Despite the current unusually mild February weather (plus degrees and foggy, like cloudy days in April) the growing season is still months away. We're dreaming of building a conservatory where we could do some gardening
even in midwinter. Until that happens we have to settle with the "cellar garden" where we overwinter rhododendron seedlings, tender plants, bare-rooted roses that arrived too late to be planted outside etc. I have set up two 36W fluorescent tubes with timer
to help the evergreen plants survive the darkness. Rhododendron seedlings have done very well in these conditions. Roses tend to start growth too early and magnolias with their senditive root systems are always a challenge. These healty, lush seedlings are
from my cross Queen Anne's x R. auriculatum and spending their second winter in the cellar. The leaves are hairy, a trait inherited from the pollen parent.