celebrating the solstice

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Sat, 21 Dec 2013 14:13:55 PST
Temperatures here in the greater Washington, D.C. area were in the upper sixties F today - a few warm spots probably topped seventy. A quick look through the garden turned up a few snowdrops blooming here and there and in one of the cold frames a Cyclamen persicum and an Iris unguicularis. In another cold frame little Iris cretensis is blooming too. Iris lazica grows in the same frame and has not started to bloom yet. In an opwn space between the two cold frames, my longest established Iris unguicularis is also blooming. In my community garden plots about a mile from home I noticed yesterday that a plant of Crocus ochroleucus was more or less in bloom.
On a windowsill inside the house two plants of white hoop petticoat daffodils were blooming for about two weeks (I keep the house cold). The names are different, but they look alike to me. These will go out into the cold frames soon. 
A handsome male robin stopped by today and chirped for me for a few minutes - I took the hint and threw him some raisins. 
The next drop into the below freezing range is predicted to occur on Wednesday morning, just in time to put the Christmas list in doubt. 
Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where on a day like this it's easy to spend a lot of time examining the foliage of the seedling cyclamen in the unprotected frames. 

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