February 2008

Galanthus elwesii or Giant Snowdrop are always a very welcome sight this time of year. Of the two species of Snowdrops we have, this is the earlier flowering one. Galanthus nivalis or Common Snowdrop is about 10 days behind this one.

Tulips are popping up most everywhere in the yard. This here is a small part of the bed in the frontyard, under the front window.

The other thing cropping up are these holes -can't very well say holes are popping up now, can you- mostly in the backyard. Sure looks as if we have some form of vermin digging away at our lily bulbs again, probably another rat! Time to re-bait the trap!

And re-bait the trap Waita did. She told me when I got home on the 19th that the trap had been tripped and there must have been a narrow escape, as there was evidence of some hair in the trap, but it would appear as if Algernon made a getaway; this time.

A great shot to show the difference in size between the 2 species of Snowdrops we have in the yard: common snowdrop: Galanthus nivalis and the giant snowdrop: Galanthus elwesii.

I learned the other day there is actually quite a wide variety of Galanthus cultivars available, predominantly in the UK. You will find more info at Snowdropinfo.

Our container with Licorice Fern is just brimming this time of year.

Heuchera 'Black Beauty' still makes a nice show this time of year. When the temperatures get a little higher it will get topped to take a fresh division and force this one into spreading a bit more.

Dicentra spectabilisWhile you could see some evidence a week ago, by the 16th this is part of what we see on our main Dicentra spectabils. It doesn't look as if we'll see too many shoots on the main crown this year, so we'll have to wait until next year to do some more dividing of this best seller. Whenever we have had divisions in our spring plant sale they always are one of the first things to sell out. So, I'll have to see if Costco has them again when they start with their boxed perennials, they should start showing up in about 2 weeks or so.

Dicentra formosaLast year we purchased a small Dicentra formosa, the common Western Bleeding Heart and for the time being put it in a #2 pot. I brushed off some of the cedar droppings yesterday and was quite surprised indeed to see new shoots all the way out to the edge of the pot already this spring.

Hosta 'Tattoo'I was tickled pink to see this shoot. It's Hosta 'Tattoo' and one of two divisions I did late in the season last year, both of which were subjected to an extended bleach bath in an effort to deal with foliar nematodes. I don't really care if it's only just the one eye that develops this year, it means it survived the winter and the ordeal I put it through, and that's good to see.

Similarly, it was good also to see these swelling apical buds on the Hosta 'Ice Age Trail' that was subject to the same treatment. Now, here's keeping my fingers crossed all those 'bleach babies' pull through and that I won't see any further evidence of them thar pesky little worms.

It was about time for the first of the Iris reticulata to start showing its face and finally one did on the 21st.

Seems to me we had more of them last year, and in different parts of the front yard. Perhaps they're having a hard time with that extra layer of compost they got last fall, who knows.

The harbinger of things to come: the first of our Croci to open up this year. It signals the onset of the annual 'Days of Purple Haze' in our front yard. Give it another week or so and we'll see the 'Purple Sea' again!

Hard to believe perhaps, but these are the first of the Lily bulbils coming up this spring. These are 'Polyanna' -an Asiatic- we collected last year.