Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the delightful purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest chilly news from our garden. You may remember me from such equally frigid posts as “Below Average” and “A Cold, Cold Day”, among so many, many others.
Even this morning it was nice for a few minutes (I didn’t get up until about nine), and then all of a sudden the wind came up from the north, and right now it’s 20 degrees F (-6.6C) and ninety-two percent humidity. That’s cold even for me, because we hardly ever have that much humidity when it gets cold.
You can see how cold it is from the pictures here. Those plastic things are over some agaves which should have been protected the last time it got cold, but weren’t, and so they suffered. They’re not very big plants.
The downy woodpecker ate some suet. That’s the same cage that Earl, the squirrel, tinkled all over when he saw that the guy I live with had added the hardware cloth, last year. It’s clean now, of course. And the lone snowdrop is still blooming. It looks kind of sad. Right smack in the middle of the picture. Its name is…get this…Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus Hiemalis Group. That’s probably why it looks so sad. The blurry thing in the lower right is a post to define the path, in case somebody walked into the shade garden. More seeds are being germinated. Remember I told you that the guy I live with got a bunch of really old seed, and he was going to test it for viability? Maybe I didn’t say all of that, just the first part, but he did test some astragalus seed, and guess what?That’s wet filter paper the seed is on. I know it looks kind of weird. The seeds were nicked, then soaked, and then put into filter paper which was dampened, or wetted, and then put in a mostly-open freezer bag, and left down in the laundry room for a few days, and the seed germinated.
The seed was collected in 1995. This is Astragalus sobolevskiae. Collected by Josef Halda in the Altai Mountains. The guy I live with had never heard of it either, and he says that even Kew doesn’t have a herbarium specimen, so I guess we’re really out on the frontiers of horticulture here.
Of course there was a big to-do about the filter paper. (It prevents the seed from rotting and stuff.) Where, oh where, to find filter paper?Maybe you can see that he found some, and it works really well. I don’t go round telling people that seed is sown on filter paper here and checked with a magnifying glass every day, because, you know, people might talk, but that’s the sort of thing that goes on here.
And I’m supposed to show these two pictures, even though they were accidentally taken as super low-resolution pictures (like the one of me watching, above). I guess you know what the first one is.And two evenings ago we had a really nice sunset. Well, you can tell what that is, too.
Until next time, then.