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 🙂

Someone thinks it’s winter

I feel like I hit the jackpot!  It’s not often that I get all excited over a plant, but this one has me visiting it as often as I can (ok, so maybe I do get a little too excited about many plants, hence the creation of this blog, and the insulation it provides my friends and family from too much plant talk)

I think this snowdrop is a fall blooming version of one of my springtime favorites.  I bought the bulbs a few weeks ago at my favorite local PA nursery, Perennial Point, and since they were lose bulbs I (of course) poked around in there to pick out the 10 absolute best (they were all in good shape).  One bulb was already sprouting in the box and I knew I had to have that one.  Even though the bulbs were labeled galanthus woronowii I had a suspicion they may be incorrectly labeled as are many snowdrops in cultivation.  I’m sure more photos will follow once my camera returns from Florida, but for now this one off my phone will have to do in showing what I think is galanthus elwesii var. monostictus.  That’s quite a mouthful, but it’s basically the regular giant snowdrop with just one green spot rather than the typical two.  Also it’s a fall/early winter bloomer as opposed to the normal late winter g. elwesii.fall snowdrop

Nothing is guaranteed, but if you look at the label you’ll see I potted the bulbs up Nov 3, and while its potmates are barely breaking the surface this one is already in full bloom.  I wonder what next year (assuming I don’t kill it) will bring 🙂 ! also I wonder what the other bulbs in the pot will turn out to be…

btw, the cyclamen coum is also way out of season, but I bet it’s more due to relief for having survived my neglect this summer than it is to any new and unusual genetic quirk.  In any case my winter garden appears to be off to a great start!