Some spring thoughts

James Waddick
Thu, 17 Apr 2008 14:58:51 PDT
Dear friends,
	I guess spring must be here. No frost for a week and none in 
the next week's forecast. We had over 70 F for a day and a spring 
'feeling' rain today. The garden is looking spring even if the season 
is late - maybe 10 days behind, but some things are blooming 'out of 
sequence' and not typical at all.

	The earliest daffodils are gone and mid season to late have 
begun. I enjoy old favorites as well as new arrivals. I have 'Day 
Dream' and 'Precious' from the late Dave Karnstedt.  I am not a fan 
of split cup daffodils although I have a few around. Dave's "Precious 
is different. I suppose it is clearly split cup, but each of the 
splits is rounded and petal-like in a peach color swirled with while 
against a white corona. Very nice.
	'Sparkling Star' is a look alike, but smaller for 'Ceylon' 
with the bright orange cup against a bright yellow corona. Striking 
and fun on opposites sides of a large flower bed.
	Also from Dave the diminutive 'Xit' is fun to re- find. Very 
tiny and a perfect pale daffodil. There are a few favorites like 
'Professor Einstein' and my all time favorite 'Raspberry Rose' from 
the late Sid Dubose. This is a very classy medium size flower  with a 
richly colored rose cup on a pure white corona. A special plant each 

	Among Iris, the reticulatas are done, but junos have started. 
My usually early I. aucheri did not bloom at all, but it was severely 
damaged in last year's late freezes. A new clone with darker blue 
flowers has just finished.
	I willmottiana has just started and followed closely by I. 
greaberiana (White Fall). Others are still in bud.
	A clump of I magnifica near the house is in advance of this 
species elsewhere. It is a mixed clump with forms from typical pale 
lilac to Alba with others having various lilac marks mostly on the 
style arms, but clearly visible from above. This group of 8 or 9 
blooming size bulbs has a hosts of self sown seedlings around , none 
quite ready to bloom this year.
	Finger crossed that I'll get some bloom on I cycloglossa, one 
of the most beautiful Junos, but  difficult for me here.

	Various arillate and aril-bred iris are just starting on buds 
visible at the base of the stem. These range from pure species to 
onco-bred, onco regelia and other combinations. I have some new (to 
me) old Hoog hybrids 'Dardanus' and 'Antiope'
  to anticipate. And a pure I korolkowii.

	Among Fritillaria, 3 large clumps of over 20 stems each of I 
persica are once again blooming very poorly. I am guessing they are 
too crowded and need dividing as they bloomed vigorously when just a 
few bulbs. We certainly have good conditions here where summer baking 
in a no-brainer. Last fall I planted two of the new F. persica 'Ivory 
Bells' hoping the pictures I'd seen were not too photoshopped. Well 
the flowers are green, no denying. Not close to cream or ivory, but 
perhaps they'll fade as they age. I was pleased that each large bulb 
produced two full size flowering stems.
	A round of smaller European species are up and forming buds. 
I'd have to check labels, but I know there's F. acmopetala and 2 
others in a similar size range.

	My single remaining Ungernia sp is up and looks recovered 
from the freeze last spring. Fingers are crossed that this can get 
enough growing in to finally bloom this fall.

	The stars of the garden right now, mostly due to their 
abundance are the various anemones - A. blanda in a variety of blue 
shades from near white to violet and a few with a touch of pink, 
"White Splendor ' with large white flowers and a few named forms. A. 
nemorosa and ranunculoides. The latter in single , double and a pale 
(hybrid? ) form, the former in many shades and forms, but hard to top 
the old 'Robinsoniana'.

	Lilies are coming up too and remain a questions mark for me. 
Last spring some were up a foot or more and were frozen to mush. 
Since no growth returned all season, I could only wonder (hope) that 
they would return. Now will they also bloom ?

	Lots of odds and ends- Trillium pusillum ozarkanum - with 
tiny white flowers aging to pink, other species with fat buds T. 
recurvatum the most numerous, but T. luteum the next to open. 
Corydalis solida and 'Eco Special Pink' (from the BX) just finishing. 
Six or seven Arum species refreshing old winter foliage or rising 
anew. Sheets of Polygonatum o. 'Variegatum' poking their pink 
'snouts' up.
	Tulips- species only, but none in bloom except T. 
turkestanica: most other pushing buds out of the foliage.

	Not bulbous, but Hellebores are stealing some vistas. We have 
around 250 full size plants in bloom in a full range of colors, size 
and species. A real treat at a time when daffodil yellow seems to 
predominate otherwise.

	We are in betwen on Leucojum. The L. aestivum carpaticum are 
done and going to seed. The L. vernum just sending up buds. Lots of 
seedlings that need thinning or sharing.  We have both typical and 
'Gravetye Giant' with no obvious difference between them.

	So today's rain will bring  more 'May flowers'. 
	Optimistically yours.		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

More information about the pbs mailing list