OUR NEVER ENDING WINTER, BUT GREENHOUSE CHORES HINT OF SPRING

MORNING TEMPERATURES BARELY REACH 0º , WHICH IS UNSEASONABLE COLD FOR EARLY MARCH IN NEW ENGLAND, FROSTING THE OLD PORCH WINDOWS WITH JACK FROST

It’s been quite a week, and in an effort to move ahead, (thanks to all who shared condances about our dear Fergus), I was looking forward to a warm, sunny day in the greenhouse before moving on to catch up on the every-backing up daily chores like laundry, cleaning house, grocery shopping and working on some big presentations for work next week. Aside from my every increasing duties as President of the North American Rock Garden Society, which includes a long list of to-do’s I have yet to begin, I still took some personal time in the greenhouse – where even though it is still cold outside, and even snowing a bit today, the temperatures under glass neared 70º which felt like 80º to me.

I STARTED FOCUSING ON THE READ SAND BENCH, CLEANING UP, CUTTING OUT OLD JASMINE VINES WHICH HAD FROZEN IN OUR DEEP FREEZE, WHICH IS SAD, BECAUSE THEY SHOULD BE IN BLOOM BY NOW, I HAVE DECIDED TO USE THIS BENCH FOR THOSE PLANTS THAT NEED PRUNING – TOPIARY AND THE LIKE.

Click below for some random notes on far too many greenhouse chores! Who needs spring?

THIS PAIR OF SUPERMARKET BOUGHT LEMON CEDARS LOOKED DEAD, BUT AFTER TRIMMING THEM TIGHT, AND CLEANING THEM UP, I THINK I CAN SAVE THEM. REPOTTED, FERTILIZED AND GIVEN A HARD HAIRCUT, THEY AWAIT SPRING ALONG WITH THE REST OF US.
A FEW ACACIA SEEDLINGS THAT SURVIVED LAST SUMMER OUTSIDE, HAVE CONTINUED TO GROW. UNFORTUNATELY, I LOST THE LABELS TO MOST OF THEM. ACACIA OFTEN HAVE IMMATURE FOLIAGE THAT CAN LOOK NOTHING LIKE ADULT FOLIAGE, SO I POTTED A FEW UP TO SAVE, AND SEE WHAT THEY GROW INTO. THEY WILL ALL PRODUCE WINTER-BLOOMING SHRUBS FOR THE GREENHOUSE.
I MOVED THE LITHOPS COLLECTION OF MOSTLY DEAD DEAD OFF OF THE HIGH SHELVES, AND GUESS WHAT I FOUND AFTER GIVING THEM THEIR FIRST WATERING….

BABY LITHOPS! ONLY A FEW, AND SOME POTS ONLY HAVE ONE, BUT I WAS ABLE TO MOVE ENOUGH POTS TOGETHER TO FORM A FULL FLAT. MAYBE A FEW MORE WILL GERMINATE, BUT AT LEAST THIS EXPERIMENT WAS NOT A TOTAL LOSS.
ANOTHER EXPERIMENT GONE BAD – WINTER BLOOMING WHITE ANEMONE CORONARIA WITH DARK EYES. IF YOU REMEMBER, I BOUGHT A FEW DOZEN IN OCTOBER AND PLANTED THEM IN A BED, ONLY 2 SPROUTED, AND ONE FLOWER BUD IS EMERGING, WHICH LOOKS LIKE IT HAS A GREEN EYE, SIGH.
THIS BEAUTY IS AN ANNUAL VISITOR WITH US IN THE LATE WINTER, THE TUBEROUS TROPAEOLUM x BRACHYCERAS X TRICOLOR’ A NAME WHICH I FEEL IS QUESTIONABLE, BUT AS IT KEEPS CHANGING, THIS IS THE LATEST ONE I CAN FIND.
BLOSSOMS ON THIS TUBEROUS RELATIVE OF THE COMMON NASTURTIUM ARE MORE SHOWY, I THINK, THAN THE PURE SPECIES T. TRICOLOR.
I THINK THAT THIS LITTLE DEVICE WHICH I AM TRAINING IT ON BEATS THE MAPLE BRANCHES I USUALLY USE. IT WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE DECORATIVE IMPORTED BITS FROM OUR LOCAL TARGET STORE, I DOUBT FEW OF THEM WERE EVER USED FOR ACTUALLY TRAINING PLANTS ON LIKE THIS.
THESE TUBEROUS TROPAEOLUM HAVE STEMS WHICH ARE VERY THIN, ALMOST THREAD LIKE. I DOUBLE POTTED MY PLANTS THIS YEAR, IN ONE LAYER OF PERLITE FOR FAST DRAINAGE, AND TO ACT AS INSULATION AS ONCE TEMPERATURES REACH 75º, THEY CAN GO DORMANT QUICKLY.
OUR BIG FREEZE IN JANUARY, DID CAUSE SOME DAMAGE, AS YOU CAN SEE HERE – THE VELTHIEMIA DID EXPERIENCE SOME COSMETIC DAMAGE TO THE LEAF TIPS.
I WAS ABLE TO REPOT SOME BEGONIAS TODAY, BROUGHT IN FROM THE HOUSE WHERE THEY SPENT THE WINTER, THEY HAVE GONE SEMI-DORMANT, BUT A FEW WEEKS IN AN EVER-WARMING GREENHOUSE WILL CHANGE THAT. FRESH SOIL, A LITTLE FERTILIZER AND WARMER TEMPS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.
SOME LATE WINTER GREENHOUSE NARCISSUS BLOOM IN THE SAND BED, NARCISSUS CANTABRICUS FROM MOROCCO IS FRAGRANT, TINY AND SWEET.
THE FUCHSIA’S ARE STARTING TO GROW, A SIGN THAT THEY NEED A TIGHT TRIM TO STIMULATE BRANCHING AND NEW GROWTH
WORKING MY WAY THROUGH THE GREENHOUSE OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKENDS WILL ALLOW ME TO RE-ACCESS EVERYTHING. SO FAR, I AM FINDING ROOT APHIDS (UGH), MEALY BUG WHICH I HAVE NOT SEEN IN YEARS, AND LOTS OF FROST DAMAGE.
SOME MYRTUS GETTING TRIMMED FOR A TOPIARY PROJECT
WHY THE CLIPPERS ARE OUT, THE CITRUS NEEDED SOME ATTENTION. THIS PLASTIC TAPE IS USUALLY FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO STRETCH, BUT IT IS BEGINNING TO SCAR THIS LIMEQUAT.
I ALSO NOTICED THAT IT WAS ROOT BOUND. MOST CITRUS ENJOY BEING POT BOUND, BUT WHEN THE ROOT BALL IS COMPLETELY WHITE WITH ROOTS, A LITTLE ROOT TRIM AND LOTS OF FRESH SOIL WILL HELP THIS TREE GET BACK INTO SHAPE.
THE LIMEQUAT REPOTTED, CUT BACK A BIT, FED AND WATERED.
EVERY YEAR WHEN I READ THE CATALOGS AND SEE THINGS LIKE ABUTILONS FOR $9.00, or $12.00, I FEEL RECKLESS TO HAVE NOT TAKEN IN. NOT THIS YEAR – I AM WELL ENDOWED WITH PLENTY OF SALVIA, BRUGMANSIA, DAHLIA TUBERS AND YES – ABUTILON CUTTINGS. HERE ARE SOME JUST POTTED UP AND HUNGRY FOR A FEED.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s