Gardening Explained. On Film.

– Posted in: Garden chores, Recommended Links

News flash: There is a snowdrop that blooms in the fall, Galanthus reginae-olgae, Queen Olga’s snowdrop. Wayne Winterrowd and Joe Eck, in the most excellent A Year at North Hill: Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden, confirm that

It does indeed bloom in the snow, the first snow, which generally comes about the last week in October. . . . The effect is either unsettling or boundlessly optimistic, depending on your cast of mind. But because snow can be heavy here, even in late October, Queen Olga lives in a pot for us, blooming in the cool greenhouse from October to late November.

Jim Waddick and Jim Murrain, living in Kansas City, Missouri, have no such qualms about growing this snowdrop in the ground, as you can see from the following video:

Now while that does provide some good images of the plant under discussion, it’s not exactly a great video. I think it is more like a slide show. And while the music may be appropriate for the subject matter, sorry, it doesn’t do much for me. Before I went searching through YouTube for better gardening videos, I decided to check out VideoJug, which was recently included in a review of online how-to sites in the Wall Street Journal.

If you want to learn something, as opposed to ooh and aah over gorgeous plants, VideoJug is a much better place to start, even if some of their other videos are about folding t-shirts or how to take a shower. Their Gardening category has a number of professionally done videos that demonstrate skills where it’s helpful to watch someone do it, like taking semi-ripe cuttings from shrubs. Since they were produced in Great Britain, there are a few differences in terms you need to keep in mind. For example, I think they use compost in a broader sense than we usually do–all potting soils seem to be compost on these videos. Courgettes are what we call zucchini or summer squash, petrol is gasoline, and so on. The meaning should be obvious even if the words are unfamiliar. Some of the topics, however, are a bit too obvious–How to Harvest Chives? Come on!–and some just don’t apply to the northern part of this continent–How to Plant Winter Bedding Plants?–I don’t think so.

As if I should talk: even after decades spent gardening, I still have a nagging suspicion that there’s probably a better way to plant a perennial than the way I do it. Yes, my plants do survive the ordeal, but I’ve never stopped feeling like a klutz. So who knows? Maybe someone out there has the same insecurity about harvesting chives.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

Comments on this entry are closed.

Kathy Purdy October 30, 2006, 11:01 am

I believe here in the States we call them jostaberries, and even though they are supposed to be hardy to Zone 3, not many people seem to grow them. Lee Reich has discussed them in a few of his books about fruit.

Annie in Austin October 30, 2006, 10:55 am

Oh, no, Kathy!! I don’t need more fascinating avenues to explore, but I just had to find out how to pick Joster Berries.

Instead of watching the ‘How to Clean the kitchen floor’ video, maybe I’ll just do it.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose