What's blooming week of 16 January

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Wed, 18 Jan 2012 10:24:47 PST
This probably ought to be "What's not blooming this week." Early 
January is usually snowdrop (Galanthus) time in the Pacific 
Northwest, but at our NARGS chapter meeting last night several bulb 
enthusoiasts reported that the snowdrops are barely breaking ground. 
This I found a relief, since the same is true in my new garden, where 
I'm still waiting to see if the plants that used to grow well in the 
old garden will continue here.

We thought that the unusually dry fall weather (part of the same 
pattern Mary Sue Ittner reported on the northern California coast) 
might have something to do with it, since few of us irrigate the 
garden after September.

I haven't been out to the old garden in more than a month (the house 
and acres are still on the market, held down by a caretaking couple), 
so I don't know what's happening there, but since today it's probably 
under a foot of snow, I think I'll wait a week. Here in the banana 
belt we had a couple of inches of snow last night but it's melting 
fast this morning.

In my bulb house Narcissus cantabricus and N. romieuxii forms are in 
full bloom, along with a few little Colchicum species and the first 
winter crocus, C. michelsonii (a beautiful flower). By this time, 
though, I'd expect to see some more early bloomers, particularly Iris 
stenophylla and perhaps some of the reticulata iris species, but 
these have emerged just a centimeter or so above the gravel mulch. 
The raised beds that have replaced the hundreds of clay pots are full 
of incipient foliage and buds, though, and it will be interesting to 
see how the bulbs have responded to their second growing season in freedom.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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