Jan 20, 2013

Art, by Accident, or Design

During the darkness of evening all the smaller maples (palmatum, circinatum etc.) burst into bloom; the bare twigs covered with exquisite gypsum-white, translucent flowers. I think I have identified the flowers as Aqua nebulas ssp. unum diem durantia var. delicata. With temperatures remaining in the mid twenties they survived until mid-morning, shedding petals one at a time until only the boney branches remained. But most of the truly glorious moments we experience are as fleeting as ghosts, and need to be enjoyed at every opportunity.

I had a very pleasant surprise yesterday, one that will be difficult to surpass. I received in the mail 240 back issues of the American Primrose Society journal. They date from 1945 to 2008. What an unparalleled delight. Now I find myself (almost) wishing the ice and snow will persist well into March or April. However, seeds have begun to arrive. Seeds from seed exchanges, little known catalogues in various parts of the world, and the occasional on-line source. I am anxious to begin planting. Well, I have begun, by stratifying some of those that require such treatment, planting others in pots and plunging them into deep snowbanks, some have been folded in damp paper towels and tucked into plastic bags and kept warm, but the majority are being kept dry and dark at 40 degrees F. or so. My fingers itch and I watch the calendar. Last year I had great success with Rhododendron, Iris, Lily, Primrose, Campanula, Meconopsis (alas not betonicfolia or Grandis) and a host of others. Cold frames and beds bulging with hundreds of Rhody's etc. etc. and it will be interesting to see how many survive the winter. It's not so much the cold, the beds and frames are semi-covered once the snow falls, but rodents are still active beneath the undulating white shawl possibly gnawing at roots, or making a salad of the vascular cambium of others. Then again, what am I going to do with several hundred Rhododendrons of unproven worth?

For those who keep track of such things I might add I haven't seen 'hide nor hair' of Whinkla for several months. I'm sure he's OK, just 'holed-up' somewhere warm trying to prove the Lindemann-Weierstrass theorem wrong by squaring the circle, or something like that I suppose.

Meanwhile, back to the journals.

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