Daylight savings time

During daylight savings time I’m not entirely sure where all the saved light goes, but after getting to work in the dark and leaving in the dark, I’d like to pretend a little shows up in my winter garden.  Ok, winter garden is a pretty fancy label for my shoplight in the back of the garage but in a family that calls the vegetable garden “the farm” and one apple tree “the orchard”, it makes sense.  I cleaned things up a little with a plastic liner and gravel base and I’m more pleased than ever.  My only complaint is I should have used a sand base to place the pots on, a sort of ‘sand plunge’ that would distribute the watering better.  Looks like that’s the plan for next year.winter garden under lights

Things seem late, maybe because of the cold spells or my late setup and start-of-watering, but from the looks of things it should pick up soon.  More of the cyclamen coum are sending up blooms including the darker ‘Meaden’s Crimson”potted cyclamen coumThis is my current favorite though.  It’s got a nice pink shade that darkens around the petal edges giving almost a bicolor effect.cyclamen coum under lights The seedlings from last winter are also recovering well from my neglect.  For about the first year of their lives these cyclamen hederifolium will grow quickly sending up new and larger leaves if kept cool and watered with a little fertilizer.  Once they get past a certain point, around their first birthday, they either get too big or get too old (I’m not sure) and no amount of light, water, cool or warm will keep them actively growing through the winter.  They just sit there until warmer weather and drought bring on dormancy.  In this batch of seedlings I like the silver leaf in the center with it’s slight pink tinge.  Maybe it will hold onto this as it grows, but I’ve seen other babies play this trick and it never lasts.cyclamen hederifolium from seed

More snowdrops are coming into bloom.  I don’t think any of these are galanthus woronowii (like the label said) since they just don’t have the glossy green leaves that they should, but the blooms are welcome anyway.forced snowdrops

The first of many Van Engelen clearance sale bulbs are blooming.  I can’t hold them back any more!  It’s difficult to tell from the picture but these are barely half the size of the others.  Still nice though as more snow falls outside.potted snowdropsI have a birthday coming up.  I’m considering gifting myself two more shoplights rather than endlessly wishing for a greenhouse.  It’s not quite the same but it’s a start!

disclaimer: I guess daylight savings time is technically the summer time change, but just like I’m desperate for sun I was also desperate for a title 🙂

17 comments on “Daylight savings time

  1. My cyclamen is back in bloom so it makes me happy at this time of year, The African Violets are all blooming too. I should have planted Galanthus inside since I could have harvested some from outside like I did tulips this year (also almost open). They make a nice winter gift of bloom to start the day right.

    • bittster says:

      You can’t beat having flowers inside at this time of year, I just don’t have the windowsills for anything more than a few miserable looking coleus cuttings in water.
      I’m seeing more and more pictures of the florist cyclamen…. I have to be careful and watch out for my dahlia-tendencies. I’m an easy mark for the bright and gaudy at this time of year.

  2. Are any of those cyclamen ones that you sowed from our shared shopping expedition? Mine haven’t done anything yet. I am getting antsy but am trying to refrain from poking at them too much.

    • bittster says:

      No these aren’t this year’s seeds and Yes, you have to watch out for the poking.
      Only impatient gardeners poke, and if I was one to do so I might be able to share the news that this years cyclamen seeds are only just starting to germinate. Roots are forming but the first leaf sprouts are still likely two or three weeks away.

  3. Christina says:

    I love your names for things, orchard for one apple tree is fantastic! Just a thought you could use capillary matting for watering and you can get ‘proper’ daylight bulbs for giving the plants light.

    • bittster says:

      Those are some good ideas, most plants do fine under these lights but when I pot up the coleus cuttings they hate it! I may have to upgrade the bulbs in one of the setups and see if it helps.

  4. Cathy says:

    Those cyclamen look lovely and healthy. I think I need one of those lamps to sit under myself! Severe lack of sunshine here too, but the days are definitely getting longer – very very slowly. I wonder what the temperature is in your garage? It’s still mild here, but my snowdrop shoots are barely showing buds yet.

    • bittster says:

      Ahhhhh, nothing beats real sunshine and longer days 🙂
      The garage never freezes (with the exception of windowsills on a very cold day), It’s actually a small room just off the garage, and I would guess it hovers around 50F (10C) going up and down depending on the outside temperatures.

  5. Pauline says:

    My cyclamen coum are now flowering in the woodland, they look lovely in amongst the snowdrops which are now flowering, we must be warmer than you! Your light certainly seems to be working, all your plants look very healthy.

    • bittster says:

      Hi Pauline,
      I was about to beg for woodland pictures and then discovered that yet again my fat fingers on my tiny phone screen must have deleted your blog feed, I almost missed the start of your snowdrop season!
      You are far warmer than us, all I see out the window today is white and gloomy grey 🙂

  6. Annette says:

    I like your sense of humour, Frank! Your plants look so snug and happy and show clearly what a caring gardener you are. What’s the name of the cyclamen in the 2nd pic bottom right corner? Is it Meaden’s Crimson? Leaves have no markings but look very pretty, the colour too. We got our greenhouse via internet – nerve wrecking experience but cheap. Maybe you could get a cheap one without loosing your nerves? 😉

    • bittster says:

      🙂 My plants would argue the “caring gardener” label!
      Yes, it’s Meaden’s Crimson. I love the color although it’s not as bright or big bloomed as the others.
      I nearly talked myself into a greenhouse last summer. It’s not so much the cost of the house it’s the heating part. All I need is to keep it just over freezing, but with our healthy winters the heating bills would add up quickly!

  7. Chloris says:

    The plants in your winter garden have certainly come on since you last showed us.- The cyclamen and snowdrop in flower now, how lovely. You have so many seedlings you are going to have to expand soon. Do you grow them in the garden too?

    • bittster says:

      They do very well in the garden, I’ll probably end up planting most out there next summer…. but will probably add twice as many next fall!
      Plus all those new seedlings, plus other seed that will be started soon… yes I think I must expand, and soon! 🙂

  8. More of a Winter Garden than lives here! I’m awful at keeping things alive inside for very long…Not too many more weeks before we can start the tomatoes, though.
    Your flowers are lovely – visit them often, and pretend it’s spring 🙂

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