A Polar View

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Fri, 15 Feb 2008 11:40:30 PST
Dear friends,
	The discussions of Mediterranean and Maryland bloom are so 
different from here. I feel more 'Polar " (referring to the north or 
south pole) than 'Polar ' (meaning opposite). Todays high will again 
not get up to freezing.

	We have had a very wet cold winter with ice and snow encasing 
the garden for weeks on end. Nothing is blooming out doors, but if 
the weather can stay above freezing for a few days a few stalwart 
early Galanthus may poke out. Now they are at ground level and 
showing as a dim greenish white 'button' among the leaf tips.

	A variety of crocus also have short tufts of foliage, but no 
hint of color within.

	Even hellebores are playing things close with very few 
showing a bud or color out of their heart of blackened foliage.

	I did see a few herbaceous peony species buds peeking out of 
the ground with their beet pink buds contrasting with the wet brown 
soil or the dry tan soil depending on drainage.

	A few Narcissus are also poking tight fans of foliage barely 
out of the ground although Campernelles always push a few inches of 
wispy foliage out that end up looking ragged by the time that blooms 

	In the dry beds, Iris aucheri has been showing tips of 
foliage for weeks. This is always the first Juno to show signs of 
life, but it is weeks from bloom.

	OK I have left the nearest to bloom for last. The miniature 
narcissus 'Cedric Morris' is under a cloche to protect the flowers 
from wayward bunnies and squirrels. They've nibbled most buds before 
the cloche went on, but a couple could open , again if we stay above 
freezing for a while.

	Haven't  peeked in the cold frames as they are wrapped and 
covered for winter. Might be a Galanthus closer to  bloom in there, 
but it is way too early to even think about looking in much.

	So maybe this is a more polar garden. I could use some 
penguins to liven things up.

		Best		Jim W.

OT - PS Just came in from a stroll around the 'estate' and am 
continually impressed at the condition of the palm Rhapidophyllum 
hystrix. The foliage is deep green and totally untouched by harsh 
freezes, ice or snow abuse. Not so much as a brown tip to any leaf 
while the hardiest bamboos she extensive leaf and culm damage. This 
palm looks no worse for wear than in the middle of summer in the heat 
of burning western sun. What a plant !

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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