Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ARHS Seed Exchange Glimpses

To celebrate the many years we have been administering the Atlantic Rhododendron and Horticultural Society Seed Exchange, a little pictorial essay was produced.
This effort was sitting around as a draft here in "Blogville". I guess it is still relevant even after three years.

A Year Gone By

It seems that blogging was not on the list of things to do in the last year. The most recent item was about a year ago in 2015. This spring seems to be trying to progress a bit better than last year, but this first week of April has been pretty wintry.
At least we were quite snow-free before the latest little blast.
Last week we were able see some real signs of spring.
The Witch Hazel has been in bloom for quite some time, although it was a bit of a challenge to get to the far back where the plant grows.

The very early Crocus were up as soon as the snow retreated.
Crocus ancyrensis
Our little patch of spring blooming Erica were quite pretty.

Pieris comes into spring ready to burst into bloom, although we will need a few more warm days before that happens.

It appears that the winter has not been particularly harsh on the rhododendrons. We haven't noticed much bud or leaf damage. It does seem that grouse were doing a lot of azalea flower bud pruning. That is a hard thing to have any control over, it seems.
We have an unusual hellebore in the back nursery bed called H. argutifolius. It is purported to be a tad tender, so we have never has very great expectations. Imagine our surprise when we saw flower buds!
Helleborus argutifolius
The snowdrops, of course, were popping up in many places and looked great until new snow arrived.

One of the most disheartening things about this spring is the need to have a great number of tree branches removed. A very nasty storm on Jan. 29th resulted in a lot of broken and damaged trees. We have commissioned someone who will come and remove the "hangers". James has already removed some of the trunks that were absolutely fallen on beds and paths.
Big hunk of maple down on the bottom of the rhodies.
Typical damage to birches
Hopefully we will have someone salvage the wood that will be generated.
There was also quite a bit of damage to some of our gutters and downspouts, so that is another job to do.
One of our gardening tasks this spring is to try and market some of the many seedling Magnolias we have in the nursery bed. Bill was a bit generous in seeding a few years, and so we really hope we can persuade our gardening cohorts to adopt a new Magnolia.
We gave a presentation called "Getting to Know Magnolias" in February at a Garden Club gathering in Lismore. several plants were ordered, but more need to go. We have the list of available plants on our website.
I am also giving this same talk to the Eastern Shore Garden Club on April 12th. It seemed like a good idea to refresh people's thoughts about Magnolias. They are really quite easy plants to deal with and not the prima donnas they are often thought to be.
2013 seedlings in July , 2015 They grew a lot over the summer.

These plants range in age from 2-4 years.
A M. loebneri type seedling from 2012 seeding
Quite a task ahead of us it would seem.
Other pursuits for another time.