Winter Blooms: GBBD, January 2014
|It is mid-winter in my Maine garden; and most plants are in dormancy, slumbering under their blanket of white while building energy for spring. Even after several days of our annual January thaw, there are still several inches of snow cover.|
|Some “winter interest” is provided by spent perennial foliage. I like the gold color of these Amsonia hubrichtii remains against the snow.|
In the Serenity Garden, the ‘Green Mountain’ boxwood provides a welcome green presence. And some tattered hellebore foliage has emerged from beneath the snow.
I know that potted cyclamen have a reputation for being difficult to keep alive, but that has not been my experience at all. All of mine were holiday plants and all are now more than a decade old. My first cyclamen was a holiday gift from a friend 20 years ago and is blooming profusely. In those 20 years, this plant has been watered once a week, repotted once a decade, and fertilized very occasionally. I think the main thing these plants require to thrive is cool. This bright, drafty window ledge in a house that is usually kept at about 60F in the winter and seldom gets very hot, even in summer, is perfect for them. I think many people discard cyclamen prematurely when they stop blooming and go into dormancy. At this point, a new plant will drop all its leaves and look pretty dead. But if you’re a procrastinator and don’t get around to throwing it out, it will reward you with new growth after a few weeks. Over time, as mine reproduced by multiplying their corms, the various corms developed staggered bloom times so that now the plants pretty much have leaves and flowers all year round (although they bloom most exuberantly in the cool months of winter).
Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of every month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what blooms gardeners from many climates have to share this month.