Sunday, February 27, 2011

Latest bloom day post ever!

A perfect storm of bad weather, depressing national and international news, and mid-winter doldrums has made it difficult to get excited about plants the past few weeks.

But then I started thinking about the few things that do cheer me up during this dreary time. The plants I grow and force during winter are near the top of that list. In the larger scheme of things, a few hyacinths and tazettas, a couple pots of African violets, a bunch of foliage plants, and a lemon tree prone to scale are not that spectacular. When spring comes, I will likely start neglecting my house plants, but right now they keep me occupied—especially the bulbs.

There are two hyacinths from Old House Gardens starting to bloom now: the Double Hollyhock and King of the Blues. DH is very slow to bloom, and opens from the bottom up, just like a real hollyhock. The KOTB looks like it will be a very deep blue—gorgeous.

A Plant Cam has been trained on these for the past few weeks. When all the hyacinths are open, it will record the tulips—I have about 50 of those coming next.

Better late than never for GBBD.

Friday, February 04, 2011


It’s common for botanical gardens to have outdoor light displays during the holidays, but a light show during the gloomy days of February? What a great idea! Night Lights, the current show at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens was inspired by The Heron, a park used for a variety of purposes in nearby Chautauqua County, which does an outdoor light show and uses the same company, Volt Vision.

Somewhat virtuously, my husband and I walked the 3k ring road before we entered the dome; it was a brisk 10 degrees or so, and we saw a lot of hungry deer in the spookily quiet park.

Inside, the highlight is undoubtedly the tropical rainforest/fern house, where a thundering tiki waterfall is brilliantly lit in series of lurid colors—but I was also fascinated with how individual plants would change color under the LED wash fixtures, as you see in these images. As we left, the shutterbugs were pouring in—most equipped with serious SLRS and tripods. Actually I think I got some decent shots with the iphone—I stitched them together to show how the fixtures lit the plants.

Has your botanical garden ever done anything like this?