Monday, March 26, 2012

Gone Daffy

Yesterday was the last day of my conifer identification class at the NYBG.  We were supposed to have a final examination where we would go out and identify 25 different conifers, but the instructor took us on a daffodil identification lesson instead.  In his words "There's no better time than today to look at the daffodils."  There was a take home written component to the exam which will now have to count for the total grade.  Oh well, no complaints from me.

I have new-found appreciation for this ubiquitous harbinger of Spring.  I certainly did not know that there were so many divisions in the Narcissus family (11 in all!) - from Trumpet to Poeticus to Doubles to Small Cups to Split Corona to Cyclamineus....and the list goes on.  My head was reeling and I couldn't keep up with the varieties in each division.

By the way, there was a bit of a drizzle coming down and a nip in the air.  In other words, a perfect early Spring day.  With all of this warm weather we've been having, I had almost forgotten what an early Spring day could be like.  It was perfection in my eyes.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tulip Magnolia - I love to hate you

Well, the calendar says it is officially springtime, but spring sprung about 2 months ago here in NYC.  However, the large tulip magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora) in my garden bloomed at its regular time and not any earlier.  I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this tree.  As a M. liliiflora, it is a magnificent specimen.  In fact, I was quite proud when a tour bus passed by my garden today (yes, can you imagine a tour bus coming through my part of the city?)  and I saw tourists on the top open level of the bus craning to take photos of my tree. The blooms are magnificent, if a bit short lived.  The remainder of the year, it puts my garden into deep shade and my thoughts turn to which arborist I will hire to take it down.  I think I'll wait another year....