Not all my plants want to stay inside in the heat. Once my lettuces came up, they moved out onto Ike's little porch in the sunshine. If the weather gets really warm they may have to move around in a bit of afternoon shade on the north side. If we get an overnight freeze, I'll move them back inside. Lettuce can stand a short freeze but no need to set it back.
Lettuce seedlings, red Cimarron and green leafed Noga varieties from Renee's Seeds.
I'll pick baby leaves for salad until they're thinned, then let them grow into dense heads.
Gerberas like a cool greenhouse. Unless there
is a freeze, these remain outside looking in.
Pink species type Gerbera Daisy.
White muscari. I tucked a few bulbs in with violas back in December.
A second bud is just visible at bottom along with some viola seedlings from seed pods.
Violas and muscari prefer cooler temps outside to being in the hothouse.
Experimentation shows where plants are happiest. I don't put tenderest tropicals in the greenhouse. A Pothos inside my house is big-leaved and happy. A smaller rooted Pothos cutting has not thrived since it moved to the greenhouse where temps sometimes hover around 40F.
We knew severe thunderstorms were on the way Saturday night. We didn't expect to be without electricity for more than six hours. We certainly didn't expect to find panels blown out of the greenhouse this morning.
The single tulip left of two blooms was unscathed.
After the lights went off and we were listening to a battery-operated scanner one dispatcher announced that the weather service had issued a warning that wind gusts up to 60 miles an hour and quarter-sized hail were possible. Oh, Oh.
If we had hail, we were not aware and see no signs of hail damage today. Curiously, the greenhouse was the only real damage. Less litter on the driveway than we usually see, no limbs or trees down anywhere. During the night we heard of trees and limbs in the roadway and on power lines in three counties and the usual flooding that happens when a lot of rain falls quickly.
In the greenhouse, the smallest panel that blew out was a house-shaped one that goes into the gable end on the east side. It was nestled among pots and plants. Non-plant items like my tin butterfly and SEEDS sign fell down.
The vintage wood medicine cabinet that I put on the end of the potting bench and never secured blew over. One white pot blew off the back shelf of the potting bench.
An old thrifted paper mache' heart shaped box of pot-pourri I failed to photograph for Valentine's Day was soaked by rain that blew in. Everything is drying out.
When we got the doors open -- they were still secured by a bungee cord that holds them closed, but the header of the greenhouse on which they track was bent -- the fountain was still operating. I guess it kept its prime and restarted when the power came back one. The header is already straightened and the doors repaired where panels blew loose but did not blow out. A front wall panel beside the doors blew out as did another triangular upper panel.
The plants look to be in good shape.
The Bird of Paradise above has a new leaf forming.
Two rear corner panels behind the plants above blew out. All were still nearby, caught in shrubbery or lying on the ground except one that was across the yard caught against a fence. I didn't make pics of the damage, not pretty. The panels are back in place and secured.
Plants in pots outside were not harmed.
I had moved Gerbera daisies out because they prefer cooler temps in the daytime and can tolerate cool nights as long as it doesn't freeze. I trundle them back in if a freeze is predicted.
No freezes predicted for the next week but I keep saying, winter is not over. Winds are certainly not over, either.
Forced Hyacinths have finished up in my greenhouse.
Today I planted out all that were left; some were planted out a week or more ago. Those in pots of soil were just eased from the pot. I teased the roots that had started to circle the bottom of the pot. Holding them upright in a hole, I poured dirt around and over the roots. Most of them will bloom again next year. Some take a year off. Some will split to have two bloom stalks.
Common Hyacinths Hyacinthus orientalis have contractile roots that pull the bulb deeper into the soil. Therefore I planted them near the top of the soil with the foliage outside. Potted tulips were growing with bulbs above soil level. They'll be safer covered with soil outside and can pull themselves deeper into sandy soil if needed.
When I compared the results of bulbs in water and stones with those in soil, I've decided to plant in soil in the future, after years of planting in stones. The foliage is bigger and in most cases the bloom was larger and fuller.
A bulb in soil does not have to use all its energy producing a blossom, drawing from the soil. Of course this year's bloom was formed by last year's foliage but nutrients are available at all times for forming foliage when planted in soil.
Bulbs that I planted in ground in the fall when I put bulbs for forcing in to chill are just coming out of the ground with buds visible. Bulbs planted in previous years are blooming, have already bloomed or are showing buds, depending on cultivar.
Hyacinths have a long season of bloom because there are early and late species. Hyacinths bloomed in sequence in the greenhouse for a month. Earliest hyacinths outside started blooming at the end of January.
Not only Dutch hyacinths, which are the full, round bloom stalks but Roman-type hyacinths are available. I like them for flower beds.
There really are no hard and fast rules for hyacinths except that they need some chill to properly bloom. The bulbs need support, whether in water and stones or in soil. You really can't have too many. Eight is a good number for a little clump in the garden.
I haven't shown white, nor pale yellow nor pale apricot Gypsy Queen because they haven't bloomed outside yet. I only forced pink, fuchsia and blue/purple indoors this year. The hardest part is choosing.
When I kiss you, lying on the grass
I feel the ancestors lifting through the loam
of their own bones, their ancient bodies,
into the sap of even the smallest branch, the nectar
of every flower--apple blossom, cherry,
wild plum, columbine, redwood orchid, wild radish,
and blue forget-me-nots. ******
When I kiss you, lying on the grass women long married dream out their
kitchen windows humming the songs of their courtship.
kiss you, flowers in English gardens explode into blossom, surprising
the ladies having tea, the gardeners who pause in their labor and stand
astonished remembering the soft pastel dresses and the sweet smell
of the girls they once danced with.
-- Elizabeth Herron
He-who-mows will go around these until the foliage ripens.
Three different views of the big pink Camellia.
China Pink is the earliest and the prettiest. I have them in the
Daffodils just can't wait in this warm spell. These come up through
dry lantana foliage in the front beds.
Multi-flowering hyacinths have a looser habit than the more
formal Dutch hyacinths. These look much like the old-
fashioned Roman hyacinths we had when I was a child but
do not smell quite as sweet.
It's weeks until Spring on the calendar and I expect freezing weather is yet to come just when we're all complacent about it. A hard freeze will be hard on these plants that have gotten accustomed to warm. Bits of foliage are peeking out from under things like Brugmansias and Pentas that were killed back earlier. Meanwhile we're enjoying balmy temps and occasional showers.