



Snowdrops are blooming in the woodland garden. They are pretty this time of year. They are nothing exciting, just run-of-the-mill Galanthus elwesii hybrids of some sort, but never the less very pleasing to me. [Jasmin does not mind these couple small clumps, so long as the garden is not inundated.]



Our main path out to the garden and compost piles is very sunny. This planting has year round interest. The gray foliage plant is Salvia sonomensis. The foliage gives off a very pleasant sage scent and is perfectly placed next to the path where the scent can be enjoyed frequently as we use this path. The Salvia shares space with Scutellaria californica that likes the bit of shade next to the cinder blocks. Bulbs such as Allium unifolium, Allium falcifolium, and Triteleia laxa are emerging from the ground and will be blooming later in the season. The Eschscholzia caespitosa seeds itself about without my help.



Lupinus albifrons var. albiforns grows nearby and shares space with Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis. The silvery foliage of Lupinus albifrons is a delight. Castilleja affinis has been very persistent for many years now and provides flowers throughout the spring and summer. Planting this combination together has been very successful. Previous attempts with this variety of Lupinus have always resulted in the eventual demise of the plant. This always baffled us, since it is very hardy in the wild. Castilleja species always need a host. It has been a very fortunate experiment we both enjoy every year.



Potentilla gracillis var. fastigiata has nice foliage most of the year and bright yellow flowers during the spring. It is tolerant of mesic as well as semi-xeric conditions. It grows in sun or part shade. This species seeds around our garden. In the background is a nice clump of Sisyrinchium bellum.



Penstemon purpusii is one of the better preforming Penstemon species in our garden. This specimen, from a Snow Mountain accession, has a very nice growth habit. This species blooms in the spring with bright pink flowers that provide nectar to hummingbirds and a wide variety of bees.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Robert

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2022, 07:31:30 PM »


Our Arctostaphylos species are settling into our garden very well. This is Arctostaphylos ‘Sunset’--obviously not a species--but an attractive plant in our California garden. The various species bloom throughout the winter months and are an important nectar food source for our native hummingbird species during the winter.  We are always on the lookout for our native butterfly species as they also come to feed on these early blooming flowers.

I hope that you have enjoyed a mini picture tour of our garden.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Robert

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2022, 06:56:46 PM »
In the UK and other parts of Europe there is Snowdrop season. For us here in California, the equivalent is Ume season.

Jasmin and I get up early in the morning and take a walk in the neighborhood well before the sun rises. This time of year, when I reach the sidewalk in front our house, I am greeted by the wonderful fragrance Prunus mume in the air.



4 houses down from our home is a large and very old Prunus mume tree. Forty years ago, many Shin Issei lived in our neighborhood. These are the people Jasmin remembers as she walks in the neighborhood. Ume, Japanese Persimmons, Japanese Maples, and many other plants from their homeland were planted in their yards.



The Ume tree 4 houses down from us, has very fragrant, semi-double, creamy white - blushed pink flowers. It also produces excellent fruit. Our Shin Issei friend, Eiko Yamamoto, taught my Jasmin, how to make traditional Japanese Umeboshi. They are delicious! Jasmin still remembers the first time she went to the elderly couple who lived in this house, asking them if she could gather the fruit. They were such a sweet couple. After, she brought them the results, which were terrible at the time—She had a lot to learn and practice! They were kind and generous enough to never shame her that her efforts were indeed horrid.



I also grew Ume at our Placerville property. This plant came from a chance seedling that sprouted at the Placerville property. I kept cutting it back to near ground level, when I finally decided that I might be able to train it into a bonsai. I dug it out of the ground and planted it in a large training container. At one point, it did not get watered and nearly died. I brought the crippled plant to our Sacramento home and managed to nurse it back into growth. Now I am continuing to train the Ume and will eventual carve the dead portions into something interesting.



I am not satisfied with just one Ume. These are rooted cuttings from one of the old established Ume growing at the Placerville property. I do not have room to grow Ume in the ground at our Sacramento home, so one of these cuttings will be trained into bonsai. There are many varieties of Ume, with flowers ranging in color from pure white to nearly red. Some forms have semi-double flowers others have single flowers. There are even varieties that have young twigs that are bright yellow rather than the usual green color. 

This morning I took cuttings of the aged Ume tree in the neighbors’ front yard. We love the flowers so much. Jasmin misses her neighbors, and their gardens. There had been a number of beautiful traditional Japanese gardens, including the rockwork and koi ponds. However, when the owners died, and the homes sold, the buyers tore everything out and put in lawn. Having a portion of this tree is so meaningful.



I enjoy the fragrance of many flowers. Paperwhite Narcissus are extremely common. I like their fragrance and grow a number of them in our garden.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

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

Robert

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2022, 06:58:02 PM »


We had a glorious sunset last night. I do not have the skill the produce great photographs, so this will have to do. The bright orange and purple clouds were stunningly beautiful. A sight worth meditating on!
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: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2022, 07:46:41 PM »
Thanks for this lovely tour in your garden and neighbourhood, Robert. The Prunus looks so much like spring, lucky you. And a beautiful sunset which looks more like wintertime.
So far my attempts to ignore winter (or long autumn) are working out fine. Got Colchicum minutum waiting to open up given the wheather, while in the old Hortus garden Helleborus (pic1) and Arum (pic2) are a very nice shade of green between the brown fallen leaves, in the park and an old churchyard Eranthis and Galanthus are starting to flower and a very lonely Crocus (pic3) in a hurry as well. There’s also some mistreated Scilla Mischtschenkoana or Puschkinia present.
The big surprise for today was Crocus danfordiae (pic4) in my neighbour’s tub which seems eager to flower early as well. I keep some pots there to block an entrance (better than barbed wire), C. Danfordiae did so well last year that I decided to plant a few over there amongst the ‘more common’ bulbs. Maybe there’s some micro-climate there, Ipheion is still flowering and it doesn’t look ready yet,  common and weedy but in their own pot very welcome. For now Viola cornuta is allowed to wander around over there, planted to fill up some space for a short time it got weedy in a sort of ok way. Talking about common. Other Crocuses are showing buds too, indeed it is rewarding to garden in pots.

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: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2022, 07:55:49 PM »
Akke,

In Sacramento, the Prunus mume always bloom during early January. Up at our Placerville property they bloom about a month later.

Currently, we are experiencing a typical La Niña January – March dry pattern. So far, winter has lasted about 3 weeks this year. Although our drought situation has improved, it has not ended. More winter cold and precipitation would be welcome. The current spell of above average temperatures is confusing for some of the plants we grow in our garden. Right now the dry, relatively warm weather appears that it will persist for at least a week. Changes are occurring that might bring precipitation in the day 8 to 14 time period. I hope this pans out!

Our first spring Crocus had opened flowers yesterday. Slugs promptly ate the flowers. The same has been true for our hoop-petticoat Narcissus. At least the plants in pots can be kept safe.

I am not familiar with Crocus danfordiae. It looks like you need some sunny weather for the flowers to open.

Thank you for sharing the photographs and information about your container garden. It will be interesting to me to see how it progress through the seasons.
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: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2022, 08:44:31 PM »
I hope you get some precipitation, Robert. Sorry to hear about the Crocus and Narcissus, slugs were a real pest in the vegetable garden I could use for a short time. At least that’s a great advantage of gardening in pots, no slugs. Still worrying about the ants though.
The picture shows Crocus Danfordiae february 20 last year when we had sun and high temperatures, usually it’s warm and grey or sunny and cold (like Scotland?). One popped up in my own container today, more Crocuses seem to be coming soon.
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: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2022, 07:24:52 PM »
Akke,

Thank you for sharing the photograph of Crocus danfordiae. Although I treasure the few Crocus I grow, only a few species and hybrids, I do not know much about this Genus. They seem very worthy of cultivation. They are, more or less, a dead end for me. I never get them to produce seed. This is disappointing for me, as I like growing plants from seed. Generally, each generation seems stronger and better adapted to our garden. And then, there are the surprises; chance hybrids, and various types of mutations, some of which can lead to beautiful new varieties or breakthroughs in adaptability.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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Akke

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Re: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2022, 07:25:07 PM »
Just wondering if there aren’t more special Crocuses that would be a nice garden crocus in your climate, Robert. As it happens I got Crocus D out out of the big tub because it seems to like a dry summer, it’s a bit small for the garden though. It did well with offsets and probably seeds, ants messed things up (gave a mix of seeds to a friend, we’ll see what happpens). Possibly you can get any good suggestions at the Crocus subject as my ‘just getting started’ is not an understatement. Of course sowing should get you the more adapted individuals as well, I think Leena does the same in her finnish climate. I just started sowing bulbs ( I mostly do bulbs) a year and a half ago, much to my surprise  even had some flowering this year already, I enjoy and observe how seedlings are developing, it’s quite an education. According to my neighbour however my sowing’mania’ started years ago sowing strawberries instead of buying plants. He’s got a point, still very pleased about the ‘weedy’ strawberry turning up this year.
Crocus is a really lovable genus, till a year ago I didn’t know what a ’Croconut’ was and now I’m wondering if there’s a vaccin. Be careful, Robert 😀

In the mean time Ornithogalum sigmoideum and O. lanceolatum are having a nice battle which flowers first.
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: January 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2022, 06:44:45 PM »
Akke,

These days, my prime directive as a gardener is to have a garden that I enjoy. In the past I collected plants. My collector’s garden was ugly and most of the plants from collecting are long since dead and gone. I guess I am not a very good gardener. In addition, I just do not have the artistic ability to compose an eclectic collection of plants into anything attractive. Needless to say, in some ways, my past gardening efforts were not very satisfying. Now I am starting over as a gardener. This past autumn I finished emptying the freezer of seed from past projects. Many seeds have germinated are growing well. Some are already in the garden growing. Most of the species I enjoy growing are very common and local; Erythranthe and Diplacus species, Calochortus, Erythronium, Primula (Dodecatheon) species, and other very common local species. Starting over, I consider myself a beginner. I have spent the last 10 years getting current on a variety of topics. My natural inclination is to be more of a Maxwellean type gardener (more precisely using techniques Michael Faraday might have used if he was a gardener and not a scientist). Most of my efforts are toward transforming our local common species into something more adaptable to average garden conditions (easier to grow) and something new and interesting that I like.

As per the Genus Crocus, there certainly seems to be possibilities to expand the selection of species that I grow here in California. Janis Ruksans’ books “Crocus” and “Hidden Treasures” are both available at our Public Library, so I can glean valuable information from these books. In addition, there is a whole category on the Forum dedicated to the Genus Crocus, another potential source of information. I have my hands full pursuing my interest in our common local California native species, however as I gain experience, I will certainly attempt additional Crocus species in our garden (as well as Narcissus, Colchicum, Sternbergia, Zepharanthes, and a few other non native species that I enjoy growing).

The first of our garden grown Primula (Dodecatheon) hendersonii are showing color and will be blooming soon. These grow by the billions in our area. Common or not, I like them and will continue to grow them. Diplacus douglasii has germinated and the plants are growing well. I confess that I am very excited to finally and potentially have this local and common species in our garden.


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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