April 13, 2008

Spring's work II

Digging & potting has started in earnest, with peonies and woody plants going first (roses and other shrubs), followed closely by berries, primula, mints and clematis. As I suspected, the strawberries got whacked a bit over the winter (there will be some cancellations), as did the huckleberries and sweet grass--neatly sheared off from underneath.
The 4+ feet of snow left a lot of room for tunneling, I guess. Working in the greenhouse was lovely, just the sound of the birds, including the tropical sounding pileated woodpeckers, and the smell of the sweet violets was almost overwhelming.
I've found a mid-blue violet, seedling from the deep purple ones, which I intend to name after my Mom, and have it and some white ones inside next to each other in hopes of some guided pollination.
They look rather hulking next to the Viola jooi (not quite 2" tall), whose blooms would fit on my thumbnail with room to spare.

I potted on several pans of seedlings from 2007 & 2008, including Acorus calamus, Belamcanda, Rosa 'Naples School' and Delphiniums nudicaule and zalil. The woody tubers of D. nudicaule were a surprise, being a new item for me. The zalil have tuberous roots of course, but the roots of D. nudicaule are like wood chips with green shoots coming out of them.

Another interesting thing I observed today is the rhizome of Iris pallida variegata; if I had had any doubt about rhizomes being thickened stems and not roots, the stripes on these rhizomes would have convinced me!