May 2007

This year, like last year, I have sprouted a number of Hosta seeds. This year the majority were deliberate crosses and it's interesting to note that the first ones to start showing are the ones resulting from a 'Revolution' pod with ''Minute Man pollen. 'Revolution' has a reputation for throwing mostly white seedlings and it certainly appears as if that's the case here. Not being able to produce enough chlorophyl for sustained growth means that they most likely will not make it much beyond the second or third leaf stage unfortunately.

We have documented the development of a sporting section of one of our 'Hyacinthina' clumps. It's a little early for stronger variegation to show, but this leaf has all the earmarks of showing a larger, stronger area of variegation than what we had last year. Here's hoping there will prove to be more than just this one leaf though.

What a difference two days can make....let's see what happens after a week...

8 days later, more leaves have unfurled and the variegation is really starting to pop. The difference in colouration you see is due to leaving the digital camera's white balance setting on 'auto'. The difference is not just the leaves but check the difference between the pine needles. Even after making careful adjustments in Paint Shop Pro to the overall colour balance the pine needles are now a lot closer, but there remains a noticeable difference in the leaves. And this picture here reflects the actual colour better than the one above.

There is a leaf on our 'Striptease' that shows clear signs of sporting. Just as well I had plans already to divide it this year, this is all the more reason.

The waviness of the leaves on this 'Feather Boa' is starting to show nicely. These are sitting in more or less full sun from about 10 AM until 4 PM and have coloured up into a nice shade of gold .We should be seeing the first flower scapes developing pretty soon now.

Did I mention I discovered another 'Hyacinthina' sport? these two leaves are actually on two separate shoots. I noticed them almost by accident after the pot they're in had been on our plant sales table for the last 3 weekends. It was quickly removed and these shoots will get separated off later in the season for growing on next year.

A couple of weeks ago Ace's breeder surprised us with a little water garden ornament. She knew we had an old Beatty washing machine in the yard just begging to be used as a water feature, and here it is, Mr. Froggy playing Manneke Pis! We will add some water plants and quite possibly some fish, not quite sure which ones yet.

A couple of days and some of Waita's handy work later and the backyard is starting to look better and better. Our little zip-up greenhouse has been taken down again, re-opening up the area visually, and most of what was left in terms of plants has been dispersed, with the most notable exception being the marigolds, they haven't all been dealt with as yet.

It is the Iris time of year again. We have a small stand of Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brother' that is particularly showy right now, it's such a pretty, dainty flower.

We've had a few days of sunny, warm weather and all the plants really seem to thrive on this. Just make sure you keep them well watered and you get rewarded. A goodly number of the Heucheras we have are flowering and have been for 10-14 days. For most it's their first full year in our yard and it's the first time we've seen them in bloom. Heucheras, like Hostas, provide a nice combination of attractive foliage and flowers and contrast nicely with the Hostas and Liliums we have.

From the same vantage point almost as the previous picture, just at a slightly higher angle and looking the other direction. And no matter which direction you look there will be plenty of new, bright green growth, a fair number of flowers and lots more things budding up.

Even with all that though, the cold latter part of winter and the early spring sure put back the development of some of the plants we'd normally expect to be in bloom by the end of this month. For example, we normally expect to see Lily 'Lollipop' or one of the Pixie Lilies in flower by the last week in May, certainly not this year.