Sunday, March 08, 2009

Not quite yet


As many of my zone 5 friends elsewhere in the country pick up their shovels, shears, clippers, and, yes, hoes, forging valiantly into the muddy earth and chilly air of March, I find that I am not yet ready to take on the great outdoors.

There is actually very little than can be done at this time. A bit of clean-up, I guess: a few leaves were never raked or composted and some lily stalks remain. There is some weeding, clearing, and soil prep in the back that might be easier to do now than later. But basically it is still a waiting game here—and let’s face it, there will be at least one if not a couple snow storms before winter gives up on WNY.


I am really looking forward to bringing out all the big pots of tulips and watching the erythronium and other early ephemerals come out in the front. And I love these tulips I am forcing inside. At top you see the Amazone Triumph, and here are some Orange Princess doubles beginning to take on color. I’m a bit smug about forcing doubles, though I suspect most tulips will force fairly easily. These few inside are the "coming events" before their brethren emerge outside for the real show.

15 comments:

Carol said...

The weather was just too nice here yesterday to not venture outside in my Zone 5 garden. I had to be careful where I stepped because the ground is still squishy in places, but I found plenty to do.

Your tulips are beautiful, such a wonderful soft apricot color...

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Nan Ondra said...

If I had flowers like that to enjoy indoors, I think I too would be okay with staying inside a while longer. So many seeds yet to indoor-sow...but then, so much outdoor cleanup to do as well.

By the way, thanks for the tip on the 'Red Bedder' nicotianas; I'll check them out.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I'm with Nan on the tulips, Elizabeth; they would help me get through this interminable winter (we're having a little more snow today, thank you...)
When I was writing my post about echinaceas, I thought of you, because I was fairly certain you'd written about not liking them/not being able to grow them some time back. I wanted to tell you that some of mine are in less than perfect conditions; the standard E. purpurea seem to tolerate some shade andjust get a bit leggy, and they also cope with clay in that garden. But the newer cultivars are more picky so I wouldn't put them in a shade garden til they really drop in price and I can afford to experiment.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

The nice weather is going to be coming your way soon. Keep a close eye on those Erythroniums. They have a way of sprouting as soon as your back is turned.

Kristine said...

perusing your lovely pictures, wish i had more space for more forced flowers, helps the dregs of winter

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Since my success rate with tulips and hyacinths this winter has been abysmal, I'm all the more delighted to enjoy yours vicariously!

Frances said...

Hi Elizabeth, those forced tulips are exquisite. Orange Princess is a favorite here too. Do you plant the same varieties outside also?
Frances

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I don't blame you for waiting a while longer before working outside. I worked my tail off raking up leaves and small limbs out of the garden this past week and one thunderstorm blowing through made it look like I hadn't touched it. ha... Love your indoor blooming delights. Tulip foliage is up here. I am patiently waiting for some color.

EAL said...

Hi Frances,

Yes, sometimes. But I use hybrids in pots even outside. I don't find that they come back well. Or I dig the bulbs up after blooming.

Layanee said...

You are definitely a smart gardener...saving your strength for the days when it matters.

kate smudges said...

My favourite colour of tulip ~ beautiful! The doubles are lovely and I'd be thrilled if I'd forced them (I'm so lazy ~ I just buy bunches & photograph them to an inch of their lives. Poor things)

garden girl said...

This time of year I just like to meander through the garden discovering new growth under the leaves and mulch. No need for any real work yet, but plenty of time to find delightful surprises coming out of their winter sleep.

Your tulips are beautiful!

Chandramouli S said...

Oh, I love the tulips too, but I killed them all :( because of my stupidity! That color's very unique - orangish!

Donalyn said...

I was out taking some photos yesterday and feeling kind of guilty about not cleaning up any of the mess that's out there. Then this morning it is all covered with snow again. Living in upstate NY is guilt-free today!

Brenda Jean said...

I have never forced bulbs or planted them in pots for some odd reason. I don't even buy them from the store when they are in bloom. I think it just makes me itchy to get outside and I end up annoyed. Weird I know! Looking at your beautiful flowers makes me think I should try it next year though:)