Jamie V. jamievande@freenet.de
Tue, 04 Apr 2006 00:21:58 PDT

> Jamie Vande   Cologne   Germany   Zone 8
> I'm sure a few of you are even further behind as we are in northern 
> Europe, weatherwise, but I can confirm that the snow is finally fading 
> into a chilly memory in Germany.  Cologne is always one of the mildest 
> spot in the country, but we had one of the longest freezes I know of, 
> over 3 months with hard ground.  More typical is 3 weeks!
> As it is, I have finally reached the Narcissus phase of the season and 
> Pipit, Jetfire and a stray classic trumpet of unknown origin are 
> finally gracing the stage.  The lawn has come into its own, with 
> Chinodoxa, Scilla and N. bulbocodium just opening, Frittilaria 
> imperialis has brocken the ground, along with F. persica, F. melagris 
> and quite a few pots of now unknown seedlings (a thieving magpie has 
> built the markers into its nest!).  If it wasn't for the typical 
> spatulate leaves, I wouldn't even know the genus.  Such are the 
> tribulations of gardening.  Who knows what all those thread-leaved 
> kids are.  Certainly some Alliums, but maybe Romulea, Ornithogalum, 
> etc., etc.
> Some of you will remember my curious super-large G. nivalis that 
> appeared in my drift.  Looks to be a new form, only really 
> distinguished by its extreme size (3x larger than normal) plus 
> somewhat longer pedicel and considering its leaves are larger as well, 
> I am hedging the hope that it may prove to be a tetraploid. (certainly 
> an after effect of Chernobl!)  I found some more interesting forms in 
> the lawn, all coming from a bag of bulbs I purchased on the market in 
> the last Autumn.  I was told they were G. nivalis, but they have the 
> typical hour-glass (some eyed) markings and explicate glaucus leaves.  
> Possibly G. plicatus var. byzanthius or a hybrid.  Lots of variation 
> with one yellow form!  I am fascinated and may just be forced to 
> become a Galanthophile.  Isn't it great 'discovering' a new genus?
> Now blooming in the shade are C. coum and C. heradifolium.  One going 
> out, the other coming in to bloom, with Arum maculatum and Anemone 
> blanda popping up between.  Lots of Paeonia seedlings are up and need 
> transplanting to the seedling bed.  Some of the older ones should hit 
> their maiden bloom this season.  Exciting.
> Ciao,
> j.

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