First, Dear Reader, Happy New Year! All the Best to you for 2011! May all your garden favourites flourish... may the weeds take a breather.... may it rain when you need it... all those good things I wish for you in the coming year!
Well, it's been busy around here. I took a couple of weeks off over Christmas (off from work, not from thinking about plants) and between the naps, cups of tea, sudoku puzzles, naps, snacks, more puzzles, more cups of tea, rests and so on, I'm just about worn out.
Luckily, seeds are arriving soon. I've ordered all I could from both the North American Rock Garden Society and the Alpine Garden Society. Some will be the quick germinating sorts, which I won't start until later, but the others I plan to pot up and put on the floor in the plant shed, which I used to call my greenhouse but which is now too dilapidated for that name, to stay cool for a couple of months. It stays pretty close to 40F down there and is pretty dark. Then in early April I'll put them up where they'll be warmer and hopefully they'll germinate. Can't offhand remember what I asked for, but I'm sure they'll be interesting. I know some Solidagos are coming, and two Violas (lanceolata and Selkirki) which I have been looking for.
Now these violets illustrate a problem. I want to have them, because they are known to be native to my area. But if I get seeds from, as in this case, Britain, they won't be the local form. Does this matter? I feel it does, so will keep these violets, should I get them to grow, in the cultivated garden and not let them into the woods. Some day I may get the local forms, and those I will allow in the wild area.
Amaryllis are starting. I have a huge new one coming on in the Studio. It's called 'Bolero', and is the biggest 'Ryll I've ever seen. The stem is a good 3' tall and the flowers are 10" across and there were 5 on the first stem. The second one is just opening and promises 5 more. A photographic challenge for sure! Of course I have too many Amaryllises. It started with buying one for Christmas, then somebody gave me one, then a friend said, 'Ah, Lis likes Amaryllis' and gifted me with several more.... before I knew it there were over 50 of them. Of course I had to purchase a few of the really nifty ones, too. 'Giraffe', for example, is so different it's a hoot. One mistake I made last summer: I planted several bulbs of the same varieties together in large pots, thinking I'd have a great show. Unfortunately, the bulbs went dormant at different times, creating a watering problem, and now they are re-starting at different times. One of three in one pot is about a foot high while the other two are rock-solid dormant. Won't do that again!