zero to sixty

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk mostly about snowdrops, since there isn’t much of anything else going on. You may remember me from such posts as “Mostly Iceless”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
It’s certainly not “mostly iceless” here right now, but I think you can tell by the title of my post how things have changed, again.
The weather is nice now, though the guy I live with said the ice on the paths won’t melt until it gets to 100 degrees or more, so he sprinkled a bunch of “paving sand” on the ice, especially next to the shed, out there, so I won’t slip when I run out in back to protect our garden in my usual tough manner.
The sand heats up and helps melt the ice. A little, anyway.

You can see, in this picture, seedlings that were nicked and soaked, like I talked about in my last post. The LED lights make everything look pinkish.
They’re in individual peat pots because members of the pea family (this is Acacia constricta) often don’t like to have their roots fiddled with.

And now for snowdrops. The guy I live with says winters would be very boring without snowdrops, even though we usually have crocuses and other things in flower in January and February. This year, only snowdrops.
The main “flock” is gathering steam, to sort of mix metaphors.
These were planted twenty-two years ago last October. I know I’ve told this story before, but these are Galanthus elwesii ‘Theresa Stone’, acquired from the garden in Corvallis, Oregon, where they were discovered.
There are probably a thousand of these now, but they’re not all ‘Theresa Stone’; most of them are not, in fact.
Snowdrops are pollinated by bees, and the seeds are spread by ants. So the only way all of these snowdrops could be ‘Theresa’ was if the guy I live with hadn’t planted some regular Galanthus elwesii in the shade garden, too. But he did.
The result has been a strain of “insanely vigorous” snowdrops, like these:
This one is in the front yard; I showed a picture of it in my post “A Hundred Voices”. It’s in a very dry spot, where our resident bunny likes to sleep.
The guy I live with said he was going call this ‘Bunny Wallow’ and sell bulbs from this for $200 each.

People actually do pay that much for named varieties of snowdrops, which is fine, I guess, though the resulting seedlings will be something different, unless there are no other snowdrops around.
This book, with its dusty cover
says snowdrop species are probably “self-incompatible’, so the named varieties would no doubt be, too, and the only way you could get another plant of your $200 snowdrop would be by planting another of the exact same one next to it, by digging up the original bulb and replanting offsets, or by “twin-scaling”.

Here’s another named variety of Galanthus elwesii; ‘Daphne’s Scissors’.
You can sort of the the scissors marking on the inner segments. Maybe if the picture were more in focus.
The guy I live with says this isn’t any better than the “bunny wallow” one, but he planted it anyway.  You can see these are increasing, but any seedlings will be scissors-less, because there are all sorts of other snowdrops nearby.
This is Galanthus plicatus subsp. byzantinus. It’s okay to feel sorry for this one. The guy I live with says these bulbs (there are several) will be moved to a sunnier spot later this year. It can flower in late January, here, in the sun. With shade in the summer.
And the last one is Galanthus plicatus subsp. plicatus.
The upward-facing flowers will turn downward in a day or so.

Okay, that’s it for the snowdrops (except to say that the guy I live with is, once again, slightly disappointed–but not surprised–by the performance of the “bulk” snowdrops he got).
At least there’s something in flower here, in this endless winter. It’s supposed to snow again on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I do my best to cheer up the guy I live with.

I’ll leave you with this picture of me, doing some gardening, too.

Until next time, then.

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20 Responses to zero to sixty

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Are bulk snowdrops of a particular cultivar, or are they just a random mix? I may have mentioned bulk Canna that were separated only by height and color, such as tall and red, tall and yellow, tall and pink, tall and mixed, and so on. I would be hesitant about mixed snowdrops only because I could not identify cultivars as they bloom so that I could separate them later (if I wanted to).

    • paridevita says:

      They’re species, either Galanthus elwesii or G. woronowii.It’s not like a mix of different snowdrops. Sometimes you could get variation in them, since snowdrops are highly variable in the wild, but the main idea here is to get a whole bunch quickly, and then hopefully have that whole bunch seed around like crazy.
      The first time the guy I live with got these “bulk” snowdrops there were some really different-looking ones the next spring, but none of them survived to come up the next spring.
      (All the literature on snowdrops says the same thing about the “bulk” ones, but the guy I live with is obstinate.)

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh, I get it. I would do the same for landscape situations, and have considered doing so with the Canna, which is much worse than snowdrop. If I were to plant a mix, I would just let those that are happiest here dominate, even if they crowd out the weaker sorts. I would not be discriminating about cultivar if I just wanted them to proliferate quickly and perform well.

      • paridevita says:

        Yep. The guy I live with prefers to have huge drifts of snowdrops, though most parts of our garden aren’t really suitable for that.
        There are some vigorous named snowdrops, and some that just sit there, slowly forming a clump. They guy I live with is fine with those, too, though.

  2. Paddy Tobin says:

    As our snowdrop season moves towards its end; yours is beginning. My reading of American gardeners planting bulk snowdrops is that they hope that something different and interesting may arise – natural variation. In the garden here we do get seedlings though we make an effort to remove seedheads to keep named snowdrops true to name. Obviously some escape our attention.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says removing seedheads sounds like work.
      I suppose people who get “bulk” snowdrops are hoping for some variation, but whether or not he would find those interesting is another story. There are some Greatorex doubles here, and Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’, but he pretty much draws the line at weird-looking ones.
      One time someone on the east coast said “Snowdrops in Denver?”, and the guy I live with said “Why not?” And then said they’re usually completely finished here by the end of March.
      It kind of annoyed him, since a lot of snowdrops must experience pretty dry conditions in the wild, especially in places where it doesn’t rain for four straight months in the summer.

  3. Such pretty little things in a sea of drab this time of year. They give us hope that Spring is near.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says it will probably snow every week until June, which, in truth, he really wouldn’t mind all that much, as long as it didn’t also get cold. The forecast called for sun today, but it snowed this morning.

  4. WOWSERSS Mani! Wee nevurr new there were so many kindss of Snowdropss. As wee look at fotoss; wee CAN see diffyrencess!!!
    Wee REELLY like “Bunny Wallow” Snowdropss……they are lovelee…
    An wee figured from yore title THE weather did a 360 thingy like weather does!
    Wee were told wee get 2 BEEG blizzardss an wee had 2 snowss but maybe 4-5 inchess….nothin like what they were meowin ’bout!
    Wee have *heet* butt NO *hot* water again. Poor BellaSita iss gonna have to has a cold wash beefore shee goes out…..
    Yore lookin mitey impressive an hansum Mani! You allwayss due!
    ***nose bopss*** BellaDharma an {{{hugss}}} BellaSita Mum

    • paridevita says:

      There are like two dozen species, and hundreds and hundreds of named varieties. Not as many as hostas or daylilies or bearded irises, but a lot.
      No hot water doesn’t sound fun at all. The guy I live with had to get a new water heater last year or the year before.

  5. Elaine says:

    Someone has to direct the gardener in manual labour Mani. Benefit of not having opposable thumbs. The cheap Galanthus look as gorgeous as the expensive ones in my book. You should sell your insanely vigorous strain under some catching name but I Bunny Wallow also has a nice ring to it. At least the ground will have a nice depth of moisture coming into Spring. We are receiving another several inches this week too.

    • paridevita says:

      When it’s not frozen solid here, it’s pretty wet. Lots of mud.
      The guy I live with went to the botanic gardens week before last and noticed an area with empty ground, in a place perfect for having snowdrops in flower for weeks, so he offered them some snowdrops. Maybe someone will come and get some, in April.
      The guy I live with would also like the path ice to melt before it gets cold again, but that probably won’t happen, this winter.

  6. You nose Mani an Guy THE water heeter inn this buildin iss so-o old…it maybee 50 yeerss old. An innstead of innvestin inn a new an modern heeter Housing keepss patchin THE old tank up…..iss stew-pid an a waste of $money$. Wee wuud still have hot water if they leeved it ON butt with THE leek they terned it off an wee mite not have hot water for a week or more….
    Gonna bee alot of stinky Hu’manss inn here!
    Flowerss are so kewl…trulee….like little livin ‘angelss inn soil’……..

    • paridevita says:

      That sounds pretty unpleasant. I guess you could boil water and let it cool off a bit, though that sounds unpleasant, too.
      Our furnace was fifty years old. The guy I live with had to get a new water heater a couple of years ago when he saw that it was leaking.
      It’s snowing again.

      • BellaSita Mum iss doin THE boilin water for hand washin herself. An shee boiled water inn big pot fore usin to cleen out mee litturbox.
        An 50 yeerss old iss a guud age fore water heeterss an furnacess! Wish Housin were as smart as you are Guy! 😉

      • paridevita says:

        That sounds pretty aggravating to me, though I don’t use hot water much, myself.
        Hopefully you’ll have hot water soon.

  7. Not a peep from Housin….no Sirvicemen here…so another weekend without *HOT* water!
    Aunty Sheila iss comin to get BellaSita tomorrow an take her to her place to shower an wash hair….
    Wee apposta get mroe snow two so wee mite have to due cold water laundry….wee see what happenss! Thanx fore carin…iss such a pain an you-know-who; not mee iss so cranky! 😉

    • paridevita says:

      How annoying. It snowed here for about three minutes.
      The guy I live with does his laundry with cold water, all the time. He said he’s never seen any difference in how things get cleaned, except maybe for the rugs in my forts when they get all muddy, like at this time of year.

      • Okay wee give cold water a chance tomorrow when BellaSita doess laundry.
        An wee had snow for 3-4 hourss an it looked feerce an only 3-4 inchess….CATFISH! They made is sound like Army-geddon was comin Mani!

      • paridevita says:

        It was supposed to snow here yesterday, and didn’t. We were under a “red flag warning” today, for wind, and it was hardly windy at all. Pretty nice, actually.

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