Itty Bitty Jessop

The tiniest plant in my garden is blooming now.

Ledebouria cooperi ‘Jessop’ is only three inches high.

Ledebouria cooperi ‘Jessop’

I have it planted it by walkways and ponds so it can get noticed by those with a keen eye.

It’s like a tiny treasure hidden in plain sight.

I love its pinstriped leaves.

It is a bulb.

Here is a whole plant.

I am not supposed to have favorites, but the fairies love this one the most.

Flower

Amaryllis in April?

I know that April is late for an indoor Amaryllis.

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Amaryllis ‘Benfica’

‘Benfica’ has put up its THIRD stalk of blooms.

I am usually pleased to see a second stalk, this is my first for a third.

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I hope it does this well out in the garden.

Flower

 

Mellow Daffodils

For those of you that do not love sunny yellow, there are mellow daffodils.

Ice Follies Narcissus has a pale yellow fluffy cup.

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Thalia is pure white and pointy.

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I found a ’60 Days of Daffodils’ by Simple Pleasures that has many varieties.

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This one with pink cups was a surprise mixed in a pack of others.

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Love this double!

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These Tazetta  cultivars have a mystery source also.

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If you are too mellow for yellow, there are many other daffodil colors.

Mellow Flow

 

Oh, Alberto!

These tiny, tough little flowers are showing off right now.

I love the lines down the back of the blooms.

‘Alberto Castillo’ Starflower, Ipheion

Starflower: Ipheion uniflorum has the extra bonus of being deer resistant.

This is ‘Albert Castillo’.

It has done well and doubled it’s numbers each year.

The white blooms are especially lovely mornings, evenings and on rainy days.

FLOWER

Saving the Tigers

Some of my plants are too precious to leave their survival to chance.

I put my new Tiger lilies at the top of my precious list.

I know they are supposed to survive in zones 4 through 9.

I am in zone 7, so I should relax and leave them out, but…

Some winters are extremely cold, others are soggy wet.

Our soil is red clay so things rot. I have to put pebbles under plants to ensure drainage.

Why would I risk the only lily the mama deer did not eat?

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These Tigers are the only lilies that came through the “deer delicatessen ” month uneaten.

So both the bulbs and the bulbils are coming in.

I removed the purple bulbils from the stems.

I immediately popped these into some cactus soil in shallow pots and watered them.

Label these babies in the pots.

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Then I removed the yellowed plants from their giant pot.

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I shook the damp soil off the roots.

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I let these dry a few days and then knock off the remaining soil.

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I store them in a cardboard box full of damp vermiculite separated be used packing paper.  Separation prevents the spread of diseases.

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The big, heavy, empty pot will have to stay outside.

Always keep the label with the bulbs.

If you think you will recognized them in the spring,

you are either young or very optimistic.

I always have WTF (What’s This Flower) moments in spring.

Now these Tigers , big and small, will be safe through the winter in my workshop with my hundreds of other precious plants.

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The FLOWER knows she is forgetful and plans accordingly.

FLOWER in the Fall

 

 

Don’t Listen to the Groundhog

Since I have a garden, not a groundhog, I tend to consult it as to when spring will arrive.

The first place I go for this information is the weeds.  Yes, that’s right.  WEEDS.

They know more than the hybrids. Their DNA has not been tampered with.

They use old school, and I do mean old, methods to determine when to start growing.

Well fellow Carolinians, the weeds say get busy.

The mint family(square stems) and dandelions are all ready blooming.

That means if you delay in weeding, you will be weeding mama weeds and baby weeds.  Two generations!   That’s way more than twice as many.

You don’t have weeds, you say?  Lucky you.

Then consult some of your garden favorites.

The BULBS say spring is near.

Tete-a-tetes say yes.

The crocus concur.

The old daffodils on the hill are thrilled.

Bulbs are always ahead of the game you say?

Ask the PERRENIALS.

Foxgloves are growing foliage.

The columbines are coming out.

Perennial poppycock you say?

Then go see a SHRUB.

The Pieris are ringing their spring bells.

The Quince is quite convinced that spring is near.

If you still need to consult a CRITTER, or two.

The bunnies have some spring in their hop.

Get busy people. Being a gardener is like being part of a horse costume.  If you’re not a head, you’re a behind.

I said spring is near NOT here. You crazy people better not set out tomatoes yet. They go out the third week in April.

P.S. I do have a groundhog. But we don’t mention such things around Mr. Flower.

FLING

 

 

 

Forcing Some Spring

I am trying something new this winter, besides my usual Amaryllis and Paperwhites

I purchased some bulbs that needed rescuing from a big box store at 50% off.

The poor babies were starting to sprout in their bags.

I planted them all in one pot and have put them into the cool dark corner of the workshop.

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These three would not normally bloom together, but I thought that white Navona lilies surrounded by Orange Queen tulips and light blue  Chiondoxa forbesii would make a lovely combination.

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In early March, I will pop them into some warm sunshine inside and hopefully be rewarded with a pot of early spring color.

In the meantime, I will enjoy thinking about them waiting for spring,

just like me.

FLOWER

 

Feeling Fall

There is a first frenzy here in North Carolina before fall.

The first one involves moving plants around in the gardens.

The ones that are crowded must be separated.

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The ones that are unhappy must be relocated.

This is hot dry work that involves digging holes and amending soil.

Followed by digging, dividing and moving plants.

It’s also time to trim back the overachievers.

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Lastly there is a lot of mudding-in of the transplants to ensure the roots make good contact with the new soil.

I use a soaker–hose.

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This has been my project for weeks now.  It has been hot and dusty, but not any more.

We had almost two inches of rain yesterday.

Now there is a cool breeze.

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That starts me thinking about fall frenzy number two.

Hauling all the delicate plants into the house and workshop.

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Another multifaceted job with much preparation.

Also some potted plants need to be put in the ground.

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At least it is cool. At least I can stop watering all my parched plants.

There is something final about fall.  Autumn always makes me anxious.

It is an ending.   To everything there is a season.

I like to end all this fall preparation with a ritual planting of spring bulbs.

It is my way of showing my faith in spring.  Bulbs are my time capsules that I put in the ground as a message to myself.

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“See you on the other side.”

I think of them all winter, under the snow, waiting for spring …just like me.

FLOWER