Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Daffodil Season is Here!

Daffodil blooming season is here!

As you wander around our countryside, you can see daffodils growing - and many blooming already! Daffodil season is here! Different daffodils respond to our Spring climate in different ways. Each bulb has a natural trigger that causes it to begin to grow after a receiving a set amount of sun and rain. That means different types of daffodils can start to grow from early January to mid April in Northern California. The bulbs that get their required sun and rain each year become ‘naturalized’ – growing and blooming each year without external care.

This has a beneficial aspect for us who are gardeners! We can select bulbs of cultivars which will give us pleasing blooms and plant them in our garden – as well as in other areas where they will be seen but likely not be disturbed. All we need is knowledge of when they will bloom naturally. We are somewhat restricted; our sea level climate encourages early bloom starting in January, but it grows too warm to allow daffodils to bloom after the early days of April. Still, that is over three months of possible daffodil blooms! In the foothills and at elevations higher, daffodils bloom later – the higher the later!

Where can you learn about the blooms from a particular daffodil bulb before purchasing it? The American Daffodil Society has a no cost “encyclopedia” of daffodils at https://daffodilusa.org. Each bulb name has a description and its blooms shown in photographs! The normal time of bloom for the bulb is also listed. You need to jostle these dates somewhat. They are written from and for where the bulb is popularly grown – commonly the eastern USA states or Europe which are nearly two months later than our climate. For us “Early Season” here implies late February; “Mid-Season” means late March, and “Late Season” implies April. (In my home in Oakley, Late Season bulbs live only for the year planted – they are “cooked” by a splash of heat in early April!)

How can I select daffodils that will continue to grow in the future years?

In the past, garden centers and plant nurseries provided a decent number of different daffodil cultivars to select from. Even so, there was severe problem. The bulbs, grown in Holland, were selected for the entire USA – not for Northern California. They were for Mid-Season or Late Season growth – ignoring our need for Early Season growth.

Knowledgeable gardeners know there are catalogs of several specialist daffodil breeders from which to survey and purchase bulbs. The American Daffodil Society maintains a list of breeders from USA (7) and from England (9), Northern Ireland (2), Australia (6), and New Zealand (13). Many of the original USA classic breeders (eg, Mitsch, Evans, Pannill) have passed away. The ADS List does not guarantee satisfactory growth of bulbs purchased!

It’s to your advantage to use the ADS List to become familiar with daffodils in a catalog. The ADS List (DaffSeek) is on its website: https://daffodilusa.org. Once on the website, click on ‘Growing Daffodils’, then on ‘Bulb Sources’, and finally on ‘Specialty Bulb Growers’. Each grower is listed. The cultivars they sell are in their catalog; open the catalog, choose any bulb name, click on it and you’ll see the DaffSeek data for it. Photos of its blooms are there.

As of 10 February 2020, Oakwood Daffodils is the only breeder yet listing its varieties for sale in 2020. Some are Oakwood registrations; other varieties have been imported and naturalized in Niles (a final listing under Oakwood Daffodils [p.18] shows the ten cultivars I’m offering for sale in 2020). Other USA growers will also soon be placing their 2020 catalogs. Overseas growers will also place their lists. Many overseas sellers will have listings of cultivars they have registered. Part of the fun is reading all the catalogs – and perhaps even choosing to buy a few! Overseas purchases do require the addition of shipping fees.

Reprinted with permission by creator Bob Spotts, Northern California Daffodil Society

Monday, February 10, 2020

Meet Artist Linda Steenkamp

Linda Steenkamp was born in South Africa got her bachelors degree in Architecture at the Witwatersrand Technicon.  She immigrated to The Netherlands and studied art at the Meerse in Amsterdam. She now resides in the US and started a company that stages houses for real estate sale. Linda is currently designing homes in 3D in and around Calaveras and Tuolumne County, returning to her architectural roots but still has a passion for art that can be seen in her architectural designs.

This project is called She #1 and #2 

Medium: Mixed Media

T-029 She 1 by Linda Steenkamp mm 18x24 $650

T-030 She #2 by Linda Steenkamp mm 18x24 $650

Celebrate woman and the role they play in family and community.  "She" has empathy, conscience, and is selfless.

"She"  Could be caregiver, a truck driver, a farmer, an entrepreneur, an educator or a volunteer, but she is changing the world for others around her, always making it a better place.

Meet Artist Linda R. Abbott

Linda R. Abbott

O-042 No Trespassing by Linda Abbott oil 18x22 $895

I have been painting for nearly 30 years---in watercolor, pastel, and oil---and consider myself primarily an oil painter at this stage.  I am a devoted plein air painter, preferring to paint out in the landscape above all else. To experience the surroundings in natural light, to observe, and to respond on canvas brings me great satisfaction. 

O-041 From-Fire-and-Ice by Linda Abbott oil 28x22x$1300

I have been a member of the Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, and the California Art Club.  Over the years, I have been juried into their regional and national exhibits.  I have also exhibited work in California in the Madera County “Celebrating Agriculture With Art” show, the Stockton Art League exhibit at the Haggin Museum, Yosemite Renaissance, Cal Expo Art Exhibit, and shows at the Carnegie Art Center in Turlock, CA.  I have also participated numerous times in juried paintouts in Carmel, Mendocino, and Sacramento.  All of these events/exhibits are juried, and I have received awards at most of them.

O-043 West-of-Pohono 2  by Linda Abbott oil 18x18 $1100

My husband and I lived and worked in Yosemite National Park for thirty years before moving to work in Yellowstone National Park for five years.  I currently split my time between Arnold, CA, and Merced in California's central valley. 

My work is currently shown at the Ridgeline Gallery in Mariposa and the Gallatin River Gallery in Big Sky, Montana, as well as on my website.

Meet Artist Patricia Gould

Patricia Gould
12620 Towner Ave NE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87112    505-670-6364 patriciacgould@gmail.com    www.angelfiredesigns.com

O-035 A-Question-of-Balance_ by Patricia Gould MM 35x24 $2500

Patricia grew up in Bellport, NY and never wanted to be anything other than an artist. She was writing stories and illustrating them at 6 years old so it was natural that she majored in fine art and art history in college. 
 In 2005, Patricia was chosen to be an Artist-in-Residence for a month in Balatonfured, Hungary. In 2009, she was invited to exhibit her fiber art at the Florence Biennale. Included among the dozens of awards that Patricia has won for her fiber art, she won a Niche Award in 2008 and again in 2013. The State of New Mexico has purchased and installed 10 of Patricia’s landscapes as part of the Art in Public Places Program at various sites around New Mexico.
O-037 Moonrise-Shiprock by Patricia Gould MM 35x25 $2500

“My inspiration comes from travel in Asia, East Africa, Russia, Antarctica, and extensive travel throughout North America and Europe. I’m drawn to a few subjects in nature that I find perpetually intriguing and my voice is whispering a tribute to the incredible beauty in both the subtle and violent forces of nature, only touched by the hand of humans on rare occasions. I’m obsessively drawn to trees, rocks, all forms of water, and animals; I portray these subjects as if they were asking to me to reveal their messages to the world. 
 Although my first passion as an artist was photography, I spent over 20 years creating my visions in mixed media fiber art before deciding to concentrate my creative energy on paintings and photography. My paintings, photographs, and fiber art are dramatic portraits of Earth and I hope to draw the viewers into these scenes to share the exhilaration I feel and to cherish the wonders of the place we call home.”