So, what does one do in the middle of a very cold January in Manitoba, when you can't get out much - aside from stewing about the fact that so many people are so very sick and there is nothing much you can do about it?
You can get up in your craft room and make something?
Wrong - the craft room is off limits until it warms up significantly.
Thank Goodness for books and magazines. I happened to stop in the recycle shop on Friday after I had been to clean the library, and some nice soul had left a box of Manitoba Gardener magazines. Okay, so they are not recent additions, but that's of little signifigance to a gardener such as I.
Even though I have had gardens for years, I am still learning. No matter how much you may think you already know about plants and soil, water, sun - there is always more to learn. That's the true beauty about being a gardener. Those who think they know it all - may know a lot - but you will never know it all!
So I hauled home the box of magazines, and one day has led to another, and another, and to be perfectly honest with you, I have somewhat forgotten that it's mid January in Manitoba. I'm already months ahead in my thoughts... to March, April, May... and beyond.
I have learned the difference between Dragonflies and damselflies... and I am now researching how to bring more of them into my yard and gardens!
Have you been taking notice of the way the foilage grows on your Iris rhizomes when you transplant them? Not I - I just transplant them. Here's the thing! The foilage at the end of the rhizome grows only in one direction. So your Iris when growing in clumps are open in the centre with all the foilage growing outwards... not pretty.
Solution: when splitting your Iris, split out all the rhizomes, so each one has a single or at most a double leave blade per rhizome. Prepare them all this way before you replant.
When you go to replant, consider each plant as a circle. Place three of the rhizomes around the circle at 12 oclock, 3oclock and 7oclock with the foilage pointing away from the circle..
The remaining two rhizomes are placed at 11oclock and 5 oclock with the foilage direction of growth towards the center of the circle.
The result of this method of planting will be a uniform clump of Iris with blossoms supported on each of the stems in the following year. The center of the clump will remain full and colourful as the clump expands.
Brilliant! I didn't know this, but I certainly intend on trying it.
I have started inventorying my seeds, and I am thinking about turning my nook into a temporary plant nursery. It would make a great place to start my plants for spring, and it would take little time to get it functional.
There is nothing like thinking about plants and the beauty they share with us to brighten a cold mid- January day!