For a couple days it was warm and I quickly started a little cleanup and poked around feverishly to find every single sprouting snowdrop, but that was short-lived, and now it’s back to winter again and I’m just chomping at the bit. The indoor winter garden has helped somewhat, and it’s probably a good idea to start off there with a few more hopeful signs of life such as my precious little primrose (Primula obconica), who is still going strong after nearly three months in flower. Rather than this primrose becoming a one hit wonder, it’s produced two more flower stalks and the first one is still opening up new blooms. It’s a beauty, but I may have forgotten to mention one of its common names…. poison primrose. The name stems from the rash which sensitive skins may develop after contact with its foliage. I find the scent of the foliage a bit yucky, but as far as rashes go it seems I’ve escaped any sensitivity issues. That wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination though, since a quick poll around here would probably place me on the ‘insensitive’ end of the scale anyway.
I won’t bore you with every flower in bloom under the shoplights, but the geraniums must be sensing the slightly warmer temperatures and as a result are putting on more growth and sending up more flowers. I’ll bore you with one photo, the lovely Pelargonium ‘Crystal Palace Salmon’, a healthy variegated geranium which doesn’t exactly look too salmony in the photo.
Obviously I’m getting into trouble with all this forced indoor time. I’ve started several flats of seeds, started more and more succulent cuttings, and maybe feel that start-even-more-seeds compulsion creeping into the back of my head. For budgeting purposes I’ll admit I ordered 40 packets of unnecessary seeds from the NARGS surplus seed round. That set me back $14 so I’m quite all right confessing to that charge.
I’m trying all kinds of seeds again from generic annuals to obscure cacti to full sized forest trees. There’s no question I don’t have a place in mind for nearly all of them but when has that ever been a concern? I’m planting lotus seeds and am quite aware I have no pond to grow them in, but we’ll see what happens. They have a long way to go before I need to worry about any space issues.
Nearly all the seed pots get a thin layer of chicken grit over the top and then go outside on the sidewalk to experience a little winter chill. When things get warm enough they’ll sprout right up… and then need to deal with finding homes for everything.
Back in February I thought we’d have plenty of time to post cheerful photos of spring beauty as it gently sprung into action and each flower followed the next, but then it snowed… and snowed… again…. and again….
It’s still snowing. Next week looks promising, but things have all got to thaw out again, and the earliest risers have to work out all their crushed stems and snow flattened flowers. Hopefully by the time that happens there’s still enough energy left in them to put on a show.
In the meantime I’ll stay inside and try to avoid driving everyone nuts with the amount of time I spend staring out windows and brushing aside snow looking for survivors.
At least the bird feeder is entertaining. I was ready to call it a year and send the birds on their way, but then snow returned, covered everything up, and I got that guilty feeling. Once I topped the feeders off the regular crew was quite happy, but they had to make a little room for the returning grackles, starlings, and red-winged blackbirds. They’re a noisy bunch but fortunately filming through the glass spares you from most of their metallic squawks.
Hopefully the farmers out there aren’t too upset with me encouraging these blackbird pests, but I’ve always considered them just as much a sign of spring as robins and the first crocus. Well actually the return of turkey vultures is also something I consider ‘springy’, but most people are far less entertained by the return of huge carrion-feeding birds which follow the thawing roadkill north…
May your week be enjoyable and carrion-free, and hopefully warmer and less-snowy than here 🙂
$14 for 40 packets of surplus NARGS seed exchange seed
$332 total so far for the 2018 gardening year.