Saturday, January 30, 2010

In the pleasure grounds

The cold weather has taken its toll, but we do have flowers on the English peas, there are flower buds on some of the allium plants, Grand Primo and Montopolis narcissus are beginning to bloom, and we have enjoyed two each of these anemone flowers: fringed red with a central white ring and very fringed violet-blue or blue-violet. All the berries are gone from the lantanas, courtesy of hungry birds. We've carried potted cyclamens (the kind with the nice, spicy scent; not the kind that smells like balloons) and the sole surviving ancient geranium in and out a few times. Black-eyed Susan plants have lost some foliage; so have fennel plants. Not one of the various potted herbs has been at all distressed by any of the weather. The winds have brought down some leaves from the live oaks; this may mean that all the leaves will drop earlier this year than usual. I've seen leucojums in bloom in a neighbor's yard; leaves are only now just appearing in our demesne. Hyacinth leaves are showing themselves everywhere. Oxalis and anemone leaves have turned a bit pink or purple around the edges where the sugars they contain have been affected by the cold. Pansies and violas don't mind any of what we've experienced thus far. Delphinium leaves are reappearing and we may have some poppies this year. Calendula seedlings have not been adversely affected. It's too soon to tell whether the loquats were hit at a bad time for making fruit and whether the fig tree did all right. Two or three hollyhock plants are looking perky. The grass in Mack's yard has gone dormant, as had that out front quite a bit earlier. Surprisingly, the grass in the side yard remains quite green. Volunteer nasturtiums and clockvines have all vanished. Passionvine stays green. The squirrels dig in the compost pile seeking remains of the several pumpkins buried there. We can attribute much to extremely local microclimates. Since we plant so much, bulbs included, in a "natural" fashion (dug into or planted amidst the grass instead of in separate flower beds), the effect of emerging greenery and flowers against the ever more tan and colorless grass is very striking.


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