Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A secret to happiness: not to read garden blogs more than 2 zones up.
I've seen someone comment that their hardiness zone didn't change from 8 to 9! Cruel, cruel people

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New map of cold hardiness

The USDA has released new plant hardiness map for the US. I am still in good old zone 5, so no lemon trees for me.I've heard that the fun does not begin until zone 8. Apparently, there are 2 mechanisms of cold resistance in plants and the first one only provides damage protection down to that zone.
Also, most of the United Kingdom territory is zone 8. Now I know why British gardening books look so ridiculous sometimes (Wisteria pruning in January? Hello??)

Amazing Amaryllis

The year 2011 had been difficult for me. I've been looking for a job since January. In summer I started a 6-month long course of treatment which made me very sick. By September things were not going well and the winter was coming. I resolved to have plants blooming at home all winter to have something to look forward to.

My favorite spring flower is tulip so I started forcing a whole bunch of tulip, crocus and muscari bulbs back in October. 12 weeks of chilling seemed to be a lot of time so I also got some "no-chilling" bulbs: paperwhites, iris reticulata and amaryllis to get the flowers faster.

The paperwhites are not coming back: they are bland, floppy and have a strange smell. Iris retuculata bulbs are sitting in the pots with 1-inch shoots for the last 10 weeks or so.
But amaryllis... Boy, are they gorgeous! I'm really not into lilies and lily-like flowers but these plants are impressive. I guess this is the essence of my gardening life: success and failure go hand in hand.

My first bulb, a presumably "Red Lion" amaryllis. It bloomed only 5 weeks after planting!

Amaryllis Red Lion

When a local garden center advertised 75% off amaryllis sale I grabbed some more bulbs including this amazing "Faro" variety. While the flowers seem to be on the shorter stems due to the bulb sprouting extensively in the store, there are 2 flower spikes with 7 flowers each!

Amaryllis Faro

So far I am firmly on track with my goal: have flowers in the house from Thanksgiving until spring.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I am Lucy and I love growing plants.

In the summer I work on a 700 square feet plot in a community garden in Upstate New York (USDA Zone 5). I also have some plants living in my home.

I am married and have a degree in science field. Besides gardening, I enjoy hiking, plant breeding, science projects and long drives.

I wanted to write a blog for quite a while. This journal is an attempt to mix gardening notes with random musings about the world. Thanks for stopping by!