Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today just to talk about stuff. You may remember me from such posts as “Helping In The Garden”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.
Maybe you can see I was fulfilling one of my main duties here, chasing the squirrel off the sunflower-seed feeder. (The feeder is hard to see in that picture.)
You can also see that it snowed again, so there’s not much going on in the garden.
It was 61 degrees (F) today, but that had little effect on the snow, and the ice on the path.
Speaking of degrees, I forget if I’ve said this before, but did you know that 61 degrees Fahrenheit is 16 Celsius? It’s a handy mnemonic.
The other one like that is 82 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 28 Celsius.
It’s true that some of the snow is melting, especially in the “way back”, by the fence. There’s a lot of mud, which I like a lot. Just yesterday I got to run back and forth (and back and forth) in the mud. The guy I live with came out to see what all the “hoo-ha” was about, and I showed him the two coyotes out in the field. He got a picture, but accidentally deleted it.
Well, coyotes look like dogs, but aren’t. I think these two are children of Norm and Celeste, the coyotes who were old when I arrived here.
Today, the guy I live with took more manzanita cuttings, and when he went downstairs to move some pots around, he saw that one of the earlier cuttings was flowering.
He asked his friend in the nursery business if this was good, and she said yes, if the cutting has rooted, but not good if it hadn’t. He tugged on the cutting very gently. It didn’t budge, so maybe it rooted.
Even if it is rooted, the transition from a rooted cutting to a happy plant in the garden isn’t always an easy one. Rabbits will bite the little manzanitas and spit them out, leaving just a stump. The guy I live with said “bitten by bunnies” doesn’t have the necessary terrible ring to it, like “horribly devoured by unknown creatures” would. The rabbits don’t touch the larger plants.
These are some of the best evergreen plants for our climate; they don’t need to be watered at all once they’re established. They’re often watered in public gardens, where they tend to get bigger and bigger, but the guy I live with is perfectly content with smaller plants, not watered at all, just growing.
That is, if they do establish. I’ve heard stories about the large number of manzanitas that have failed to establish here. The guy I live with sometimes says he thinks the problem is with the soil-less mix, which has way too much organic matter for dryland plants like these, but there could be another reason. Aside from biting bunnies, I mean.
The wood on older plants can be very beautiful. Smooth, and reddish brown. We had an older plant; its corpse is still lying in the garden, because the guy I live with said he might do something with the wood.
Here are the new cuttings. These were taken from a much taller plant.
The guy I live with loves cottage cheese, if you couldn’t tell. He saves all these containers for gardening purposes.
The cuttings are in one of those fancy English propagators he got from GardenTalk. (The new models have holes in the bottom so they’re lined with aluminum foil. There’s a heating mat below the propagator.
Back outside, since it was such a nice day, where there wasn’t snow, I spent some time lying in the sun, on the path. It may look like I was just lolling around, but that wasn’t the case. I was looking at bees. The guy I live with says for me not to eat bees, but they’re kind of tasty. I’m not sure why my garden doesn’t need to be guarded against bees, but the guy I live with said something about “pollinating” and other weird stuff.
I wasn’t as bothered by the “overpowering” smell of laundry coming from next door, but the guy I live with certainly was. I began to get worried about him (he was kind of like I am when I have to eat grass), but he went inside, and came back out wearing a mask. Almost everyone wears masks these days, so it wasn’t all that peculiar.
You can see here that there are bees, in the snowdrops. (Probably the same bee in both pictures.) These are Galanthus plicatus. We don’t know why they’re so short, but the guy I live with opined that the snowdrops might be afraid to grow any taller, since the weather has been so awful.
Some other things are happening, but in the frames. The guy I live with said he planned to redo the frames, so that they afforded more protection to the bulbs, and I guess he’ll get around to that eventually. He’s not an engineer, so I suspect that when he gets around to this project, there will be a lot of thinking, rethinking, then sawing and stuff, and possibly some colorful language. Or maybe not. He likes sawing and hammering. Not as much as his wife did, but still, a lot.
This is Colchicum hungaricum ‘Velebit Star’. We also have the pink one called ‘Valentine’.You may be surprised that there are spring-flowering colchicums. I certainly was. There are quite a few species. We have several, but not all of them.
This is Colchicum kesselringii:
The flowers aren’t as huge as the autumn-flowering ones, and they flower at a difficult time in our climate, so they seem to be happier in the frames. There are some others, which aren’t up yet.