I’m not very good at saying no to volunteer plants. Volunteer plants of course are the ones which just step forward to fill spots that you didn’t even know were spots until they volunteered to fill them. I guess they’re generous little things which just want to give… plus they’re free… and require no labor or attention… and that’s probably also a big plus in my book. Some people might say the word ‘weeds’ right now, and I say bite your tongue. If you can call sunflowers and foxgloves weeds, well then you’re probably a little higher class than this blog usually attracts and I suggest clicking on your way before you hold me liable for the time I’m about to waste.
A clump of snowdrops (Bill Bishop if you really have to know) in a photo from last January. Note the tiny rounded leaves in the center of the sprouts. Soooooo innocent looking….
One year later. A big fat rosette of foxglove foliage right where a snowdrop clump wishes to emerge. Please let’s overlook the many autumn leaves scattered about, and the as-yet untrimmed muscari foliage.
Ok, good. Now that we’ve ‘weeded out’ a certain type of reader, I just want to reassure anyone who’s left that you’re entirely high class, but of the type who just is and not the type who only thinks they are. I suspect you all have soft spots for foxgloves and that brings me to today’s dilemma. It’s not just any foxglove, it’s the especially special strawberry foxglove (Digitalis x mertonensis) and of course it’s right on top of ‘Bill Bishop’ and we all know that’s not going to work out.
There he is. Bill is happily sprouting up right exactly where he should be.
Normally a few stray foxgloves don’t even come close to causing a problem. Any other year they’re just a crumbly mess of winter killed foliage by the time the snowdrops arrive, and with just a little brushing aside all is well. This year things are different, and I might have to try a midwinter transplant because obviously I can’t just rip out this trooper, no matter how free she is.
It goes without saying that had I been attentive and moved the seedling last summer none of this would have been a problem. Sort of like had I been more attentive and less lazy for the last seven years maybe my WordPress disk space wouldn’t have reached 99% full with only just the few photos which I’ve uploaded over the years. Hmmm. I should have read the memo a few years ago when I first reached my limit and had to purchase a blogger plan rather than enjoy free access, but noooo, let me put it off a little more. Apparently re-sizing photos is a kind of important thing, which I’m sure everyone else knows but it just seemed like so much extra work at the time… and obviously I’m not one to embrace extra work.
So with a nice snow squall covering up the ground and ending any thoughts of transplanting, I’ve headed indoors and have committed to shrinking my digital footprint. So far I’ve spent hours editing posts, reloading re-sized photos and then deleting the old. Of course it’s my own fault. Ignorance is bliss, but what kind of stupid thinks a 4.2MB (4200KB) cabbage photo would be necessary when a 143KB will do? I’m up to September 2013 in case anyone is wondering.
While on the subject of time-wasting, I reorganized my Cyclamen coum seedlings to see how close seedlings from the mother plant resemble each other. These were all from a purple with mostly green leaves in case you’re wondering.
Every now and then even the most committed data processor needs a break, so with short days, early nights, and plenty of here and there snow, the winter garden has again become my man cave and I’m obsessing about Cyclamen again.
Cyclamen rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum is a treasure I picked up at last year’s Galanthus Gala. It might be hardy, but that would mean not seeing these awesome leaves all winter, and why risk that!?
I thought I was good, and all last summer I was fully impressed with myself for having more cyclamen than ever before, but then the cold weather hit and maybe I do need more. I would have had more, but some stinkin’ mouse family robbed me of nearly all last year’s ripening seed pods, in a way that I didn’t even know the pods were hollowed out until I turned one and saw the bottoms all nibbled out. “Stinkin’ mouse” isn’t really the term I used, but since only the classiest readers remain I’ll try to keep it civil.
Fortunately I know a guy. A little back and forth with Dr. Lonsdale over at Edgewood Gardens and two new and extremely exciting cyclamen have found their way here. Plus a hellebore!
Two Cyclamen hederifolium with a faint flush of pink towards the center. Also hard to see is the variegation in the Hellebore niger seedling to the right, but it has it and I can’t wait for it to settle in to the garden this spring.
Another area I need to make more effort in is my indoor fertilizing regime. The new additions from Edgewood are so well rooted they put all my plants to shame. Dr Lonsdale has told me before to switch to something more specialized like a tomato fertilizer or anything with a lower first number (Nitrogen) but this blockhead will need a little more hammering, so one step at a time.
In the meantime, again let me say I’m pretty excited about the new additions. The cyclamen are cool, but the hellebore will probably rank as one of the rarest things in my garden. Take a look at a picture or two of >mature plants< and I think you’ll agree this little year old seedling is going to grow into something special.
Not as special as re-sizing thousands of photos and editing hundreds of posts, but close I’m sure. Have a great week!