white stuff

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about white stuff, though I may ramble a bit. You may remember me from such posts as “White Out”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. One you’ve never seen before, but still characteristic.
Rather noble and dignified, don’t you think?
Some people get jealous of my retractable ears; it’s easy to see why.

You may wonder what’s on the wall above the watering can. If not, I’m going to show it anyway.
“The Sleeping Gipsy”, by Henri Rousseau. Not the real thing, of course, because if it were, we’d have a secretary doing this blog, but instead a print that the guy I live with has had for about fifty years. (It’s straighter than it looks.)
He has the book The Banquet Years by Roger Shattuck, who noted the “anticipation of cubism in the lower right-hand quarter” of the painting. His wife read the book and loved it. Every time he looks at that painting it reminds him of her enjoying the book so much, and the anticipation of cubism. That’s what he sees when he turns his head, after he wakes up and looks at his wife’s books on the other wall.

Well, anyway. The guy I live with has decided mostly not to complain about the snow (whew, huh?), because we do need water here, even though almost all of the snow evaporates instead of melts. It’s been so frightfully dry here that anything is welcome.
He went out and photographed these, this afternoon.
These are mostly Galanthus elwesii ‘Theresa Stone’, if you needed to know. There are hundreds of snowdrops in the shade garden, but the snow doesn’t melt (or evaporate) as quickly here as it does elsewhere.

Other snowdrops in the garden haven’t done so well, because the soil in which most of them were planted froze fairly early in the winter. (The soil in the shade garden isn’t frozen, just covered with snow.) I guess it was a miscalculation, but the soil here really didn’t start freezing until just a few winters ago. These snowdrops will be moved later this year to part of the garden where the soil doesn’t freeze.
This is ‘Three Ships’, which should have set sail in early December. Pretty pathetic, I know.
And ‘Daphne’s Scissors’, which, when it was in the snowdrop frame, was done flowering by the end of January. It was moved here, a couple of years ago.The guy I live with says this is really ‘Runs with Scissors’, because it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.
So the guy I live with is going to have something to look forward to; digging up snowdrops.
There are other things planned for the garden this year; some major, some minor. I’ll be sure to talk about them when they happen. They might even be interesting; you never know.

There have been snowdrops in flower in the Snowdrop Frame since October. These are being grown in pots so they can be lifted easily, for sharing later.
This is a form of Galanthus graecus.
Form, not clone. The guy I live with hates the word “clone”, which anyway means vegetatively propagated, which these weren’t. If they were grown by twin-scaling, they would be clones.
Some of the really early-flowering snowdrops have bulked up nicely.
This is Galanthus peshmenii. This was done flowering by November.
And this is Galanthus reginae-olgae ‘Cambridge’. Also done flowering, months ago.
The frame really doesn’t protect the snowdrops from cold, so much as it protects them from snow. The soil in the pots would freeze, which isn’t a bad thing except that it slows down growth.
Here’s one with a funny name; Galanthus snogerupii (or G. ikariae var. snogerupii). The leaves have tiny air pockets in them, which can cause trouble in our hot winter sun. It needs more shade. I think no one knows why the leaves have these air pockets.
You can see the air pockets in this picture.
Pretty fascinating, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

In another frame, which is open to the elements, there’s a nice potful of Stanleya pinnata. The guy I live with says the leaves were still growing until right before we had freezing weather. And now, I’m not sure why, I’m supposed to show the collection of rocks that sit in dishes out on the patio. The guy I live with said to, so I will. These don’t have anything to do with the color white, except there is an old bone in one of the dishes.
Maybe someone said something about the collection somewhere, so he thought showing it here would be worthwhile. It might not be, but the guy I live with says there are a lot of things more boring than this.
These are rocks given to the guy I live with’s wife, from people who collected them from all over the world. There are rocks from New Zealand and the Drakensberg in South Africa. All over the place, really. I don’t know which is which.
This next one has some railroad spikes from an old abandoned narrow-gauge railroad line up in the mountains, as well as a piece of coal. So that’s the rock collection.
Oh, I know: the guy I live with was saying how boring snow was, because it was white, even though he said he’d stop complaining about it, but the color is always the same, and would be a lot more interesting if every time it fell it was a different color. So he thought what’s more interesting than looking at snow that’s always the same color? Rocks, of course.
Snowdrops are all the same color, mostly, but they’re snowdrops, so that lets them off the hook. Plants that flower in the winter.

That’s what I have for today. You may be puzzled by all of this, but maybe I ought to tell you that the guy I live with can be kind of an enigma. I, on the other hand, am pretty down-to-earth. (They guy I live with says that’s because I’m shorter than he is, which isn’t as funny as he says it is.)

Until next time, then.

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19 Responses to white stuff

  1. Paddy Tobin says:

    Such a long stretch of snow would certainly be boring and a rock collection would most definitely be interesting, if only by comparison! Snowdrops are much the same as the rocks, they attract such attention and appreciation because there is nothing else in flower at their season. I have a particularly nice snowdrop in flower at present and have wondered about it, wondered which species it was and it may well be G. graecus. I have posted a photograph on Facebook – Galanthus ‘Barnhill’. Rain has eased here – frozen soil is almost unheard of – and I see a day of shredding shrub prunings ahead. It’s better than sitting indoors all day and keeps me active! The wife had good taste!

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with thinks Galanthus graecus is very similar to G. elwesii, but with less pronounced supervolute vernation and maybe narrower leaves. It does very well here. There is some disagreement as to whether it’s a valid species or not.
      Graham Stuart Thomas said that snowdrops might not have the appreciation that they do if they flowered in summer. He may have been right.
      The guy I live with went to see his friend today, and G. plcatus subsp. byzantinus was in flower, and ‘Remember, Remember’ was long done flowering. He planted a bunch of named snowdrops in her garden (not much snow there), though they aren’t easy to come by, here.
      Frozen soil used to be rare here; it doesn’t freeze very deeply in any case.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        Yes, I will have to ponder further on a snowdrop I was given a few years ago, simply as a named variety, but it may be little more (aren’t they all!) than a very slight variation on G. graecus. I’m going now to post a photograph on Facebook and it will be labelled G. ‘Barnhill’. You might have a peep and give an opinion. In the world of snowdrops at this side of the Atlantic there is always/generally a reluctance to give an opionion. Those considered experts remain so in the realms of obfuscation which they have created themselves!.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with spent quite a bit of time on the Revolution Snowdrops blog, and I guess Galanthus graecus is sort of halfway between G. elwesii and G. gracilis but I think without the long slender pedicel of gracilis. (There’s a nice clump of gracilis ex Highdown in the garden here, but under snow right now.)
        But it might be hard for him to decide what’s what, just looking at a computer. (Aging eyesight, and all that.)

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        I feel exactly the same!

      • paridevita says:

        There was some discussion about the way to distinguish Galanthus peshmenii from G. reginae-olgae, because both have pronounced stripes in the center of their leaves, but it turns out they’re not even remotely related.
        The guy I live with would sometimes mock people who said snowdrops all look alike, because Galanthus is the only genus where each species can be distinguished just by looking at them, but that may no longer be the case.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        The proliferation of named varieties reflects anepedemic spread and most are indistinguishable.

      • paridevita says:

        That seems to be true. The yellow ones may be less attractive to the guy I live with, because they remind him of chlorosis, a common affliction of plants in some parts of the Denver metro area. (There are some hideous chlorotic silver maples in our neighborhood, growing in bands of alkaline soil deposited by the developer fifty-odd years ago.)
        The older varieties seem to have more charm. Same with daffodils.

      • Paddy Tobin says:

        And the older ones kind of fall in line with my stage of life also!

      • paridevita says:

        A lot of the newer ones seem less interesting, but here, the species are preferred. The named varieties, of which there are quite a few, are being moved to his friend’s garden, because there’s a large snowdrop-less area that’s in full sun during the winter.

  2. Wee LOVE yore Rock collection!! Mani you have a ROCK SPONGE there!!! That bit grey stone with holess inn it iss Prehisstorick!! It was once a livin Sponge creeture!!!!
    WOW!! An wee like that THE rockss come from all over an now live twogether! BellaSita Mum has a peece of Ayer’ss rock from Australia!!! Fore reel….It iss on a littel wooden stand.
    Mani Mani mee furgot to meow you DUE look reegal an hansum inn yore foto!!!

    Yore snowdropss inn THE potss are growin guud…wee sorry Snowdropss inn snow are sorta messed up!!!! An yore plantss are lovelee two!

    ❤ Happy Valentine'ss Day ❤ Mani an Guy ❤
    ***nose rubss*** BellaDahrma an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

  3. Lisa says:

    I really did enjoy the rocks, Mani! When I wake up, I look straight ahead (if I’m on my back)and see my favorite paintings and prints. It’s nice to see things like that first thing. Maybe second thing, I’m sure they guy you live with sees your first thing, like I see my not-purebred-Border collie first. He has those retractable ears too. Sometimes they are gone, other times hanging down like a Labrador’s, or out at that funny Border collie angle! I get the idea you don’t like the camera (or phone) pointed at you, the faces you make!

    • paridevita says:

      Retractable ears are indeed excellent. The guy I live with often does see me first thing, lying on the bed in the morning, though sometimes I like to sleep in the chair down in the living room. Other purebred border collies who’ve lived here slept in that chair, too. He would rather have me sleep on the bed next to him, though.
      The guy I live with did give away some of his wife’s prints, because he didn’t care for them as much as she did and wanted to look at something different, but most of them are still here.
      I’m not sure I do like having my picture taken, even though the guy I live with says I’m very photogenic.

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