– Posted in: Weather

The lilacs are flowering, the robins nesting, the roses budding, the orchids in the woods by the shop budding, –and it is snowing like mad. Another spring day brought to us by north Idaho. Keeps me on my toes ferrying tender plants in & out of the greenhouse–the canary bird and morning glory vines really resent freezing but if I don’t start them early I have to wait a very long time to see them flower briefly before the frost takes them.

It has been incredibly windy for several days now and if wind strengthens the stems of plants then mine should be able to lift weights soon.
The sun has just come out but there is another lead colored cloud bank looming into sight; it will be snowing again shortly. The tulips open & shut accordingly. I understand that it is to keep the pollen & seed receptacles dry & warm; I would like to see drawings of the mechanism that allows this muscle-like activity.

When it is this windy I cease digging for market; plants are just too water stressed to settle in well to their pots or new gardens. Even if I soak the beds thoroughly a few hours previous to digging, the foliage gets wrung out by the gale going on. So today I will focus on signage, watering and watering, and set out my thermos and wool socks for tomorrow’s market.

About the Author

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b/5aLocation: rural; just south of British Columbia/Idaho borderGeographic type: foot of Black & Clifty Mountains (foothills of Rockies–the Wet Columbia Mountains in BC climate- speak)Soil type:acid sand (glacial lake bed)/coniferous forestExperience level: intermediate/professionalParticular interests: fragrant & edible plants, hardy bulbs, cottage gardening, alpines, peonies, penstemons & other blue flowers, primulas, antique & species roses & iris; nocturnal flowers Also: owner of Paradise Gardens Rare Plant Nursery

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

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