9" x 12"
When I arrived at the Arboretum this week, I was astonished to find so much in bloom already! Our viburnums have begun to bloom, the forsythia, a few roses struggling to burst their buds ... sigh. The warm weather and change in climate have been confirmed with the 2012 edition of the USDA Plant Hardiness map (http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/) Here in Smithfield, North Carolina we used to be zone 7b -- and now we are listed as zone 8a! So what does that mean? We'll be able to grow more cold-sensitive plants - plants that delight in warmer temperatures, and perhaps a few more tropicals. On the downside, it also means that some cool-weather plants just won't have much of a season to grow well.
As an avid gardener, what concerns me more is the challenge our plants face as they'll need to tolerate higher temperatures over a longer period of time. The American Horticultural Society has issued a "Heat Zone Map" (http://www.ahs.org/publications/heat_zone_map.htm), but unfortunately, there are many more plants that need to be added to that map than are currently included. Add to these changes the cold we didn't have in order to kill some of the insect pests that overwinter in our gardens, and we all know what that will mean come June and July. It's going to be an interesting year for gardening.
Which brings me to painting blue flowers. I fell in love with AMG's image, and she kindly allowed me to use it as inspiration for this painting. THANK YOU AMG!!!! Please see her marvelous photostream!
Blue is unusual in the natural world and perhaps that is why I am so drawn to it. I warmed my interpretation of AMG's photo with some violet - and I really enjoyed the chance to focus a bit on the coming spring season. Thank you once more, AMG!
This week we spend some time in the greenhouse as we begin planting our seeds for our plant sale in April and the Plant a Row for the Hungry raised beds and gardens. It'll feel good to get my hands in soil once again and begin that miraculous process of the life cycle. We've been covered with seed catalogues that truly tempt us into dreams of color, scent and view, and now it's time to add a bit of labor to make those dreams a reality.
Oh yes, I'm still wishing for snow .... but if I can't have snow, let me have flowers!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Blue Flowers - THANK YOU AMG!
9" x 12"