Monday, March 2, 2015


Frost on an insect damaged daffodil
The first to open, this poor daffodil never stood a chance. Slugs or some other herbivorous insect had eaten part of the flower when it was still in bud, causing it to open prematurely. Also, frosty cold nights have eaten away at this damaged blossum. The next morning, it was completely destroyed. I was fortunate to capture this flower in all its pain and failure.
Narcissus 'Jetfire'
Fortunately, many Narcissus are coming into bloom! Here is one of the earliest, a cyclamineus hybrid, roughly ten inches tall. It is a durable selection, easy to grow and so far has been reliable.
Muscari armeniacum
Grape hyacinths, unlike the true Hyacinthus, are pretty plants with grape-like urn-shaped flower spikes that open bottom to top. The uppermost florets of most species (and some closely related genera) are sterile. The scale elongates as the flowers open reaching an ultimate height of around eight inches give or take.
Pseudomuscari azureum
Once considered to be included in the genus Muscari, Pseudomuscari differs by having florets with pointed lobes and stripes running down the length of the floret instead of around the lip as in many Muscari. This species is tiny, approximately two to three inches (for a large individual) with leaves shorter than the scale.
Scilla siberica
Scilla is one of those plants that just captivates me, and I must look at it, study it, and photograph it. In a sculptural sense, it is very dramatic. A fine plant.
Chionodoxa forbesii 'Pink Giant'
Closely related to Scilla, the genus Chionodoxa is another fine plant. The most apparent difference is that Chionodoxa, or glory-of-the-snow has fused stamens, while those of Scilla are free, though you couldn't tell from this picture because the flowers haven't opened yet!
Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant' mutant
Crocus, like the genera Lilium and Hemerocallis, have six tepals (three petals inside, three sepals outside). This outcast has nine tepals, and probably an extra anther, though you can't see it here. Mutations like this are apparently common in Crocus, often only lasting one season, and returning to normal the following year.
Crocus in stump planter
Likely the last good look at the stump planter, I am unsure how successful this experiment is. Only in subsequent years will I know for sure if this truly works. I would be surprised to see more flowers come out this year, and I will be sure to share what I may discover. We'll just have to wait and see. This is how gardening teaches us patience, a lesson I have yet to master.

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