winter cheer

Jim McKenney
Thu, 21 Jan 2010 13:32:25 PST
Galanthus elwesii is beginning to bloom in the lawn here in USDA zone 7
Maryland.  These plants in the lawn are scattered and don't show up very

On the other hand, on December 18, 2009, I dug a clump of what I call my
Christmas snowdrop and planted the clump - in full bloom - in one of the
cold frames. I did this because a heavy snow fall was predicted. Now, over a
month later, this plant is still in full bloom and is very handsome: no
complaints here about that!

In one of the cold frames given over to pots of seed sown in November there
are already many signs of germination. It's always interesting to observe
the patterns of these germinations. For instance, Tulipa cretensis is
germinating strongly, yet several other species of Tulipa show no signs of
germination yet. Fritillaria tuntasia is germinating strongly, yet so far
it's the only species of that genus to show germination. Iris dichotoma is
germinating freely, but other members of that genus are still quiet. Several
Allium are germinating, others are still. Various umbellifers and crucifers
are germinating freely, too. 

There is still snow on the ground from the December 18 snowfall, but most of
it has by now melted. Helleborus foetidus and various Hamamelis are in

It's still winter in the open garden, but in the protected cold frame
Narcissus bulbocodium pallidus has been blooming for about two weeks or so.
In fact, this year there has been a Narcissus of one sort or another in
bloom since September.

I'm getting close to the point where it will be possible to have various
representatives of the genera Galanthus, Crocus, Cyclamen, Narcissus and
maybe even Iris more or less continuously in bloom from mid-fall well into
late winter in the protected cold frame. With the addition of some Primula
acaulis and Helleborus niger, it makes for a very cheery winter season.  

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where a red fox has been visiting the garden. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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