The garden continues to percolate along in a quiet January fashion. Poppies, lunaria, Orlaya grandiflora, and Geranium maderense seem to be what’s on the menu for spring — their seedlings are everywhere. A nice problem to have and easy to edit out where they’ve sown too thickly. The nubby tips of tulips are starting to pierce through the soil in their pots. Recent daytime temps in the high 70s and even crossing over into the low 80s are rushing spring a bit. The chronic sweeping of leaves might be just about over this week since the trees appear to have none left to give. This nice pairing of a dark phormium and budding corsican hellebore was revealed when a leaning athanasia shrub was cut back and off the phormium. There’s been a lot of settling such disputes via loppers lately. The phormium was one of two dwarf kinds planted (‘Tom Thumb’), only one of which survived, definitely labeled incorrectly and not ‘Tom Thumb’ but still a moderately sized phormium and not prone to gigantism so far.
Four seedlings of Ammi visagna are thriving, all that germinated from a fall sowing.
My first attempt at growing this supposedly superior kind of Queen Anne’s Lace.
Can’t wait to see if and how the umbels differ from A. majus.
The chilly, east-facing bathroom has proven to be optimal for paperwhites.
I spent a good part of yesterday rummaging through bins of old bulbs in local nurseries, hoping to find a few more of these narcissus since I planted so few in fall. I managed to find a source and bought just three more for continual, staggered bloom, hopefully into March. Why’s it so hard to envision in fall how happy-making these bulbs in bloom in January will be? The bathroom is transformed by a couple bowls of paperwhites in bloom from a utilitarian space into a conservatory, albeit one you can still brush your teeth in. Since I always seem to have a couple bags around, I use builder’s sand as a matrix for growing these bulbs. Cheaper than fancy pebbles, and the weight keeps tall glass vases from tipping over.
My beautiful Agave guadalajarana in better days.
The leaves had become dull and curled inward. Investigating the problem this morning, the entire agave sheared off from the base with a light tug. Agave snout-nosed beetle? Nearby agaves seem unaffected so far. What to plant in its place, and in place of the yards of rampant Senecio mandraliscae I also pulled out, will need a little more percolating this winter. Aloes?