Sunday, April 29, 2007



I believe that Jetfire is the Narcissus that attracts the most attention in my garden. It is shorter and earlier than King Alfred. While many other Narcissus nod downwards, even though this one does, its recurved petals mean that it shows up really well.


Not very orange in the center, but very pretty. Also not very tall, though it is its first year, so maybe it will be taller next year.

A tip I learned a number of years ago is that one should plant daffodils at least half way back in a planting bed. The foliage from perennials will hide the leaves until they are done for the year. It has worked beautifully for me.

When it comes to the shorter bulbs, crocus is fine at the very front, but medium height foliage is best disguised by the foliage of daylilies or ornamental grasses.

Thursday, April 26, 2007



This plant has changed its Latin name a number of times, and I have had considerable experience with changes in Latin names, such that I am not going to go out on a limb and declare what the name of this one is! But it is the variegated form, about 18" tall.

When I first planted this Solomon's Seal it was not happy. The plain version took off, but this one looked like it would die. So I moved it. Same story. Then I had a spot where nothing would grow because it was so dry. This one loved it there and has spread to entirely fill a 6 x 3' area. I am almost sad because my husband offered to build a little "deck" out over the pond, as a way to deal with this area where nothing would survive. It would have been lovely but when these plants thrived I gave up the idea of the deck. I guess I should be trading for some other project, though I expect he will have a bout of memory loss if I bring up the subject.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pulsatilla vulgaris Rubra

I great little plant with a long period of interest. The seedheads on Pulsatilla are delicate and feathery. I guess I will have to be sure to grab a photo later. Also, I have a Pulsatilla called Papageno. It has fringed petals. It is growing in a dry spot so I am not sure that it will be as nice a display as this one, but it is also worth growing.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ancilla Tulip

First thing this morning I told myself that I needed to get outside with my camera. Then came the comment from Kate in my previous post. How could I not oblige someone that says something so nice! So out I went and here are the shots of Ancilla tulip:

These first two are as it looks "in real life"

Then sometimes you get the right angle and the right background and you end up with something much better than was planned:

Ancilla was a new tulip I planted last fall and it has been a very pleasant surprise. This early kaufmanniana tulip gives a lovely break from the yellow of the daffodils, though I can hardly believe I said that as I LOVE the yellow daffodils.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Mr. Magnificent

We have been very slow to seed our last area in lawn. The soil was put there years ago when we hand-dug out our basement, or should I say when my husband hand-dug our basement (I was pregnant). We were dumb enough to build our house on posts and in our cold climate, that does not work well at all!!

So we are slowly improving the soil, with the addition of coffee grounds, leaves and the burying of our compostable garbage (burying it is so much easier than composting it!).

So we had some 25 yr old barley seed and decided to toss it out on the area produce a green manure crop. Last year it didn't sprout. Maybe it was too old, or should I say, it was very likely too old. There is still lots left so I tossed a bunch of it out again this year.

Result: hundreds of bobbing heads (Juncos) and the recent visitors - a magnificent pheasant and his much less colourful mate. Watching her eating on the ground, of which she is almost the same colour, made me think that the male, while he is gorgeously colourful, he has a distinct disadvantage. He is so easy to see that he is a predator-magnet. How could anyone or anything not notice Mr. Magnificent?