A Rose of Jericho three hours after being watered having nearly returned to is previous alive state
The Rose of Jericho(Anastatica hierochuntica) is a species of resurrection plant. These plants are characterized by their ability to use Poikilohydric mechanisms which enable them to survive extreme dehydration for years at a time.
I’ve just started decorating today, but it’s quickly becoming green. Lots of branches from Daria Levoni of Castellucchio and Persimmons from the trees here, and the front porch of the villa already looks ready for an outdoor party.
Lychnis flos cuculi - Ragged Robin - Sown Yesterday in the Hortus Horrei.
There are no damp meadows here at Corte Eremo, but I remember this flower growing in an always shady corner behind the tower of the Castle of Galeazza, so I’m quite sure that it might survive in the deep shade of the Hortus Horrei if I can get these seeds to germinate. I’ve sown 30 per pot in 10 pots, and now we’ll have to wait and see.
“It looked sort of like a little piece of fern, so I tried to remove a bit of the rock that was covering it to get a sense of what type of fern it was,” he says. “But the more of the rock I would lift off the surface, the more fossil I found buried. What I thought had been one little piece of a leaf actually turned out to be two, connected to each other.”
As he labored to carefully flake the rock without defacing the fossil, he noticed a series of curious characteristics that suggested the preserved plant was no ordinary fern: It had a closed network of veins, rather than a series of branching ones that split off from each other without coming back together, and at its tips, there were tiny structures called glandular teeth, used to shed excess water.
“Eventually, I realized this wasn’t a fern at all, but some kind of early flowering plant,” he says. Its features wouldn’t be at all out of the ordinary in a plant growing outside today. The fact that they occur in a fossil from the Early Cretaceous period, though, is remarkable. At somewhere between 125 and 115 million years old, this fossil, described in a paper Jud published today in the American Journal of Botany, is among the oldest flowering plants ever found in North America.
Flowering plants—which replicate with sexual structures (i.e. flowers) to produce seeds—now dominate the planet, but for the first 300 million years or so of plant existence, beginning around 450 million years ago, the only types of vegetation belonged to older, more primitive families, such as algae, mosses and ferns, which all reproduce with spores rather than seeds, or gymnosperms, which produce seeds but not flowers” (read more).
Last of the daffodils for this year. Corte Eremo, Mantua
I’m a firm believer in the bright beauty of daffodils - even the cheap gaudy ones. If you bang in a few hundred bulbs every year, you’ll have a wash of bright daffodils in “no time” (in garden years)… After nine years at the castle, March was the greatest start to the year… Fresh, bright yellow, white, and a tiny bit of orange… and it will be here at Corte Eremo, too. It will just take some time. Gardens aren’t ever made in a day. They aren’t made in only a year, either… well, you know that.
Those freaky gardening shows where they re-do home gardens in a day (while someone is at work or wherever) are proof of how gross “instant” gardening can be… and I’d love to see how those places look a few months or a few years later!
For several years I’ve only bought the cheapest bulbs from LIDL, a discount store. Bags of 10 large or 15 small bulbs cost something like 1.50 euro. I bought all I could afford this year - about 50 bags - but that’s over 500 bulbs closer to the thousands we’ll have in years from now, because I’m not stopping. Buying them is, in retrospect, easier than planting them all. 500 seem like 5,000 when you have to dig holes and stick them in. My technique is to normally dig a bucket-sized hole or larger and put in 5 to twenty at a time, as clumps look a bit more natural than single “soldier” daffodils spread evenly over an area. A random soldier is fine, a little surprise, but a one-one-one-one look is never going to look right, as they are natural clump formers…
What kind of cheap bulbs from Holland were bagged up and sold in the discount store this year? Loads of little Narcissus Tete à Tete, the larger, orange corona Narcissus ‘Fortune’, big pale yellow ‘Dutch Master’ and loads of bags of something they could only name ‘Mix’… and you could tell from all the different sizes of the bulbs in the ‘Mix’ bags that there was a funky mix inside. Maybe what they swept off the floor each evening. Who knows what will pop up! I’ve decided to totally not plan it, and just go, go, go with the bulbs. March madness!