January 2010

Happy New Year! Thank goodness this year we don't have to put up with the snowy mess we had last year, it's just the typical wet West Coast weather we're having to contend with.

Here is one of the perennial baskets we did this spring, it has a Prostrate Rosemary, a nice little Heather that colours up brightly in winter, Wooly Thyme and Artemesia....all still making a nice showing on the 1st day of 2010.

The weather has been unseasonably warm and in sharp contrast to what we saw last January. This is leading to all manner of plants being much, much farther ahead in growth compared to last year. Here, on January 10th, we have some Galanthus elwesii starting to show colour already. At the rate they're going, they'll be in bloom in a week or less.

In addition to these snowdrops we see all the usual suspects popping up: tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and I can even see signs of swelling dormant buds on a number of Hostas already. All WAY too early in the season.

The weather was so mild the January 10th weekend that we took advantage of the dry spell and temperatures up to 11º Celcius to do some cleaning up of some of the beds, and erect our collapsible greenhouse, a good 3 weeks earlier than last year.

Our oldest Hellebore is making quite a showing this year, just look at all those flowers. And thank goodness, no signs as yet of rodent ravages.

A bit more concerning is the appearance of shoots on several Hostas. such as this 'Lakeside Down Sized' which has its home in the sheltered potting area. And it's not the only either. I'm seeing shoots emerging on 'Ice Age Trail', 'Green Mouse Ears' and a 'Stiletto' as well. All of these are fairly sheltered, no question, but still, that's WAY too early. All we need now is some frost and they're all toast.

I'm not quite so concerned over the Tulips and Iris that are popping out all over the front yard. And as you can see the Primulas are starting to show their colour again.

The first of the Galanthus started to bloom on the 17th. By the 25th they were out in full glory in the front yard. Well, they would have been, had it been sunny.

Last year we used mostly perennials in our baskets and some also found their way into several of our smaller pots, such as this Sempervivum 'Rotmantel' for example. It cascades rather nicely over the edge of it's pot.

Much to my horror I discovered the return of the killer rats on the 31st. You may recall we have had an issue with rodents attacking our Hellebores over the years and earlier this month things looked so promising. Out with the trap, again. I'm gonna kill me yet another rodent....

On a more pleasant note, we saw the first of our little Iris reticulata in bloom this last day of the month. Next up will be the crocus I suspect, buth they're a few days off yet. Oh, did notice the first of the daffodils are starting to bud up...