Raleigh’s ‘Snowpocalypse’ 2014

IMAG0408Here in the Southeast U.S., we see very little snow. On Sunday, when the local weather gurus started saying there was a small chance that we might see snow by mid-week, most of us scoffed. On Monday, they started saying that it was looking more and more like we would get hit with the white stuff, some of us still scoffed. Then they told us we would get snow, but they still weren’t sure how much. “It might be significant amounts in some areas”, they said. On Tuesday, they were sure enough that most of the local schools closed. It wasn’t until Tuesday after dark that we started to see the snow come down. And come down. And come down.

IMAG0409The fine, little powdery flakes fell on through the night, and by morning we woke to a wintry wonderland. We ended up with somewhere around four inches here, a blizzard for this area. Today, Thursday, the kids are still out of school due to the black ice on the roads this morning.

Today, the sun is out, the skies are blue, the deck and stairs are shoveled, and I’m waiting patiently for a frozen pipe to thaw so we can have water again. Life goes on. By this weekend, it will be in the mid to upper fifties, and I’ll be back in the flowerbeds again. 🙂

Another Day of Planting

It’s been a real roller coaster of weather here in North Carolina. Yesterday was cold and the day before that was even colder. Today, it reached up into the lower 60’s. Tomorrow is supposed to be a high of 29 degrees AND we’re supposed to get between 1 and 5 inches of snow. Go figure.

I took advantage of the weather today and started planting a flower bed on the west side of the house. I got five more daylilies planted, as well as a yet-unknown bush (I’m working on identification as I type this), a couple of Crinum bulbs and some Narcissus.

Sun-starved Narcissus

Sun-starved Narcissus

The daylily cultivars I put in today are ‘Mary Guenther’, ‘Scatterbrain’, ‘Barbary Corsair’, ‘Adrienne Anderson’, and ‘Seductress’. (Images of all but ‘Adrienne Anderson’ are below; I couldn’t find one of that one.) I planted one of the Crinum ‘Cecil Houdyshel’ bulbs as well as an unidentified Crinum. I finished it all up by putting in almost all of the Narcissus ‘Twin Sisters’ I had left.

I got a nice little bonus when I peeled back the landscape fabric: a few little Narcissus, left behind by the previous tenant, trying their best to reach some sunlight. No idea what cultivar they are, so they’ve now been transplanted to a separate area to keep the Twin Sisters all together.

 

Narcissus 'Twin Sisters' Image copyright lambley.com.au

Narcissus ‘Twin Sisters’
Image copyright lambley.com.au

'Barbary Corsair' Image copyright groundcover.com

‘Barbary Corsair’
Image copyright groundcover.com

'Seductress' Image copyright daylilies.org

‘Seductress’
Image copyright daylilies.org

'Scatterbrain' Image copyright plantdatabase.com

‘Scatterbrain’
Image copyright plantdatabase.com

'Mary Guenther' Image copyright davesgarden.com

‘Mary Guenther’
Image copyright davesgarden.com

Have You Ever Done The Black Widow Shuffle?

Black-widow-spiderThat’s where you find a black widow spider somewhere you didn’t expect (does anyone ever EXPECT to find a black widow?) and trip over your own feet hurriedly jumping backwards while simultaneously trying to keep from screaming like a little girl and keep your undershorts clean.

Did you know they find the space under well houses as absolutely delightful places to dwell? Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind spiders, snakes and most other creepy crawlies. I think some spiders out there, including the black widow, are absolutely beautiful and I think most of God’s creatures have a place and a job in the natural order of things. Having said that, I’ll admit that black widows give me the willies.

Well, two bits of good news: There’s now one less black widow around my house, AND I found the loose connection that was keeping the well pump from pumping water to the house this morning. (We really, honestly thought a pipe was frozen somewhere.)

Of course, the fat little lady in question was sitting about a half inch from the loose connection. Coincidence, or arachnidian plot? 🙂

My First Seed Exchange and A Few More Plants In the Ground

'Hyperion' Image copyright davesgarden.com

‘Hyperion’
Image copyright davesgarden.com

It started out chilly this morning, but by lunchtime, it was warm enough to get outside and plunge my hands in the dirt once again. In an hour or so, I managed to separate a large clump of Daylily ‘Hyperion’, and plant some on each side of the front steps. This involved moving the liriope (monkey grass) that was already growing in the spot that was needed.

Crinum 'Rose Form' That's a quarter propped on it for comparison.

Crinum ‘Rose Form’
That’s a quarter propped on it for size comparison.

I also decided to go ahead and plant the Crinum ‘Rose Form’ football-sized bulb that had been hit so hard by the 9-degree night that we had last week. The bulb was a bit soft on the outside, but had a hard center, and the basal plate seemed to still be in good shape. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

After an hour, the predicted plummet in temperature happened and a few scattered COLD showers sent me back inside.

Tonight, I had a chance to go to my first seed swap  at the NCSU J.C. Raulston Arboretum hosted by The Gardeners of Wake County, so I met my brother Doug, and we headed to Raleigh. There was a PowerPoint presentation of Chinese Garden Design for the club, and then everyone was free to visit the tables of seed and plants. There was a little bit of everything there, flower and vegetable seeds alike.  I picked up quite a few things I’ve never tried my hand at like Asian Green Beans and seedless grape hardwood cuttings. I also grabbed several types of heirloom pepper seeds as well as some heirloom tomato seeds for the garden and flower seed for the front flower bed.

I met quite a few very nice people there tonight, including a gentleman who had a Crinum growing in his yard that I had never heard of, Crinum ‘Milk & Honey’. He described it as a white Crinum that looked like someone had drizzled honey inside the bloom.

He now has my email address, and there WILL be a trade this Spring.  🙂

A Short Taste of Spring

It’s been three weeks since I posted anything, not because nothing has happened, but because life has been a bit hectic. My father went into the hospital on January 1 (he’s doing much better now), we had a deep freeze one night (it dropped all the way to nine degrees and took out most of the smaller Crinum bulbs that weren’t planted yet), and I’ve been beating the bushes high and low for a job.

Today, however, it was 63 degrees out, and (after scouring the want ads and sending out several resumes) I took advantage of it by starting a new flower bed. I need to get as many of these plants as I can into the ground before I lose even more to cold weather.

Today’s plantings were day-lilies, and one row of narcissus (a.k.a. daffodils). My plan is to concentrate on the ones I have the fewest of, and the ones I love due to color, etc. And of course, the ones that have survived thus far.

The pictures below are all taken from sites on the internet, but are the varieties that I put in the new bed today. The only one I couldn’t find a picture of was ‘Duncan’s Delight’, a rare, red daylily.

Now, time to take a couple of Advil, and relax for a bit. I’m sore. I dug this new bed in the side yard, where it’s all centipede grass, and it all had to be dug by hand since my tiller is broken. C’est la vie. It will be worth it when Springtime rolls around. 🙂

Narcissus 'Flower Carpet'

Narcissus ‘Flower Carpet’
Image copyright digthedirt.com

daylily cleopatra

‘Cleopatra’
Image copyright davesgarden.com

'Little Violet Lace'

‘Little Violet Lace’
Image copyright americandaylily.com

Daylily 'Night Wings'

‘Night Wings’
Image copyright ofts.com

Daylily 'Paradise Princess'

‘Paradise Princess’
Image copyright davesgarden.com