I have no idea what I was thinking trying to brighten up the winter by planting paperwhites in bowls filled with colorful glass marbles and water all these years. Yes, sure, the flowers are nice enough. But that sickly sweet smell they give off is worse than being trapped with a bunch of over-perfumed grannies in a hot elevator.
That’s why this year, even though red is my least-favorite color, I brought home a couple of big-ass amaryllis bulbs and gave them a try. (There are other colors, just not at my local garden center on the day that I thought I must buy some.) Wow! I’m going with these every year from now on. Not only do they have no smell, these long-blooming flowers—four from each bulb—are huge. And I have to say that even midlife-crisis-sports-car red has definitely lifted my spirits during this cold, gray stretch of the season.Read More»
I’ve lived in Minnesota for more than two decades. But I admit I had no idea that frost went by all sorts of different names until a couple of years ago when our local paper mistakenly proclaimed that the world was covered in “whore frost” and we should all get outside and see it.
Who wouldn’t want to see that? Turns out, they were talking about hoar frost, which is not anything like the aforementioned frost, I’d imagine.
Hoar frost occurs on winter nights when water vapor (fog, for example) touches very cold surfaces and freezes. Words can’t come close to describing the storybook beauty of hoar frost.
So, as always, when I woke up to a hoar-frost-covered wonderland last Saturday, I grabbed my camera and snapped a few photos. Enjoy!
The crocodile fern (Microsorum musifolium ) really couldn’t be more aptly named. Exotic yet easy to grow as a houseplant (if you can find it), this fern has fronds that look remarkably like crocodile scales. I snapped this at our local conservatory, which was filled to bursting with Minnesotans looking to get out of the cold this weekend.
Of course if you live in a warmer place, you can also grow these outdoors. I’ve got a friend who says they carry crocodile ferns in big-box stores in the South. Luckies.
Yesterday I posted the inaugural photo for a new blog feature: What In Tarnation? And today, I couldn’t resist adding one more because, hey, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on out there in the world and I like to take pictures of it. Might as well share, right?
This hideous mess certainly did solve the question of: “Hmm, what should we plant on that slope, honey?”
Both posts are on “twisted logic,” the weird reality that a lot of gardening advice that’s so wrong actually sounds so right.
Go here to read both posts. If you’re short on time, just read to the second post, which talks about how much landscape fabric sucks and the folly of wrapping evergreens for winter. Honestly, if you’re going to mummify evergreens every winter, wouldn’t it be wiser to just go with some nice shrubs?
And while we’re on the topic of evergreens, what could possibly be the point of the burlap-wrapping strategy in the picture above? I’m so mystified, I just started a new blog category called “What In Tarnation?” My much-missed grandma Daisy used to say that when she thought something was “pert near crazy” and I figure I’ll carry on her tradition.