Six On Saturday — February 2

It’s time for another Six on Saturday, a weekly event for garden bloggers worldwide, started by The Propagator in the U.K. All are welcome to join in!

As my photos show, Coppertop has been decidedly grey this week and snow may arrive tomorrow evening — our first real white stuff this season.

ONE – Once again I planted my garlic bed late in November. I used healthy cloves from Duganski and German Red hardneck varieties I harvested in August. Garlic is such an easy, faithful crop. It really doesn’t seem to matter when I get them in; they consistently send up their young green shoots.


TWO – In the fall, we ousted a transplanted, dying Cryptomeria in the new front bed for a Cornus sericea ‘Silver and Gold’. Sometimes this beautiful plant is called yellow-twig or golden-twig dogwood, a name that is appropriate for this season in particular. Once this variety’s  variegated leaves appear, the ‘Silver’ element in its name becomes apparent. For anyone wondering about this plant’s origins, it’s a sport of Cornus ‘Flaviramea’.


THREE – Another great spot of winter color in the front bed is this blooming witchhazel,  Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’.

FOUR – Onto some hardware… Down in the shed, my row of grow lights doubled this week as Hubby installed another, parallel row of LED lights. I now have room on one counter for 14 trays of seedlings, all on heated mats. It’s feeling extravagant! To make all the lighting as energy efficient as possible, he retrofitted the old fluorescent fixtures with new LED tubes. He also improved the pulley system for raising and lowering the lights. This set-up is on a timer, allowing 16 hours of light each day. I won’t bore anyone with specifics of lumens or degrees of Kelvin, but will just mention we researched, and all works well. Outside night temps will dip into the 20s(F) this week, but I keep the shed’s air temp between 40 and 60, and the mats add about another 10 degrees F for the plants.

FIVE – It’s completed! The new, greenhouse was finished yesterday. The glass is clear, with the exception of a light-diffusing polycarb roof, even though these photos show a misty structure due to the drippy weather. I know we’ll have many happy years with this addition. We’re very thankful for excellent homeowner’s insurance coverage following our windstorm. Once a few days of freezing weather pass us by this week, I’ll move some pots back in.

SIX – We’re enjoying spots of color and fragrance in our breakfast room thanks to these forced Hyacinth orientalis bulbs. A bit of spring in mid-winter!


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26 thoughts on “Six On Saturday — February 2

  1. Wow, that is an impressive greenhouse. Even though it is built with modern material, it is as elegant as the old glass greenhouses. It is rather stately.
    Is Cornus stolonifera also native there? We do not plant red twig dogwood because we already have too much of the native Cornus stolonifera (and also because we do not get much chill here.)


    • Yes, the red-osier C. stolonifera is native here and goes by many names. I have a couple cultivars in the gardens, planted by previous owners, and we’ve added the natives along our stream since we were lacking them there. This is my first yellowtwig and I’m liking it. Looking forward to many years with this greenhouse.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your green house. I bet you are ecstatic and anxious to get your plants inside. I haven’t started any seeds yet, but we are much colder than you. Ground is frozen hard with 5 inches of snow on it, but supposed to get up in the 50’s by Monday. It will feel like a heat wave after having below 0 temps. Have fun with your plants and enjoy your snow.


  3. Interested to read your comment

    ‘It really doesn’t seem to matter when I get them in; they consistently send up their young green shoots.’ to you buy special seed garlic heads or will anything do? I’ve only tried to grow garlic once before and the cloves were only the size of currents


    • Hi! I have had an easy time with garlic and harvest very large hardneck heads in the late summer or early fall. Sometimes I buy seed heads from farm stores and sometimes, like this year, I pull apart healthy homegrown heads and plant the cloves. Both have worked here. I do know grocery store heads won’t work as well because they are often treated to last long while on display.


  4. That’s a very smart greenhouse you have and it will be exciting to fill it up with plants. I’ve had a similar problem as Piglet with garlic – disappointingly small cloves, but just yesterday I heard that garlic needs to acclimatise to your soil, and that the next crop, planted from the previous crop’s cloves, will be better. I’m hoping this will be the case!


  5. Hello March !
    Your greenhouse is very nice ! It looks almost like mine but the front door of mine is on one side and the roof is in glass. We are all waiting now for you to show this beauty full of plants!
    What were your research on the °K of your LED tubes? I read that the LED tubes “Daylight” were the best (around 36W-6500 ° K): and yours?


    • Yes, Fred, I’m very eager to move plants into the greenhouse, but it’s snowing as I type. So, we chose 14w-4100K tubes which are more cool white than daylight but are sufficient, and are on the blue spectrum for bulky, not spindly, seedlings. They were on a super sale! We were quite happy with germination rates under fluorescents, but are aiming to reduce energy usage, costs (and mercury), thus the LEDs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Will your greenhouse be heated too? I’d love a heated greenhouse where I could grow some tropical plants. My cold conservatory is OK for overwintering tender ones, but not for anything requiring warmth. Love the witch hazel and raindrops photo!


    • Thanks, Jude. No, it will remain an unheated greenhouse since that’s how I found I most used the last one. I don’t grow tropicals. It’s one stage toward planting out in cool weather for all the seedlings from the heated shed. In summer, I’ll continue to grow tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in the greenhouse also.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That is the exact same yellow dogwood “Silver and Gold” that I bought! Don’t you just love the yellow stems? I planted 3 on one side of my woodland garden and three of the Anise trees/shrubs on the other! They are so bright and will certainly liven up my garden! I am so jealous of your greenhouse! I might have room for a small shed now that we cleaned out all the debris from the hill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I was admiring your purchase of a trio of dogwoods! The golden color is gorgeous. Recently I read that they’re most striking planted in front of an evergreen border. Well, I have plenty of evergreen borders, but this specimen is growing against the front of our grayish/seafoam home, so I’ve missed out on that… still love it though!


    • I’d like to add to that one witch hazel because it stands out in a season when little else does. The lights and mats definitely help get me through winter and keep me busy seeding. Thanks for stopping in.


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