Monday, February 17, 2020

Gardening and Learning

Although I can't say I have been gardening all of my life I can say that I have been around Gardeners all my life. I went through the Master Gardening classes, got certified and I continue to learn.

One lesson that I haven't learned all these years is how to keep good records. I have all the best intentions and some rather good ways available to me for record keeping. I have a 10-year Garden Journal for jotting down short thoughts or happenings I want to remember. It also encourages me to keep a daily temperature record. I do think it is fun to look back to see how the weather differs from year to year.

 I  keep a sketchbook in a refillable leather journal. I can take it outside where it gets dirty and I can wipe it off. If I leave it out and it gets wet not all is lost and yes I know this from experience. In this journal my thoughts can meander and my projects are drawn, listed or otherwise explored. Records, receipts, plant tags etc are stapled or glued into this.  I know this isn't the most convenient way to keep things organized and easily accessible but every time I try to change it just doesn't happen.
I  have a Word document that is fairly accurate. Yet I sometimes get too busy during the growing season and don't add new plants.

My DB got tired of listening to me complain about all this and set up an Excel spread sheet for me. It looks simple and efficient yet I have exactly two entries on this. I just can't seem to make myself delve into that operation.

I know we have discussed this all before, here and several other times,  so what has brought me to whining  thinking about all this? What with the growing/blooming season just beginning I am finding that I can't identify the few things blooming. Right now I have only two Galanthus blooming. Galanthus Nivalis and Elwesii. I thought I knew which was which. I am pretty sure that the following photo is G. Nivalis.  I have had this plant long enough that it is making a nice clump. I even think I can divide this one this year.
My other Galanthus is what I thought was G.Elwesii. I was wondering if any of you have this little beauty? EDIT: Thank you Linda for suggesting that this is G.  flore pleno. It sure looks like it in pictures I have been able to find.
When I went to the internet to make sure this is what I had I couldn't seem to find a picture of it that looks anything like this. I just love the little white skullcaps over the bloom that looks like a rose, if you can get down here to see just what it looks like.
It has really taken off this year. I don't know what year I planted this one but it has grown into a nice little colony that could be divided this year too. I have 4 small clumps of it.  It has been somewhat stunted in growth though.
The tallest bloom is only 3"tall and the longest green leaf is only about an inch tall. Which as I remember is oddly short. Maybe I am just paying more attention to them this year. Because last year a very generous garden blogger friend gifted me with Galanthus Primrose Warburg. Mind you this is one of those fancy yellow ones.
I can't wait to see it bloom. I didn't expect a bloom this year because it is it's first year here but just seeing the little brace of yellow makes me almost giddy. I have to protect it though because I thought I had another touch of yellow on another one and the rabbits ate it. I was a bit forlorn because I thought all was lost this year. Then this other one popped up. So there is hope.
I am not taking any chances. I have set this big strainer over the plant and set a big stone on the handle so the rabbit can't just move it. So I hope that it survives to bloom. I have never noticed rabbits eating the blooms of Galanthus before. Have you?  Nature has its way of keeping the classroom open. We never stop learning.

There is no gardening without humility.
Nature is constantly sending even its
oldest scholars to the bottom of the class
for some egregious blunder.
-Alfred Austin

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Travel Thursday - Costa Rica

Since it has turned cold and snowy again my mind started traveling to warmer climes. I went back to this past March when my husband, aka DB, and I went to Costa Rica.  Since we were meeting a birding tour group we arrived a day early to make sure we got there without a hitch. Our flight there was smooth and we had most of one day just to stroll the gardens where we were staying,  the Hotel Bougainvillea
This post is picture heavy but I won't have a lot of commentary on them because I don't know what most of these plants are. I promise I won't load up on the bird pictures. The above will be the only bird picture I will post...this time. 
The above is the view from our hotel room balcony. There was bougainvilleas dotted all over the grounds. 
The Hotel Bougainvillea is situated on 11 acres. All that isn't hotel is garden. I can tell you I was a bit overwhelmed with all the tropical plants. I felt like I stepped into a different world.
It was a breeze getting around the grounds. They had paved walkways through out. 
I don't know what this huge plant is but they used it extensively through out the garden. I am 5'6" tall so you can about guess this main plant is 10' tall.
This colorful planting was all the way around the parking lot.

Orchids and Bromelaids in trees.
Bromeliads were used as ground covers and there were so many varieties it was mind boggling.
Air plants were all over too. 
This ground cover was pretty with its pretty little yellow blooms. 
There was also a yellow and green bamboo that I thought was very pretty. I think it is Bambusa vulgaris. 
This Fox Tail Agave A. attenuata was taller than I. 
If you look closely at this picture you can see that  is used Amaryllis as a ground cover. I think I have seen this variety on someones post before. 
No it wasn't all birds and blooms. This sweet little baby Variegated  Squirrel ran up DBs pant leg and wouldn't get down.
He tried to ignore the little thing, taking pictures and walking along but it didn't want to be left behind. I felt so sorry for the little fellow. It was obviously distressed and didn't want to be alone. Once DB got him off it still followed us around and around. 
I could go on and on but I will leave you with this sight. Plants growing on top of this building. I don't know if they are in pots or just started growing there. They were quite a surprise. 
If you know what any of these plants are or if I miss identified some let me know. I took the names of the plants off of id plates but I didn't know if it was for the plant it was beside or if it was current. I think if you click on the pictures they will enlarge and be more clear.

Color Changes and seed planting

There has been a slight change in the color wave. A little more purple and some white. A few new visitors to the garden. This magnifice...