January 3, 2019

January Update

After a lovely holiday with plenty of family visiting, my kids have returned to school and I have a few quiet minutes to blog.  I was sad to hear last month of the passing of David Austin, creator of English roses like 'William Shakespeare 2000' and 'Lady's Blush,' above.  I grow nearly two dozen of his roses and they bring me joy.

I've added to my garden books collection recently and am completely delighted with this one, 'The Secret Gardeners,' about the gardens of some of Britain's famous creatives.  Sting (that's part of his garden on the cover), Andrew Lloyd Weber, Ozzy Osbourne, Prue Leith (my daughters love The Great British Baking Show) and others are included.  The pictures of the varied and beautiful gardens are plentiful, large and gorgeous.  I'd highly recommend it for anyone who loves English style gardens.

After going back and forth about whether to store my dahlia tubers over the winter, I tried wrapping some in plastic wrap and storing them in my deli drawer (37 degrees) in Tupperware containers.  I've lost about half due to rot from condensation from the fridge, but they might freeze in my garage and the basement is too warm.  We'll see how that goes.  I've already ordered some new types (three each of Rip City, Belle of Barmera, White Onesta, Melody Pink Allegro, Great Silence) from Longfield Gardens and may have to order more if my fridge tubers all mold.  Fingers crossed that at least some make it through, like 'Cafe au Lait' above.

I'm counting down the days until I can pot up dahlia tubers and plant seeds under the grow light I set up in my bathtub.  Above is Ammi, or false Queen Anne's lace.

And I should mention my amazing moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) that bloomed for an entire year.  I bought it at Costco early last December with two bloom stalks that lasted until May.  Once those were cut back (I cut just above the growth node down the stem from the previous stalks) it immediately sprouted two more stalks that bloomed until early December.  Now it's sending two more stalks out from the next set of nodes.  Amazing!   It seems very happy with all the indirect light in our dining room addition.
I'm looking forward to another year of growth and beauty in the garden.  Although reading about the gardens of the rich and famous has reinforced just how small my quarter acre garden is, I'm delighted and grateful for a spot of my own to nurture.