January What Looks Good Now
It often comes as a surprise how the sun brightens the garden after several cloudy and/or rainy, icy, very cold days. The mundane becomes the magnificent, as is the case of the artichoke and Swiss chard plants in the shining sunshine.
Among the earliest crocus, Crocus tommasinianus ‘Rosea’ are fully open now. The grasses and perennials were just cut down, barely getting out of the way so these little darlings can be noticed. Note to self: the cut down must be done in December from now on. Several Camassias were decapitated in the chop chop and that is unacceptable.
Green stuff can be a source of happiness at this time of year. The wide blades of Lycoris squamigera are poking up already. Not to be confused with daffodils, these leaves will grow to about eighteen inches tall, then disappear until late July when the pink lily-like flowers arise quickly on stemless stalks.
Sweet peas are much beloved here, but getting the seeds planted at the correct time to grow well has been a frustrating endeavor, until now. Sown last fall on September 7, the germination was almost too good as this is a very thick stand. Some wire treillage needs to be rigged soon since the tendrils are growing and looking for something to grasp.
Happiness is brimming over at the good fortune of the germination of the Lilium formosum seeds, the planting of which was written about here.
Speaking of seedlings, the volunteer seedling of a red leaved Heuchera has grown well, protected in a container with rocks around the stems to prevent the devil squirrels from ruining our baby. The name of Heuchera ‘Faire Piecrust’ was chosen and there have been several divisions taken.
How the Heucheras make babies is a complete mystery to me. There are many varieties of coral bells growing here, including the species H. americana and various named cultivars of varying leaf color. The wee ones appear in the moss of the hypertufa troughs usually and are pricked out in their second year to be planted in the garden beds. It looks like there is another red leaf offspring almost ready to leave the mossy nest. Most babies look like the one on the left, greenish with some contrasting veining. The parentage is unknown, could it be an immaculate conception?
Finishing off this sharing of the good lookings is one of the several purple cabbage plants set in containers last spring. There was hardly any growth during the warm months and there was leaf munching by the larvae of white cabbage butterflies, but the plants persist despite the cold of winter, poor things. There should be flowering this coming spring, too. They look good now. Do you have anything that looks good now?