Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Snow and flowers

On the 18th of January we got a real snow, the first in 2 years and I felt inspired to post some comparison shots. Such a contrast between a blanket of pure white snow and the pageantry of spring color.

Baptisia alba and iris Jesse's Song with rose Cl. Old Blush

There were actual flowers in the snow, too. The witch hazel (seed grown from 'Jelena') started blooming before the cold descended upon us and is still in full bloom now. Temperatures below 5F didn't affect the open flowers, a testament to their extreme cold tolerance.

Two branches in the center of the tree look they may have 'sported'. The branches are bare of leaves and the flowers look more orange than the rest of the flowers.

To compare the two:

This summer I'm going to try to root these branches. Michael Dirr says that cuttings from witch hazels are easy to root but difficult to overwinter their first year, so it sounds like it will be a challenge.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cl. Caldwell Pink

When I planted "Crepescule' next to the trellis I was warned that it might eat the trellis. Apparently there are two forms of 'Crepescule' in the trade: a rampant one and a much more demure one. I don't know if one is own root or if they are actually two different roses. My 'Crepescule' was so retiring that it retired from life. As it was dwindling I acquired the polyantha 'Cl. Caldwell Pink'. I can't remember whether I bought it or acquired it in a trade, but I already had the shrub form of 'Caldwell Pink' and really liked it, despite its lack of fragrance. Its flowers (candy pink to lilac pink, depending on the lighting) look just like miniature old fashioned roses and it's a real workhorse, producing blooms over a very long period of time.

Cl Caldwell pink and Delia's Purple

So I planted 'Cl Caldwell Pink' next to the trellis and it seemed really happy there.

'Cl. Caldwell Pink' on the left, the tea rose 'Aloha' in the center, and
the swamp rose hybrids from Antique Roses Emporium in the background, 2014

It grew


and grew


The climbing and shrub forms of 'Caldwell Pink' and swamp roses, 2016

and grew.


All of those roses draping down on the right side of the trellis are from the climber, not
the shrub. 'Cl. Caldwell Pink' has gotten absolutely huge. Far too large for this flimsy trellis.

The weight of the canes has pulled the trellis sideways now. Gene tried to straighten it up but to no avail. There are a couple of options. 1) Gene cuts up the trellis with a hacksaw in order to save the canes (which I unwisely intertwined with the trellis)and builds a sturdier structure. 2) I let the rose bloom next spring (even though it looks like a mess), then cut it back and move it next to the rose fence with the other rampant climbers. My bet is on the second option but we'll see.

January 18, 2018

Moral of this story: 'Cl. Caldwell Pink' gets really, really big. Don't plant it next to an arbor from Lowe's. And if you do, don't wind the canes through it.


I am in the market for a new digital camera. My Pentax K10 is over 10 years old. It still works, but I don't think it works as well as it used to. Part of the difficulty is my eyes. I start needing readers about 5 years ago. My $200 eyeglasses (what a waste of money) don't work any better than my plastic readers off Amazon, and I have difficulty getting the focus just right. But I also wonder if something is going on with the shutter. So many of my pictures are turning out overexposed, no matter what settings I use.

So, I am looking for suggestions for a new camera, especially for someone whose eyes aren't as good as they used to be. If you have any I am all ears!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Snow day!

The past couple of years the only kind of "snow" we've gotten is this:

Dog fennel

As weedy as dog fennel looks in summer, when its seedheads turn white
in winter it's gorgeous. It's an accent in a world of brown and taupe.

Then Wednesday there was snow, a real snowfall, not just a trace like
we got earlier this month. We got a couple of inches at least this time.

Summer phlox looking like snow cones

Japanese beautyberries

American beautyberry

Swamp roses

Bidens stems

Wax myrtle


The poor pony looks a little dingy against the pure white of the snow. lol

The horses were in the paddock behind the house this afternoon because Prince started pacing the
fence wanting to come back up. Apparently he thought pawing for grass was too much effort.

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