Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pretty, but Fleeting

We got about 6" of wet snow last night.  It was already melting by dawn.  It was quite pretty, but quite heavy.

It's exactly for wet snows like this that I do the turkey truss on some of the soft evergreens, otherwise the snow breaks them and leaves them misshapen.  I can live with the evergreen hostage look if the trees can survive the winter unscathed.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cold Frame


It wasn't exactly life giving me lemons, but when someone asked us to throw out a piece of 48 x 60" plexi at work, I threw it in my car instead.  It took me a few months, but in December I picked up some pre-treated lumber, hinges and adhesive and made a cold frame.  I installed it under the stairs to the deck, on the concrete slab, where it gets good southern light midday.

Even with few plants in it, I could see that it was moist inside, and a few degrees warmer I hoped.
(Yes, I tend to have a rock pile around to provide materials for planting troughs.)

After the brutal deep freeze around New Years, I was finally able to work outside again last week.  Neighbor Ray and I added a layer of 1/4" hardware cloth to the bottom to keep out varmints, lined the  bottom and part of the sides with landscape fabric and poured in a couple hundred pounds of sand.  The sand should provide some thermal stability and insulation for the pots, while also acting as a moisture reservoir.  Any roots that escape their pots can run freely in the sand.

I cut two 2x4s to hold the lid open while we worked in it.  Into the cold frame went a couple rooted cuttings of my favorite lavender, a pot of cotoneaster franchetii cuttings, and some dormant first year vernonia noveboracensis.  Also into the mix went a few pots of seed like eryngium yuccifolium that need to be stratified.  I'm hoping that we can use the cold frame as a little nursery for germinating seed and growing on precious seedlings. With the lid closed the small pots will be safe from the never-ending squirrel inspections.

The cold frame should also function like an alpine house, keeping cold hardy but moisture averse plants like this delosperma happy throughout our wet winters.  



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Signs of Life

I was squishing through the yard yesterday on my way to the compost pile and was struck by the vibrant green of the arum italicum subsp. italicum under the Judd viburnum.  It's a pass-along plant from my friend's yard so I've never known for sure if it's 'Marmoratum', though I suspect it is.

The leaves say 'May' though it's only January.

How can this plant be leafed out and seemingly happy in this crazy weather?  It's been near zero this month as well as in the 60's.  The arum doesn't care.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

They're Under There Somewhere

I'm still not sure what a bomb cyclone is, but we got about 6" of snow today.

I'm happy to have the insulating snow cover on the troughs as we head into a series of nights around zero.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Some of Both


Gorgeous wet snow last weekend.

Chocolate cocoa espresso cookies I made while stuck inside.

Androsace under snow this week.

Butter cookies decorated by the kids today.

It's feeling seasonal around here.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Bulking Up

Many of my little friends have bulked up this season.  While not flashy out of bloom, I love the variety of form in the alpines.  Above is arenaria 'Wallowa Mts.'

a baby saponaria pumilio

saxifraga 'Pluto'

arenaria sp. antennaria dioica 'Nyewoods'

draba siberica

acantholimon capitum

haberlea rhodopensis

saxifraga longifolia

erigeron scopulinus

erigeron linarifolia

draba lasiocarpa

Sleep well this winter, little guys.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's Fallen

Above is the yellowwood tree and the hydrangea paniculata on 11.4.17.

The second photo is 11.17.17.  What a difference two weeks and a hard frost makes, especially when the first hard frost is below 20 degrees.  

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