Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The Revealing Garden
Flower gardens can, indeed, be riveting; slowly revealing one small facet of themselves after another, ensnaring your attention. If anticipation is, in fact, more powerful than realization, then can there be anything more exciting in the garden than seeing small bulbs first making their appearance in the early part of the gardening year, when the frozen ground is just beginning to thaw, and the rest of the showier plants are still in their winter slumber? This is when I most love having a more natural garden, with all sorts of bulbs scattered here and there through the woods, so that one must get down and brush aside the leaves to closely inspect these little pioneers, having to puzzle out their identity if they are wanderers. It is especially thrilling to watch for bulbs that are new to the garden, to see if they have weathered our usually rugged winters, and to marvel at the small perfection of the plant if it lifts its head to see its first Iowa spring. Above is pictured Galanthus ikariae, a snowdrop species that I planted for the first time last fall. I'm especially pleased to see it, as Mrs. Graff, in her book "Flowers in the Winter Garden", states that it was not hardy in her garden on Long Island (7a), but here it is, looking jaunty and right at home. I have hope for it, in spite of Mrs. Graff's experience, as it is native to Russia and the Caucasus, but I won't get too attached to it just yet, as she seems to intimate that it comes up, but then freezes in late cold spells. This raises the question of whether I should mulch it, hoping to retard its growth until later in the spring, or just leave it alone... stay tuned.
Jenn... Supposedly 5a... but we've had winters where it never got below zero, and one winter it got down to -34!Post a Comment