Monday, March 9, 2009

The First Flowers of the Year

I had my first skate in years last week and managed to stay upright. My ankle looks like it was put through a meat grinder, but will find some moleskin to slap on and head out again this week. I'd forgotten just how much fun it is to go skating. I'd been putting it off thinking of possible broken bones and bruises when I learned that the Mayor of Mississauga (city of about 700,000 people) Hazel McCallion, 88 years old, keeps her skates in the back of the car. She said, "The fans at the hockey games like me to take a lap around the rink before I drop the puck." Well, if Hazel can take a lap, what's my problem?

I was overjoyed on Saturday to see that my hamamelis is starting to colour - 10 days earlier than last year. These wee bits of yellow will retreat at the first sign of cold and then drop down again as soon as it starts to warm. With the bite of winter still in the air, it is so magical to smell the scent of flowers. I can almost imagine the yard full of colour and green.

I was so starved for flowers, I picked these up at Loblaws last Tuesday. I'm letting them dance in the window for another day or two.

Downstairs on the light table - things are percolating away. Good Germination on:

Coriander 'Delfino' - a fern-leaf coriander. I saw it growing at a test site at Stokes - was very impressed with how attractive the plant was and how it really didn't taste like coriander - a plus for me. Will have to watch it though, noticed that 10% of the seeds just seem to be growing fungus - will have to be careful with my watering.

Browallia 'Marine Bells' - have had problems with this for the last 3 years or so with wilt. So far they look like solid little seedlings - germination about 60 percent so far. (Stokes)

Cleome 'Sparkler White' - sitting on the heat cables - looks like I've got a couple of seedlings starting to grow. A little ahead of the germination schedule on the Stokes package.

Rudbeckia Cappuccino - lots of little plants. Not sure if those I put in the garden last year that I enjoyed so much will be annual or perennial - am hedging here. Great germination for year #2 for seed package (Veseys).

Rudbeckia Tiger Eye - about 4 seedlings so far - think I planted 30 seeds, hope that I get more as the week progresses. (Stokes)

Dianthus 'Dulce white to pink' - seed package from Park - about 3 years old - tossed it in the pot just to see - excellent germination.

Greek oregano - OPA! (Stokes)

Echinacea 'Pink Parasol' - Last year's seeds from T&M. Excellent germination.

Verbena 'Imagination' - McKenzie sample sent to me in January, from the seed package it looks to be a very nice dark purple - germination is 7 days faster than expected.

Under the still nothing category:

Monarda 'Bergamo'(Park, but old seed), Penstemon mexicale Sunburst Ruby (Jelitto) and Heuchera 'Melting Fire' (William Dam - really old seeds). Hope spring eternal.

Lots more to plant, but will have to wait until tomorrow - shade presentation tonight at the hort society and a tonne of paperwork to climb through. Snow almost all gone. Can life get any better?


Gail said...

Yes, the witch hazels are beautiful this time of year in wintery gardens...I must admit in my brown one they look good, too! Dancing in the window...that is a beautiful phrase! So glad you are skating...and keeping up with the mayor! gail

Peggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peggy said...

I deleted the last comment, my spelling was awful! I dont know why they dont just leave us edit? I am also sowing Echinacea, they were free seeds in a gardening magazine so twice as nice.

Bren said...

Love this entry.... you are very creative!