A Midland Alpine Gardener's Diary
This entry: 30 December 2009 by Diane Clement
Diary Entry No 20 Round up of 2009 Part 2
Continuing my quick round up of 2009
Dactylorhizas start the summer off
Later in June and into July, seeds are starting to set on plants and careful observation is needed to catch the seed before it falls or collect the fruits and ripen the seed off the plant.
Autumn is taken over by Seed Exchange work, the seed arrives at the collectors' houses and admin work is done there, then information is transferred to me to check and collate. At the end of October all the seed is transferred to one house
This is about a sixth of the seed sent in so far
Each batch is filed in alphabetical order and it all has to be sorted into one alphabetical run
We use twenty of these plastic crates containing brown envelopes for the filing
And here are some of the cheery helpers filing, numbering ... drinking tea ...
And thanks to all helpers, and all donors who make the seed exchange possible.
And the year finishes as it begun, with a cold snap. Heavy snow has fallen either side of Christmas snow in the south of England and the north of Scotland, but we have had little here in the West Midlands. The forecasters warned of significant snow a day ago and all we had was a dusting which disappeared overnight. Night temperatures are more of a concern, as precious bulbs in pots, albeit plunged in sand can be vulnerable. I feel that the danger point is lower than -5C by night or 0C by day. We do have one greenhouse which we keep at about 3C mainly for my husband's collection of cacti and South African succulents and so a few of my plants have been moved into there until the cold snap is over. The other plunge beds are all covered in fleece or netting to protect the plants by 3C or so.
A quick peek under the fleece to check that all is well
Cyclamen are looking fine
even this Cyclamen persicum is unharmed under its blanket of protection
Narcissus romieuxii albidus is flowering away under the fleece. The couple of flowers at the back were not squashed by the fleece, but just lacking in water - the cold will dehydrate the plants, but now is not the time to water with -5C forecast for the next couple of nights ahead.
And best wishes to all for 2010 and I look forward to a New Year full of bloom