Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you yet another riveting update, even though there isn’t much about me. You may remember me from such snow- and snowdrop-related posts as “Manzanitas, Snow, And Snowdrops”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.
It’s almost sixty degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 Celsius), and the snow isn’t melting. If you think this drives the guy I live with right up the wall, you’d be right.
Not only that, it’s supposed to get down to about three below zero (-19.4 Celsius) later this week.
The guy I live with says he used to find winters here tolerable, but not so much any more.
There are some advantages to snow. Well, one or two, anyway. The seed frame definitely benefits from snow, by insulating it, and also by giving the seeds the required amount of cold they need to germinate.
The frame is nothing but 2×4s and chicken wire on top.
Hardware cloth would be better, to keep mice out. I know we have mice in the garden because I saw a couple on the patio last night. They were eating thistle seed that the guy I live with spilled when he was filling the feeders.
You can germinate seeds that need a cold treatment in other ways that bypass the need for cold (he talks about that a lot), but the guy I live with says this “lazy way” is excellent, and gets good results.
I should also mention the flat of seedpots sitting on the shelf on the patio. Careful attention needs to be paid to the pots having enough snow cover, which means the guy I live with will have to be more alert than he usually is.
For some reason, the snow falling on that flat isn’t meltproof. If the seeds dry out, it could take years for them to germinate, because they can become even more dormant.
There are also seeds in pots in the middle frame in this picture.
Those frames, even though they were just built a few years ago, are going to be removed and “repurposed”. This is kind of a big deal.
The guy I live with has decided they’re ugly, especially covered with plastic, and he’s going to transplant the snowdrops in the frames into the garden right there. (It’s actually called The North Border.) You can see there’s no snow, and the soil isn’t frozen because of the mulch, so it might be an ideal place for more snowdrops.
The main planting of snowdrops, which you can see in the blog’s “header”, are beyond the gate in the picture above.
In recent years there’s been snow on the ground for a long time there, which is frustrating to the guy I live with. He would rather see snowdrops.
So I guess there will be another garden, or border, devoted to flocks of snowdrops, especially ones that flower earlier. A couple might not like our hot winter sun, like the one with the sort of funny name, Galanthus ikariae var. snogerupii. (The leaves have these air pockets which cause the leaves to burn.)
These might have to go to the Botanic Gardens, for a better home.
There is some action in the snowdrop frame, but not much.
This is ‘Chequers’. Not a very focused picture, I know.
The main trouble with the frames is that because the low winter sun doesn’t shine on the soil as much as it should, the soil doesn’t get warm enough, and so the snowdrops planted closest to the front don’t do much.
And it would be easier to cover the snowdrops when it gets as cold as they say it might.
Not only that, but bees could get to the flowers, to do their pollinating.
The only other thing is to show the whole setup upstairs. The LED lights make the color look a little peculiar.
There used to be fluorescent lights, but the guy I live with said they were useless, and very annoying when they started to flicker or buzz. The new lights are much better.
The seed pots are in the propagators (fancy English ones), which the guy I live with got from Garden Talk.
The pots on the lower shelf are cyclamen that haven’t produced leaves yet, for some unknown reason. He wonders about this a lot. The pots on the middle shelf are cyclamen that are just waiting to go out in the garden next year.
So that’s the snow, seeds, and snowdrops talk for today. There wasn’t enough about me in this post, but the guy I live with said that sometimes we do have to talk about gardening rather than just about me, even though I’m so fascinating.
I guess he’s right; he sometimes is.