Saturday, January 21, 2012
Posted by ChrisU at 11:05 AM
The Monkey-puzzle and the Sabal palmetto dislike this weather as much, probably more, than I do. They've both been in the ground for over five years so I'm not worried about them but neither comes from an area with a lot of cold weather or snow. The picture doesn't show how short both are; The Auricaria isunder three feet tall and the Sabal a bit shorter. I suppose I should count my blessings. If the Monkey-puzzle were to attain any size, it would attack anyone walking up the steps and block the view from the living room window. When I planted it I had thoughts of moving it when it got 4-5 feet tall but hey, maybe it'll never grow. Otherwise I'll coppice every couple of years and see how it goes.
Posted by ChrisU at 10:59 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012
Posted by ChrisU at 2:21 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I remember when the it was new in 1991; so does Chris (watching George in the picture), one of the other Chris's, one that's not me. He was there twenty years ago. It, the chipper, was very impressive in it's youth, big, loud, yellow, new. According to its specs, it would take branches up to 10" in diameter. That only worked if they were dead straight, which meant it could chip a telephone pole. I think it could have back then. It's not as strong now, but it did chip everything we needed it to. That's a good thing.
Posted by ChrisU at 3:38 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Posted by ChrisU at 4:35 PM
I have uncorrectably severe astigmatism so when it is dark and wet I navigate blindly through a beautiful world of luminescent cobwebs. Not good for driving. In order to avoid driving in the dark, I changed my start time at work from 7:00am to 8:00am. Days are so short near the Solstice that if I didn't leave on time, I was in danger of having to drive home in the dark. Things are better now. We've been gaining minutes in the evening since the 14th of December when sunset moved from 4:46 to 4:47. Today it set at 5:13 so we've added 27 minutes at the end of the day. Oddly though, sunrise has only begun to shift in the past week and we've gained only 3 minutes. An upside to this is that when daylight savings time kicks in this spring, I'll be so far ahead of the game I won't be driving to work in the dark. That's a hateful thing, to fight through the short days of winter into the light of spring and then to be arbitrarily plunged into morning darkness again. I won't miss it.
Winter moves along here in Washington. We haven't had much snow and no extreme cold. We've been down into the mid teens a few times but those plants that flower for us in the winter don't seem to mind. There are flowers on Viburnums, Camellias, Chimonanthus praecox, Prunus mume, and Winter jasmine. Statistically we're at the coldest part of the year; next Monday the average low temperature will rise from 28F to 29F, Tuesday the average high will likewise rise a degree from 43F to 44F. I guess that means it gets better from here on in. I don't know though; the Farmer's Almanac has us down for a blizzard at the end of this month.
Posted by ChrisU at 4:28 PM
Monday, January 16, 2012
Posted by ChrisU at 2:29 PM
It had to have been the largest event I ever attended there; I missed their Perennial Plant Association Dinner. There were at least 50 attendees; an unbelievable selection of experts, geeks, and the less fanatical. I was able to talk with Nick Weber owner of Heritage Roses though recently enamored of dahlias. Ed Aldrich, the local dean of hardy tropicals, and dozens of other serious plant people. Jim and Dan enforce a strict rotation of seating. Everyone changes rooms and seatmates between courses.
Oddly, I met for the first time, a volunteer, Suzy ? (hey, I'm not a reporter!) from the Herb Garden at the Arboretum; she came with her husband Vinny, who was very tolerant of a houseful of wild-eyed fanatics. I was excited to hear her speculate about ways to increase the Arboretum's presence in Washington. She was both astute and positive. There were so many people and so little time....
I am grateful beyond words to Jim and Dan for providing the opportunity, on a regular basis, to exchange knowledge, ideas, and experience with this kind of group in such wonderful surroundings.
Posted by ChrisU at 5:54 AM