1 2 3 12

April 8th, 2013

April 8th, 2013 by Sherri

Dwarf Daffodils (Narcissus 'Little Gem')

Today I had the pleasure of walking some of the campus in search of blooms. I found some lovely dwarf daffodils at the southwestern corner of the HUB. This butter yellow Narcissus ‘Little Gem’ can be found blooming in the Bearberry [Arctostaphylos uva-ursi} ground cover. The Daffodil flowers usually face the sun, so bulbs should be grown with any shade areas at the rear of the planting.

 

Crocus biflorus

Crocus vernus 'Flower Record'

Walking through the “Bowl”,  between Rounds Hall, the Silver Center and Speare Hall, some beautiful crocus were popping up under the burning bushes by the stairs. The darker shade of purple being the Crocus vernus ‘Flower Record’ while the lighter shade purple with a darker veining in the petals I believe to be a Crocus biflorus.

 

Hybrid Witch Hazels (Hamamelis x intermedia) Hybrid Witch Hazels (Hamamelis x intermedia)Hybrid Witch Hazels (Hamamelis x intermedia)

Along the south side of Ellen Reed are three hybrid Witch Hazels.  The flowers of hybrid witch hazels (Hamamelis x intermedia), all crosses of Hamamelis mollis, the Chinese witch hazel, and H. japonica, the Japanese witch hazel, are much larger than the Vernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) located in front of Ellen Reed Hall which has small reddish flowers. In doing some online reading on these shrubs at  the Plants in Profile page of http://frenchgardening.com, I learned that “their four petals are narrow and strap-like: about an inch long and only about one-tenth of an inch wide. They are slightly wavy and kinked. And although the flower may not sound like much, you can see from the photos that, because they’re borne in clusters of two to four, they add up to quite a show.” And yes, I did compare the blossoms from the south side shrubs to those of the east side shrub, finding that I much prefer the larger petals of the hybrid Witch Hazels.

Here at PSU we encourage you to walk the campus & look around! Discover what may become a favorite blossom of yours!

April 2nd, 2013

April 2nd, 2013 by Sherri

We have a few new blooms in our greenhouse! One of them is the Calibrachoa, a fast-growing, compact annual that works well in hanging baskets and window boxes because of their trailing branches. They also look great as garden borders. A very heat- and cold-tolerant plant, Calibrachoa is commonly known as “million bells” due to the hundreds of blooms it produces in a wide range of colors. The blooms are similar to the petunia, except they are not sticky and attract hummingbirds. This season we are growing two varieties, ‘Celebration Mandarin’ and ‘Dream Kisses Orange Sun’.

Calibrachoa aka "million bells"

A nonflowering but spectacular addition to our greenhouse and any window box or container is Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’. Very heat- and drought-tolerant, Silver Falls recovers quickly even if wilted, and looks fresh all season long. Vigorous and easy to grow, the Dichondra’s leaves have a thick, super-soft texture and neat fan shape, measuring about 3/4- to 1-inch long and wide. They arise profusely on very well-branched plants that need no pinching. Before you know it, this cascading silver beauty will be 3 to 5 feet long. Combining silvery-green foliage with stealthy creeping growth habit, this variety performs nicely as an annual ground cover.

Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'

March 31st, 2013 ~ Easter Sunday

March 31st, 2013 by Sherri

Although there are no Easter Lilies in our greenhouse, the New Guinea Inpatiens are starting to bloom!! This variety is called ‘Divine White’ and absolutely sparkles against the deep green of its foliage. Fertile, moist soil high in organic matter is preferred by New Guinea impatiens, so they are a perfect pick for containers where soil can be amended quite easily. They are more sun-loving than the other impatiens and are accepting of increased sun exposure if their roots are kept moist. Incorporate a slow-release fertilizer into the soil before planting. They should only be planted outside after the danger of frost has passed and the ground has warmed. Space 9 to 15 inches apart. While New Guinea impatiens tolerates sun, it also does fine in shade as well. New Guinea impatiens form compact, succulent subshrubs with branches growing 1 to 2 feet tall by summer’s end. Leaves are long and narrow, green, bronze, or purple. Flowers, growing up to 2 inches in diameter depending on the variety, are white, pink, lavender, purple, orange, and red. They are a great way to make a colorful statement!

New Guinea Impatiens 'Divine White'New Guinea Impatiens 'Divine White'

March 27th, 2013 ~ Full Moon

March 27th, 2013 by Sherri

March 27th is the Full Crow or Worm Moon. Our full moon here in the Plymouth, NH area occurred at 5:30 am. The Full Worm Moon was given its name by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. According to the Farmer’s Almanac:

Full Worm Moon – March : As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.”

Check out the Almanac’s link for the  full moon dates for Plymouth NH or your local area. http://www.almanac.com/moon/full/NH/Plymouth

The Crow MoonFazes of the Moon

March 26th, 2013

March 26th, 2013 by Sherri

Also making an appearance on campus is Galanthus nivalis, the snowdrop or common snowdrop. You can see it spread amongst some still dormant ground cover, north east of the east entrance to Mary Lyon Hall, in front of Holmes House, or in the large flower best nestled between the Silver Center and the Eco House. The Galanthus nivalis is the best-known and most widespread of the 20 species in its genus. Snowdrops are among the first bulbs to bloom in spring and can form impressive carpets of white in areas where they are native or have been naturalized. It is known by many titles… including other British traditional common names such as “February fairmaids”, “dingle-dangle”, “Candlemas bells”, “Mary’s tapersand even “snow piercers”. Looking to incorporate the snowdrop into your flowerbeds or naturalize them around your home landscaping? Here are some basics on the this fantastic lil’ bulb:

  • Height: Less than 6 in.
  • Spread: Less than 6 in.
  • Hardiness Zones: 3 4 5 6 7 8
  • Growth Pace: Moderate Grower
  • Light: Full Sun Only;Full Sun to Part Shade;Part Shade Only
  • Moisture: Medium Moisture
  • Maintenance: Low

Snow Drops (Galanthus nivalis)Snow Drops (Galanthus nivalis)

Snow Drops (Galanthus nivalis)

 

March 26th, 2013

March 26th, 2013 by Sherri

It is finally feeling like spring here at the PSU Campus!! The Crocus are in full bloom & are spectacular up close & personal. In front of Prospect Dining Hall, directly in front of the warmth of the south facing brick wall, you will find both Crocus vernus ‘Mammoth Yellow’ and a Giant Dutch Crocus,  Crocus vernus ‘Flower Record’. Popping up their brightly colored heads in early spring, crocus is extremely cold hardy and one of the earliest bulbs to bloom . Once established, they are care-free, multiply over the years and flower every spring. Crocus will naturalize readily on the edge of the property, in wooded areas or in the garden border.

Giant Dutch Crocus 'Flower Record' (Crocus vernus)Giant Dutch Crocus 'Flower Record' (Crocus vernus)

Crocus vernus 'Mammoth Yellow'Crocus vernus 'Mammoth Yellow'

Crocus vernus 'Mammoth Yellow'Crocus vernus 'Mammoth Yellow'

March 20th, 2013 ~ The Vernal Equinox ~ Happy Spring!! Happy Ostara!!

March 20th, 2013 by Sherri

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." ~Henry Van Dyke

Why is it called equinox?

On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it’s called an “equinox”, derived from Latin, meaning “equal night”. However, even if this is widely accepted, it isn’t entirely true. In reality equinoxes don’t have exactly 12 hours of daylight. The March equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north. This happens either on March 19, 20 or 21 every year. On any other day of the year, the Earth’s axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun. But on the two equinoxes, the Earth’s axis tilts neither away from nor towards the Sun. In the northern hemisphere the March equinox marks the start of spring and has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth. (from March Equinox, www.timeanddate.com)

"Ostara" symbol of the Vernal Equinox

Source: Johannes Gehrts (1855-1921) via Wikimedia Ostara is the celebration of the vernal equinox, and the goddess Eostre. Above, Eostre flies through the air with symbols of spring, rebirth and fertility.

 

 

 

Ostara is one of the names given for the celebration of the Spring (Vernal) Equinox, when day and night balance. Astronomically, the sun crosses the celestial equator at this time. The Vernal Equinox usually falls on March 20 or 21. The name Ostra is derived from the Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon lunar Goddess Eostre, goddess of spring and fertility. Her festival celebrated rebirth as she was believed to bring renewal and reawakening from the dead of winter. Her chief symbols were the rabbit (for fertility, and her worshipers often saw the image of a rabbit in the full moon), and the egg (representing the cosmic egg of creation). This is where the customs of the “Easter Eggs” and the “Easter Bunny” originated.

 

 

March 19th, 2013 ~ last day before the Vernal Equinox

March 19th, 2013 by Sherri

Lantana camara, "Evita Lemon"

 

Mother Nature, with her impish sense of humor, seems to be torturing some of us with a small snow storm today, this day before the Vernal Equinox.  However, there is definitely a ray of sunshine peaking through to the greenhouse plants. The Lantana camara “Evita Lemon”, an annual chosen for our full sun window boxes & planters,  has just started blooming. Lantana also known as Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. West Indian Lantana has become popular in gardens for its hardy nature. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is a favorite species of butterflies, and often used in butterfly gardens. Lantana has a distinctive pungent odor some say is similar to that of tomato greens. I think it has a lovely crisp citrus scent to it. This fantastically tolerant plant comes in many many blossom colors, from pale to hot pinks, various shades of reds and oranges, deep golden yellows to a soft lemon color,  as well as white. This is a must plant to incorporate into your annual mix!

March 15th, 2013 “Beware the Ides of March”

March 15th, 2013 by Sherri

Caesar:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.

 Soothsayer:
Beware the ides of March.

 Caesar:
What man is that?

 Brutus:
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19

Setting: It is Lupercalia, an ancient Roman religious holiday. Caesar, the Roman dictator, makes his appearance before the “press” (crowd) in the streets. From out of the crowd, a soothsayer issues his famous warning. And Caesar, a very superstitious man, isn’t the sort to take a soothsayer lightly.

The “ides” of March is the fifteenth; which day of the month the ides is depends on a complicated system of calculation Caesar himself established when he instituted the Julian calendar, a precursor of our own. The ides of January, for example, is the thirteenth; the ides of March, May, July and October is the fifteenth.

The importance of the ides of March for Caesar is that it is the day he will be assassinated by a group of conspirators, including Brutus and Cassius. Despite numerous and improbable portents—the soothsayer’s warning, some fearsome thundering, his wife’s dreams of his murder, and so on—Caesar ventures forth on the ides to meet his doom.

 

Births on this day in History…

1858 – Liberty Hyde Bailey, American horticulturist and botanist (d. 1954)

 

 

March 11th, 2013

March 11th, 2013 by Sherri

Happy Monday! The extra sunshine in the greenhouse this weekend has opened up more of the Spreading Petuna blossoms.

I am expecting that the New Guinea Impatiens and the Lantana will be the next to open.

ONLY 9 MORE DAYS TILL SPRING!!

 

Baby Duck Yellow Spreading PetuniaBaby Duck Yellow Spreading Petunia

Baby Duck Yellow Spreading PetuniaShock Wave Deep Purple Spreading PetuniaShock Wave Deep Purple Spreading PetuniaShock Wave Deep Purple Spreading Petunia

In Plymouth Magazine

Example Image

Faculty Forum: Filiz Otucu on Democracy and the Middle East

Filiz Otucu is a professor of political science and specializes in international relations, Middle Eastern politics, and the United Nations. A native of Turkey, she earned her MA at the University of Central Oklahoma, and her PhD from the University of Kentucky. Otucu teaches courses on politics and conflict in the Middle East, terrorism and […]

Example Image

Faculty Forum: Brian Eisenhauer on Shrinking Our Environmental Impact

In his roles as professor, scholar, researcher, mentor, and campus leader, Brian Eisenhauer is at the center of Plymouth State’s sustainability and climate neutrality efforts. Under his leadership, Plymouth State has been consistently recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability and is regularly included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, a compilation of […]