Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Last Day of the Year

As the weather allows, I’m still working out in the garden. Temperatures today reached the mid-forties and it was sunny. Ordinarily that would be good weather for garden work, but today the wind was terrific and relentless. I spent about two hours in the early afternoon working with the plants in the protected cold frame. It was good to see that many of the Narcissus of the cantabricus-romieuxii sorts are budded and should be in bloom soon. Two of the tazettas, 'Ziva' and Narcissus pachybolbus, have scapes up, too.

There are fresh flowers of Crocus ochroleucus in one of the unprotected frames, and some Crocus longiflorus on their last leg are still colorful. All of the fall-blooming crocuses were plated very late this year, and so in effect I lost this year of bloom (although some are still trying).

Tomorrow I’ll do the official New Year’s Day count. I’m not expecting much: the temperature is expected to drop into the low 20s F by morning.

Lycoris aurea of commerce has produced a thick clump of foliage this year, and that’s raising hopes that it might bloom next fall. This grows in the protected frame: the foliage will typically not survive our winters in the open ground. Several of these have been acquired from various sources during the last two years; they all agree in having yellow-green foliage. The plants grown in the past had much darker foliage. All of this adds to the anticipation of the first flowers.

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