Blooming now/Weather changes

Kenneth Hixson
Sun, 01 Feb 2009 22:02:26 PST
Dear Members

	Mary Sue asked about how this year is different from an
"average" year, and I'd like to comment, but the truth is, every
year is different.  This winter's low here was +14F, twice.
Just before Christmas, people a mile west of me had a sheet of
ice on roads, and fifty automobile accidents in one day.  I didn't
even have much frost--and a low of +32F.  My sister, just south of 
Portland, had a foot of snow with an ice topping--we drove in ruts
of ice on the highway going to her house for Christmas dinner.
I didn't see snow until almost half way there.
	Watching the evening weather reports, it almost seemed
as if there was a big mountain between me and the rain storms
coming in off the ocean--rain a few miles south, rain a few miles
north, hardly even showers here.  Rainfall here has been about
70% of normal, but the mountains fifty miles east, from which
our rivers flow, have about 150% of normal.  Local dams are letting
water out, as they have too much water.

	I posted this elsewhere, so if you've read it, please
forgive me:

Crocus biflorus Miss Vain is in bloom, C. chrysanthus Goldilocks
has a couple flowers.  "Goldie" was planted where it gets shaded by
a building to the south, and should be moved to where it gets sun.
Galanthus ikariae has a few flowers, but has not multiplied into
    Gladiolus tristis came up in late September, and is looking
rather ratty and somewhat brown from the temperatures.  Dierama hybrids
are also less than pretty right now.  Tulipa humiles Lilliput is up
about two inches and should flower soon.  Tulipa sylvestris is up,
but will not flower for some time.  T. papilio is dormant, but
I dug into one side of the clump in the course of planting something
else, and new roots are showing.
     Narcissus Earlicheer had leaves up about a foot before the
14F, and about six inches is now brown and rotting, but buds are
showing and it will flower in due course.  There is yellow showing
on another narcissus, but it's a lost label, so don't know what.
Rijnveld's Early Sensation might be a good guess.  Jonquils are showing 
leaves, and so are some of the large flowered types.
     Anemonee 'The Governor' had one red flower almost ready to
open when the cold spell hit.  The bud is still there, still red,
but has done nothing for nearly a month.
     I used to have mats and carpets of Chionodoxa and Scilla,
since moving there are only a few, and they're not up yet.

     Brodia elegans, seed sown 1/07, have been up almost a
month.  What I assume is Tritelia laxa seedlings-but lost label-
are up an inch or so.  Other Brodia and Tritelia are less adventurous,
and are not up.  Erythroniums also aren't showing.  Helleborus
hybrids are showing buds and color, at ground level.  Cyclamen
coum is showing leaves but no buds.

	All in all, a "normal" winter, even if it's not like one
I've experienced before.  Spring is coming, I'm weeding, and it
is cold enough that my nose still runs if I'm outside very long.
Walking around the garden isn't fun yet, but I'm doing it anyway.


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