Russell’s Garden Wisdom

Russell’s Gardening Wisdom
January 2019

I always rejoice when the Winter Solstice has passed because it means that each day gets longer by a minute or more and with more sun everything begins the cycle of growth again. And sun is so welcome this time of year. Let’s all watch for the results of the Groundhog and his shadow on Saturday, February 2nd!

The fall foliage colors have gone, but winter berries give vibrant color and necessary food for good garden birds. Speaking of which, Tulsa Audubon Society’s Jan 15th (Tuesday evening) program at 7 pm at the Tulsa Garden Center will host Dr. Jeff Cox’s photos and stories of birds and animals from his recent visit to the Canopy Tower and Canopy Camp in Panama. Free attendance and open to the public.

Fall is always as busy as spring with prepping & maintenance for winter, leaf removal, and getting bulbs planted. And it’s still not too late to plant spring flowering bulbs. In fact, this week I’ve planted many bulbs in 8 inch bulb pots and then put a good mulch on top and around the pots. Now, I can move these flowering bulb pots in early spring to where I want to display them in the garden. This week, I was at Ted & Debbie’s on S. Harvard, and they had all their bulbs on sale for 1/2 price, and the bulbs looked good.

I do have flowers now in the garden from the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger ‘HGC Joseph Lemper’, available mail order from Plant Delights Nursery, It’s a bit later this year as it usually flowers before Christmas, but this has been a very strange year for weather. Last year it was flowering in the snow and looked fantastic. I also have flowering one of my favorite early bulbs, Snowdrops. the Giant Snowdrop, Galanthus elwesii. I’ve planted a few new bulbs of it each year. Now the Giant Snowdrops are definitely larger and shower than the common Snowdrops, G. nivalis. The Giants also are better Snowdrops for naturalizing for our region. Unfortunately, snowdrops are not sold in most local nurseries, as the bulbs dry out very quickly and are therefore useless. Order bulbs from mail order nurseries like Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, and Old House Garden Bulbs in early fall and plant them immediately upon arrival. Note: On Saturday, February 9th at 6:30 p.m. the Oklahoma Horticulture Society will host a lecture in the Linneaus auditorium in Woodward park. The speaker, Mr. Steve Huddleston, is the Senior Horticulturist at The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. Steve will speak on “Shade Gardening”. He is a former Tulsan, an OSU graduate, and worked in the summer while in college for Russell in Woodward Park. This lecture is free and open to the public… Happy Gardening

Happy Gardening, Russell