29 Feb 2012
My Auricula borders are now starting to defrost; the above border shows Albert Bailey, Green Isle, Cinnamon, Honey, Fred Booley & more. I will now start to clean away all the old leaves & twigs etc. My borders are not protected in anyway other than by any natural snow fall; I've had temperatures down to minus 21 °C this winter. The coldest I’ve ever had is minus 27°C.
The picture below shows some border auriculas in another of my borders.
28 Feb 2012
With the warmer temperatures I have been able to work in the greenhouse. The first picture shows an unnamed seedling in a “long tom” pot, (a pot that is taller than its width i.e. 13cm height X 10cm width) from which I have removed all the old and damaged leaves . The second picture shows how it was on the 9th January. This seedling showed some promise last year, I hope it will bloom as well this year. It has spent the winter in the unheated greenhouse.
Plus 5°C today, the sun soon warmed the greenhouse, it quickly reached plus 15°C so it was time to open the door and let in some fresh air. It was only plus 1°C in the cold frames, they are shaded from too much direct sunlight by the surrounding trees, so I've kept them shut today.
27 Feb 2012
Auriculas in the conservatory; they are getting ready for my idéträdgård at the Nordiska Trädgårdmässan on the 12th to 15th April. I’m trying to get some of my Auriculas to bloom at the right time for the Garden Show; by varying the temperature & light I should have enough plants in bloom to put on a good show. I have brought in from the cold nearly a 1000 plants which I have at various stages of growth.
As can be seen from these pictures some are already in bud and I will reduce heating & light for these to slow them down a bit.
After a couple of days at plus degrees it has now turned cold again and all the plants in the greenhouse & cold frames have frozen solid. This is not a problem for them, they are very hardy plants and are used to this. The smaller 8cm square pots are divisions taken in 2011 & the larger 12cm round pots are some of my mother plants.
Primula hirsuta which I brought in from the greenhouse to the conservatory in the middle of January has come into early bloom. I have kept it at plus 4°C to 10°C, along with some auriculas that I have also brought in so that I will have some flowering auriculas for my idéträdgård at the Nordiska Trädgårdmässen on the 12th to 15th April. In Sweden they normally bloom at the earliest in late April, blooming at their best in May & June. But hirsuta decided to be especially early, despite me reducing the temperature & light.
The border aururicla seeds I sowed on the 28 january are now just begining to germinate. They normally take from 4 to 10 weeks to germinate, at around 10 to 15 centigrade these have come a little earlier
The small seedlings are just pushing through the vermiculite.