Monday, February 28, 2011

Fresh flowers

We're now enjoying grape hyacinths, more blue Dutch hyacinths, and deep-blue Dutch irises, all in the blue spectrum. We continue to see more and more volunteers of one or more varieties of morning glory. Other newcomers are Sun Disc, Grand Primo, and poet's narcissus. Pink wood hyacinths shot up leaves and then flowers in under a week on the oak motte. All spring bulbs mentioned previously continue to bloom, along with some mysteries of all sizes not mentioned previously. Paperwhites are nearly done, and this has not been a prolific year for Ice Follies, which had many bud stalks frozen solid.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Daffodils large and tiny

Daffodils large and tiny
Originally uploaded by odoublegood.
These are Fortune daffodils with tiny miniature daffodils of unknown variety blooming in proximity. Visitors to Flickr will see other toy-camera shots taken today. Thank you, Concord 1500 camera, plastic and held together by an elastic band (no; I didn't pay the price shown at the linked page; it cost under $20). We find more and more volunteer cosmos and morning glories. Honeybees are out when it's not raining. There are buds on a surprise calendula in a pot; we're guessing that they'll be yellow when they open, but the buds are still too tight to reveal whether the blooms will be doubled or more like an African daisy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Appearances and reappearances and disappearances

Redbud trees were in bloom by suppertime yesterday, or at least some were. All will be out by evening today. They were attracting clouds of honeybees. We are seeing a second kind of leucojums in bloom now; they're new ones, purchased from a bargain bin in the fall. They have shorter stems, larger flowers, and points that are curved. It's highly unlikely that there will be any flowers, although it's possible because of the extended chills this winter, but, for the first time this year, we're finding lots of leaves up from old Dutch tulip bulbs. Flowers of one kind of ornamental allium (flowering garlic) are appearing. In exposed places, some leaves were frozen during the cold. These are the blooms that dry beautifully. Thanks to the blue jays and the squirrels, nearly all the record bumper crop of acorns has vanished or leaves only small particles of broken shells behind. Pale pink hyacinths are blooming for the first time this year. Thieves of Ice Follies have struck again. They usually swoop down for the Valentine season, but there were no Ice Follies at that time this year. Some bud stalks froze and others have opened during the course of this week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Newcomers of the season

This morning we found, for the first time this season, many Flower Record daffodils, Avalanche narcissi, and our first leucojum. Flower Record is a returnee. We love this variety, but some years it doesn't return at all and at other times it returns for a few years and then is not seen again until replanted.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Present and accounted for

These were this morning in bloom for the first time this season: Carlton, Geranium, Jetfire, Montopolis and Bastrop narcissi (many, many to a stalk), and Fortissimo. There are more and more Fortune and Ice Follies flowers, along with several mysteries among daffodils, narcissi, and jonquils. There are three kinds of Dutch hyacinths opening everywhere: the magenta-ish variety and two handsome blues. We are finding that some California poppy plants survived the cold weather and that cosmos and morning glories are volunteering in several surprising locations. Delphinium seedlings are making a tentative appearance. Fennel continues to return from the root. Anemone blanda is sporting a very strong blue color this spring and is popping up everywhere. Our prettiest pots may be the ones shared by fancy lettuce and trailing nasturtium plants.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lost to the frost

Before the frost that truly killed, we were enjoying flowering paperwhite narcissus, Chinese sacred lily, two varieties of asclepias, nasturtium, clockvine, pink oxalis, a few wild sunflowers and lantana flowers, and perhaps other blossoms that I can't now remember. We failed to pick the bud stalks of paperwhites, Ice Follies, and Chinese sacred lilies that were about to open, and they truly froze solid and will never open. I'm particularly sorry about the last of these, which sported bud stalks in vast profusion. We were about to enjoy more sacred lilies than ever before. We lost all but one of our geraniums, also. Some peas froze. We had brought in the two giant sheffleras yet again, so they survived and have now gone out again. The milkweed that couldn't be carried indoors was a particular loss, because those plants were in the process of ripening big fat seed pods. Ranunculus and anemone plants turned a bit purple (the sugars in the leaves) but seem to be fine. We somehow made room indoors for all of our chile plants, one tomato plant, a yellow milkweed or two, and some potted violas, all back outdoors again. Newcomers in bloom are Ice Follies (those not about to open before the cold spell--these are usually in full bloom for Valentine's Day and are usually stolen the night of or the night before Valentine's); a mysterious tiny tazetta narcissus of a creamy faintly yellow color, two to a stalk; blue hyacinths; puce-colored hyacinths; a few puny red anemones and some not much larger fringed blue anemones; and several Fortune narcissi. Our fennel was frozen, leaves and stalks together, but perhaps not at the root; we'll see. Somebody has stolen all the morning-glory seeds out front.