Saturday, March 31, 2012

My mystery daffodils have been identified. I sent a picture of them to Van Engelens, a bulb company I often buy from. Jo-Anne sent it to a connection in the bulb industry in the Netherlands who identified them as Mrs Langtry, a variety that dates back to at least 1869 and which was named after Lily Langtry, actress and mistress to Edward VII. I love knowing what they are and something of their provenance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unknown Daffodils

Does anyone know what the name of these daffodils is? They are around all the old homesteads here and my parents had hundreds of them at their place 70 years ago. They naturalize beautifully, persist throughout all sorts of neglect for decades. But I can't find anything like them in bulb catalogues. Any old bulb experts out there?

Monday, March 19, 2012


Things are s tarting to look serious now. First flats are out of the greenhouse and into the cold frames. In this case lettuce and onions. Since it insists on staying cold and damp only the hardiest sorts are going out so far. Things like tomatoes and peppers are safely snugged up inside.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spading up the First Soil

Joel started spading up garden beds for the onion plants that are expected to arrive next week. The soil is too wet to use the tiller so the shovel is the tool of the moment. We use our tiller a lot later in the season when the soil is drier and Joel runs out of time to spade everything. The soil which has been gardened for over 25 years has a nice tilth and isn't hard to spade.
Spading also is a lot better for the soil. It maintains the soil structure unlike the tiller which chops it all up and doesn't massacre the worms which the ducks are happy about.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Plum Blossoms

In spite of lots of rain and grey days and gale force winds this morning, spring is insisting on arriving. These are always the first fruit blossoms every year. They are sprouts from the rootstock of the old egg plum tree in the background. We probably should prune them out but we keep expecting the egg plum to die as it is over 100 years old and anyway the little tiny delicate white blossoms are so special in the early spring. They never produce any fruit, maybe they never would, but blooming this early guarantees that they won't get pollinated. It's way to cold and wet for any self respecting pollinator.