Monday, April 30, 2007
In the second pic, a different flower which opened earlier, the sepals have become quite advanced in their colour shift (but they aren't finished: eventually they will become green) and the ovaries have begun to elongate and swell noticeably. If I had been able to contort my back lower for a face-on shot, you'd be able to see that the male parts of the flower are gone. But this is a family-rated blog so you'll have to take my word for it.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Paeonia mascula shoots from 3 days ago.
And from today, a surprise in a pot-farm, Paeonia mairei which I haven't seen in flower yet (but will this year- note the bud already!); the leaves are distinctively pointed and dark, very attractive. 5 days ago there was nothing here, but in the pot-farms once things start to warm they move along faster than in the ground. Of course the peony in a 1 gallon pot will be somewhat smaller in all respects than one in the ground, even though the root has gone through a hole in the pot into the ground below.
And a Tree Peony, Paeonia rockii. This too has not flowered here yet, but was only planted out into a bed a year and a half ago. I'm just happy they survive.
* with apologies to Freddy Fender, after the (HMCS) Restigouche refit theme song from 1976, "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights". O Yeah, a real highlight year that was... fortunately Frostless doesn't equate to Wasted.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Paeonia tomentosa, more advanced than the last photo. One can see the hairiness from which it gets its name.
Paeonia caucasica, from the Caucasus mountains. Closely related to P. mascula.
Paeonia steveniana, from the Caucasus mountains. Closely related to P. tomentosa.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Oops. The shade is still a bit thin these days.
* It's not that I've been "warming the bell" on the seasons by getting the lounge out of storage already. I just never put it away last fall...
Friday, April 20, 2007
Wow, sunlight bright enough to make shadows, and bare legs on the bike type of weather...
Over the last few days some more "traditional" colours of crocus have come into flower. The photo is of one of the sand beds (despite the shape, not a grave! except for a few finicky plants that didn't make it).
The long green spikey leaves towards the back are a couple of Yucca filamentosa, for which the sand bed was created.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
An excellent surprise still, the third year running: foliage buds of the Blue Himalayan Poppy, Mecanopsis betonicifolia or M. grandis or a hybrid of those. Plants which flowerd last year are not showing, they grow "pups" or sidebuds and then frequently die but the youngsters take over the show. No sign of self-seeding yet.
A peony root searching for "more cold please". Not all of them do this, sometimes it's just how the mulch breaks down or the frost heaves or erosion occurs. I'll probably cover this a bit later in the spring. This is Paeonia kesrouanensis. I know this because there is a label on a stick just beside it-- not from looking at the buds!
Arum italicum pictum, Italian Arum. Non-flowering-size plants. I didn't realize they showed up so early! A bit of frostbite on one of the painted leafs. The pictum form is supposed to have the white-patterned leaf, but these are grown from seed and I'm not sure whether to expect all of them to develop a pattern as they mature.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
A few more crocuses open and in bud; these are in a sand bed and multiplying there quite excellently. Formerly I had tried crocus corms (bulbs) in all sorts of "good" locations, but found that they mostly died out over a few years or at best languished without increasing -- except under shrubs. Eventually decided this was due to too much clay in the local idea of what made a good "topsoil", parked a large number of corms in a sand bed I was building, and haven't looked back.
The sand bed is about 4-6 inches of sand over clay-rich soil over a thick layer of leaf compost (well, at least it was thick back then)
Hiding below a deep litter of dried maple and beech leafs are a number of Helleborus orientalis -- Christmas Rose. Today I noticed a few bits of white peaking out and since the snow is temporarily gone