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March 2005

March 3rd 2005. The morning sun is coaxing the Crocus buds to open. As the day goes on and the temperature increases, the flowers will open completely. It's hard to see in this small image, but if you look carefully, you'll notice the dew still present on a couple of the flowers, most noticeably just off center and to the left of the picture.

It's just before noon the same day and the shadows are still kinda long. After all, it's only early March. But it's nice the see the days getting longer again and leave for work and come home during the week in daylight.

Crocus and heatherThe sea of purple and mauve is upon us again. There are perennials popping up everywhere now. Weigelas are budding up, lots of lilies are poking their heads out of the ground, peonies are up 4 to 5 inches, Hostas are breaking ground, all sure signs spring is just around the corner.

Helleborus 'Ivory Prince' now has more than just the one bud open. Interesting to note that the flower becomes quite a bit darker as it ages. I saw some yesterday @ the nursery department of the building supply store we bought this one from, and their flowers had a very distinct ruddy red cast to them, as did some of the seemingly older leaves.

Last weekend and this weekend were spent ripping old fence boards etcetera and I built 2 additional racks for holding all our cuttings, transplants and seedlings. They're small enough so that they can readily be moved to the carport for use in yard/garage sales; the first one of the season is planned for Easter weekend at the end of the month. By then most of what now only shows buds breaking ground will have grown leaves. But, if the weather is lousy and the plants do not show well yet we'll hold off until mid April.

An additional rack like this is still in the 'greenhouse' we first used last year and it is full of trays with seeds. In the house we have a great start on a fair number of geraniums and we're waiting for the forget-me-nots.

Orange BeautyLast fall we harvested a sizeable number of stem bulbils from an Asiatic Lily we have: 'Orange Beauty' we suspect it's name is. We have in excess of 100 of these sprouting, quite the success story. Most of them are 3 to a 5" pot, which should be big enough to let them grow for transplanting in the fall.

If you've been following our gardening adventures for a while you may recall the story behind 2 of last year's Asiatic lily additions: 'Red Bull' and 'Polyanna'. Just to refresh collective memories, they were purchased rather late in the season from Costco, sat around in a heated environment for way too long and all bulbs had started to sprout when we planted them. They were a sorry looking lot, but by fall a good many of them had come around and 'Red Bull' in particular showed great vigour, as evidenced by these pictures taken last September.

I'm happy to report that both of these varieties are continuing on their growth/reproduction spurt. Just look at these, these 5"pots were all planted with just one bulb last year and baby, look at 'em now!

A couple of pictures above you saw how 'Orange Beauty' is doing in the bulbil department, here's what's growing in the garden box. I seem to recall that last year we had somewhere in excess of 140 buds in this stand and judging from the number and size of some of what's coming up here, it isn't hard to imagine exceeding that number quite handsomely. They grow so fast this time of year you could almost stand there and watch them inch their way upward.

Must admit I cannot recall when I planted these, I believe I planted them last year and I remember I bought them because they are so unusual, with their green and black flowers. And they may very well have flowered last year, you can see how easily they blend in, it's easy to overlook them.

What are they, you ask? They're Iris Tuberosa.

March of course, like the other equinox months, has feet in two seasons and for that reason gets split up. This page is the tail-end of winter for March, to get to the back-half of March for spring, you go here.