Today it is me, your GPOD editor, Joseph, checking in from my very snowy garden in northern Indiana.
Recently, we had a warm day, some snow melted, and I saw my snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii, Zones 3–8) getting ready to bloom. Giddy with excitement, I posted on social media that spring was coming.
The very next day we got about 5 inches of new snow. My snowdrop patch now looks like this. I like winter, I enjoy snow, but the end of February is always the roughest time of year—when winter seems like it has been going on forever and I don’t remember what the ground looks like. Luckily, I’ve got some things indoors that keep me going.
African violets have been a big hit with me this winter, and this is one of my favorites. It isn’t a fancy modern hybrid, but rather Saintpaulia grotei, one of the original wild species from Africa that were used to breed the modern houseplants of today. I love the simplicity of the blooms and the incredible vigor and profusion of flowers.
But the biggest thing keeping me going through the winter is my plant lights. Just some basic LED shop lights and wire shelving from the hardware store, they are a great source of green and happiness during the long winter.
It is still a little too early to start things like tomatoes indoors, but I’ve got a lot of perennials growing inside, like these auricula primroses (Primula × pubescens, Zones 4–7). I’ve got a new, empty garden, so growing perennials like these inside is a cheap way to fill all that space. And it keeps me busy!
Growing from seed is fun because you sometimes get unexpected variation. This particular seedling has a silvery coating called “farina,” which is typical of some forms of this type of primrose.
I’ve also got lots of columbines (Aquilegia spp., Zones 3–9) started inside. They’re one of my favorite perennials, so I’m excited to have lots of them in the garden this year.
And finally, a pot of tiny ivy-leaved cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium, Zones 4–8) seedlings. This is one of my favorite perennials for shade, but it can be hard to find for sale. So I’m happy to have a bunch of seedlings! It’ll be a few years before they bulk up and show how beautiful they can be, but they already make me smile with every leaf that opens up.
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