Wednesday, January 25, 2012

USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map

USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map / January 25, 2012 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

Thought I'd pass this link on to others. An updated plant hardiness zone map. I gave my zipcode a whirl and was surprised to see that the border of 7b and 8a is no longer 'next door' but is now way up state.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Iris seedling

I love how my iris seedling is starting to look like an iris. It seems 'big' in this picture but it is incredibly tiny in the pot. Quick to miss when looking around. hehe.

As it is right now, I've spotted three iris seedlings in this "Black Mom/Purple Dad" pot. The "Purple Mom/Black Dad" pot has nothing so far.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dragon Arum now?

Wow... I was surprised to see these two poking out of the ground. Dragon Arums. Already?

What also surprises me is that these two used to be by the mailbox before I relocated them to the amaryllis bed. After I relocated them, they 'vanished' and I assumed they just rotted away.

The dragon arum in the other bed (the one I take pictures of with the big flowers) haven't come up yet. Those two suffered a mishap last year where they bloomed and immediately both plants just died down to the ground. I wonder if those bulbs are still around or not. Time will tell. I have a love/hate relationship with the dragon arum but always pleasantly surprised to see them make an appearance (even if it's always way so early in the year while frosts are still coming).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Amaryllis bulbs - Green Dragon and Candy Floss

My order finally came in!

I bought Green Dragon Amaryllis in honor of 2012 being 'Year of the Dragon'. Candy Floss was tossed in because two bulbs are always better than one, right? And I definitely want more color added to the collection so that cross-pollinating becomes many more times the fun.

Gotta dig up two pots and get them planted... Now I need to look up information on how to store the pollen so that I can use it on the reds when they bloom this spring.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Follow the sun...

I'm not one of those lucky people that have a big south-facing window with shelves to help plants gets sun during the winter months so I keep relocating the amaryllis to a chair and slowly push it across the kitchen floor to follow the sun. Someone else appreciates it as well.

Amaryllis and Gypsy
Of course, have to keep a close eye on them both to make sure she isn't nibbling on the plant or ready to stretch out and send the pot tumbling over. Amazingly she hasn't thus far. Once the temperature starts reaching to a point where it doesn't feel like I need a jacket, I set the pot outside on the back porch for full sun. Then it comes inside to go on a high shelf before the sun goes down.

Looks like after tonight, there'll be a handful of days where the lows will be in the twenties. That's something at least!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cleaning up backyard - Iris Seedling

It appears the cutting company is done removing the pine trees from the woods that butt up against the backyard. For us, the focus is now on the side of the backyard and the mess that was caused by Hurricane Irene when she toppled the pine trees back in August.

With the weather cooling down and while the wisteria vines have lost their leaves, the clean-up of the backyard has finally started. For a couple days now, it's been a lot of cutting and tugging at the vines. As for the pine trees that were laying on the fence, a couple of them were removed with the chainsaw until the chain broke.

 Slowly getting it loaded up. Once the chainsaw is fixed, the rest of the fallen pine trees will be cut off the fence. I don't know about the mess on the other side of the fence seeing as that isn't our property but some of those pine trees are leaning over into the backyard. I don't know how long they'll have before they give up from the weight of the wisteria on top.

Right now the top priority is to just clear everything off the fence and straighten it back up for the dogs. It'll be nice to see the edges of the yard again.

So much for winter-sowing. Looks like at least one Iris seedling has germinated and started coming up...

Iris Seedling

Both Iris pots will be moved into the greenhouse to protect them from the freezing temperatures that are coming (assuming winter gets here) in case more seeds have germinated.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cherub's Smile Bearded Iris

The weather has been really nice for a while. It's 71 degrees right now as I write this. It's shorts-wearing weather. Little gnats slipping in through the screens of opened windows. And of course plants reacting to the warm weather and getting ready to burst with new life. And we're just a week into January.

I found out that my two Cherub's Smile Bearded Iris bulbs started growing. It looks like they got stung by the cold weather we had a few days back. On one hand, I'm still annoyed that we haven't had prolonged "winter"-iness but on the other hand, I am quite tickled to find out that the two dried up bulbs are still alive and kicking! This pot will have to be moved into the greenhouse when temperatures drop below freezing.

So how's the weather where you live?