September 2006

The Labour Day weekend was spent with among other things some planting. Planting for the spring plant sale. We took the bull by the horn and purchased 550 assorted spring bulbs and set about to start planting them not just around the yard, but also in a number of #2 pots. We typically have 6 or 7 bulbs in each depending on their individual size, with most of them the usual suspects: Tulips and Narcissus. We only have 150 or so planted in pots now and we're already starting to build quite the pile of pots. Hope they sell as well next year as they did this past spring.

A goodly number of Hostas are putting up a second flush of flower scapes, such as this 'Guacamole' for example. It's curious to note that while the flowers on this scape have not opened as yet, the bracts are already drying up as an early sign of senescence, obvious signs fall and winter cannot be far off. It will be interesting to see how many buds we'll see off this scape and how many of those will flower. There in fact are two second flush scapes on this crown, both on shoots that developed this year. The main shoot has finished flowering for a while now and has a couple of pods ripening on it, including one fertilized with 'Revolution' pollen.

On one of our shopping trips to the big box lumberyards -we needed a new digging fork- we came across a #3 pot just about filled to the edge with a very nice, big clump of what was labelled as 'Francis Williams' but I do have serious doubts about that ID, the margin looks too wide and the green isn't blue or glaucous enough, plus there was hardly any puckering. Matter of fact, I rather think that what I have here is 'Twilight'. This is what became of it: 6 #1 pots and 5 #2 pots. Should still be early enough in the season for them to put down some new roots before winter gets here in earnest, as long as we make sure to keep them in the shade .

There was one shoot in this lot that showed considerably wider variegation that the rest. It's been taggged and we'll keep our fingers crossed for next year. It's the one slightly below center, right in line with this paragraph.

It is that time of year when you really start noticing differences in growth cycles amongst the various cultivars. Here for example 'Striptease' is still showing nice, strong colour, although it does look rather different from what you see in the spring. The center part of the leaf starts to gradually go lighter and lighter over the summer and then just before it dies back you start to see this darker colouration along the center's edges as well as the ridges of the dimples, quite unique. The leaf on the top far right by the way, is a younger leaf that hasn't started to turn as yet and with the leaf below it provides a nice example of how the leaves change over time.

There are 7 or 8 pods on 'Revolution' and most of them are virtually completely white, with hints of red along the chamber walls. This is the only one to show variegation on it and apparently seeds from pods like this are most likely to produce the 'streakers' all hybridizers are after. All these pods were from crosses with a relative's pollen: 'Minute Man'. Can't wait for spring!