TOW N.H.Do in Jan. - Garden

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 05 Jan 2004 19:38:18 PST
Dear All,

In Northern California we probably need to protect from frost (or flooding 
as the case may be) this month as it is usually the coldest. In coastal 
northern California where most winters it doesn't get far below freezing so 
we can grow a lot of bulbs from areas that are much warmer in winter we 
occasionally get hit with a really cold night or two some years which can 
cause a lot of damage. So we check the temperatures at night before we go 
to bed, look at the weather report and look to see if there are stars or 
clouds. (Clouds means we'll probably be o.k.) If it is very cold and a good 
freeze is predicted and the stars are out we let the frost cloth down in 
the outside structure. If need be we'll cover benches and turn the heater 
on in the greenhouse so it's a little above freezing, but that's only if it 
is really going to be unusually cold.

The most delightful part of January is finding things in bloom you didn't 
expect (first time bloomers sometimes) and seeds germinating after you were 
despairing that they weren't coming up. If it is something blooming for the 
first time I try to make sure it is really what it is supposed to be. 
Blooming yesterday for the first time from Silverhill Seeds was Hesperantha 
humilis, a cute little pink flowering one that opens in the day time (if it 
is warm enough). I put a picture of it on the Hesperantha wiki page.…

A week or so ago I had my first Androcymbium open from Bill Dijk seed of a 
number of years ago so that was exciting.

There was also a Crocus from seed I just discovered a few days ago. I 
suspect I missed it when it first opened as I wasn't expecting it. I'm not 
sure it is what it is supposed to be so guess I'll send a picture to Tony 
and see if he can help me out.

I'd like to mention too that my Oxalis are still blooming. Following my 
friend Jana's lead I filled up my cold frame with containers and that is 
working really well (except it isn't big enough for all of them.) I have 
added a few more pictures to the South African Oxalis wiki page:…

First there is Oxalis convexula which has succulent fleshy leaves. I've 
been looking at the buds for quite awhile now and finally cheated and 
brought it inside so I could get the flowers to open so I could photograph 
them. I have pictures of buds (which are nice) first and then it finally 
open. The other one opening this week is Oxalis gonoiorhiza which is white 
and has a reddish margin to the petals like Oxalis versicolor but not quite 
as dramatic. I added a picture of O. versicolor blooming late afternoon in 
the cold frame too. Oxalis luteola is still blooming as is O. versicolor. 
On that page I also added the Oxalis pictures that Kristina Van Wert took 
from the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens bulb collection last year. 
She  did better than I about keeping track of which Michael Vassar O. 
obtusa accession she was photographing.

I have three pots of Narcissus in bloom courtesy of Bill Dijk a number of 
years ago. They finally seem to have adjusted to the change in hemisphere.

What needs to be done in the Southern Hemisphere in January? Any of you 
from there care to enlighten us?

Mary Sue
Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers

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