First, what I got at the Heronswood spring sale in addition to the three begonias from yesterday:
Helleborus multifidus var. hercegovinus which I first saw and fell in love with at Heronswood years ago but was unable to find except at Pine Knot Farms in Virginia and never got around to ordering it. To me the foliage resembles Syneilesis aconitifolia (Shredded Umbrella Plant) but this is evergreen, slugs don't like it, and it blooms in the winter. You need this plant!
One of my very favorite foliage plants for winter, meconopsis paniculata forms a large basil rosette (if it's happy - deep rich soil!) of this amazing gold-haired foliage that glows in the low winter sun and holds droplets of water like jewels. Unfortunately, it's monocarpic (grows for a time before blooming and dying.) If the gorgeous foliage isn't enough, the floral display is spectacular! A hirsute multi-branched three to five foot candleabra bearing plump furry little flames arises from the rosette. These each burst open to reveal a red, pink, white, or yellow flower creating a show worthy of Liberace. Even the seed pods are covered in this golden fur and are gorgeous. I've never been successful scattering the seed on the ground but when these bloom some year, I'll collect seed and try starting them in pots.
Aciphylla glaucescens is a dangerous plant that enjoys poking people with it's sharp ends. Perhaps this needs to go live in Portland.
I finally decided to get one of the pink Cardiocrinum giganteums from Far Reaches Farm. (Mostly because Alison got one last year and we like to copy each other!)
Other developments in the garden:
The tulips are changing from that pink color to orange and looked great just in time for a few days of wind to knock them over.
I was out moving some things around and found a random plant tag in a bed. Turns out it belongs to this plant, Strobilanthes gossypinus, that Rickii liked in an earlier post. I knew that tag would show up!
Scadoxis puniceus bud is opening!
The Begonia experiment continues - The begonias ordered from Breck's on the same day, February 22, arrived a month later than those ordered from Blackmore and Langdon so they just got planted. However, the others haven't sprouted yet. I tipped one out of it's pot to see if anything was happening and sure enough there were roots! Meanwhile, the ones that I overwintered in their pots as I have for years are already putting on growth. So, the newest begonias added are the row on the left. Also started is a basket of "fragrant" tuberous begonias. We shall see!
I often buy basil in the store during the winter that comes in a plastic bag and looks like it may have been grown hydroponically. At the bottom are those little cell thingies with roots coming out. Just about to get rid of the last of this, I decided to throw it in a pot with soil instead. Have you tried this? Did it work? If not, no loss but if so, free basil plants.
I'm seeing people carrying gallon-sized tomatoes out of the nurseries. It's still way to early to plant them out here but those big plants sure look nice. Will my seedlings catch up in time? Of course, I'll be growing them in the greenhouse so they can keep going as long as they want!
Love the brilliant spring color of this Acer palmatum.
Happy April Fools' Day! Was going to try and trick you in some way but y'all are far too smart for that!