The past week we had a number of days with lots of sun and especially higher temperatures. All areas report that they saw and heard for the first time this year the bees and the bumblebees.
Of the bumblebees only the queen is hibernating, so the bumblebee you see at the moment will be queens. The first butterflies have also been spotted. These insects need the early bloomers to survive. Stinzenplant areas have therefore an important function in the ecosystem. With the warmer weather, the Dutch Crocuses came in full bloom everywhere and they were immediately visited by bumblebees and bees. Herewith a couple of photos. By clicking on the photo the picture can be enlarged.
A lot of purple in the photos of this week, often with beautiful backlighting that makes the flowers so beautiful transparent.
The Snowdrops last week were still pretty as predicted, but they are now slowly leaving off flowering. The beautiful silver-green-gray leaves are now more visible and that together with the white flowers is a beautiful sight. By far the most common snowdrop is the Galanthus nivalis, but in the older areas also some snowdrops with yellow ovary occur, these species belong to the Galanthus nivalis ‘Sandersii’ group. A connoisseur of Snowdrops visited last Saturday Stinze Stiens and he spotted on our site also a group of ‘yellow’ Snowdrops. There are more than 4000 variants of the ordinary snowdrop known. The Snowflakes are now at their peak and will still be in full bloom in the coming week.
Stinze Stiens reports: The garden is now a beautiful colourful impressionistic palette, thanks in part to the late Winter Aconites. The snowdrops are diminishing but the white of the open flowers and gray of the leaf, that is already clearly visible, create a beautiful mosaic with the purple Crocuses. Here and there you can see a whitish Crocus, or the foliage is softly veined purple.
Various varieties of the Butterbur are also in bloom in various locations. Jongemastate: … spring is approaching: the big and white butterbur are clearly visible and the first shoots of our famous Crown imperials (Fritillaria imperialis) are already centimeters above the ground.
We will get again a short period with frost followed by days with fairly low maximum temperatures. The effect of this is difficult to predict. The new generation of early-bloomers is already announcing itself. Philippusfenne reports that the Bulbous Corydalis appears while blossoming. It is always an exciting sight to see the Bulbous Corydalis coming above the ground. They are coming, but it will take a while before they are in full bloom. The Squills are getting now a nice blue color.
We -Trudy and Willem / Stinze Stiens – were 11 and 12 March in the German state of Thuringia near Jena to see both the Winter Aconites and the Snowflakes that grow there in the wild. The following website gives information on the status of the ‘Winterlinge’, the Winter Aconites: http://www.closewitz.de
The aim of such a trip is to enjoy the beauty of these impressive vegetations on the one hand, and to better understand under which conditions these species thrive in the wild. This knowledge can be helpful in the management and design of Stinzenplants terrains in the Netherlands.
The Winter Aconites are believed to have come from Italy in this region in the 17th century via the import of Vines. In the vicinity of the village of Closewitz the Winter Aconites now grow en masse on slopes that are overgrown with a mixed deciduous forest. This vegetation has expanded from 0.2 ha in 1960 to about 5 ha now. A twenty-five times larger surface area in 60 years time. This amounts to an average increase of 5.5% per year.
At some distance from this area lies the nature reserve ‘Isserstädter Holz’. In this area, part of the forest floor on the slopes is completely covered with Snowflakes. Snowflakes occur in several places in Germany in the wild and belong to the indigenous flora.
In the forest near Großschwabhausen, which is not far from Jena on a high plateau, the Snowflakes form a dense vegetation over a large area, sometimes as far as the eye can see.
In these forests more beautiful spring flowers occur, such as the Liverleaf, the Lords-and-ladies, Oxlip, Violets, Asarabacca. The Snowflake develops after pollination a rather large heavy ovary with ripe seed inside, which causes the ovary to lie on the ground. Distribution of the plant takes place via animals that eat the ovary and later excrete the seeds.
The growth sites of the Winter Aconites and Snowflakes in these areas are found on soils that have been formed by weathering of limestone rocks that originate from shells. Due to weathering, topsoil is created that contains a fair amount of loam / clay. The dead leaves of among others Beech digest relatively quickly on these soils. On the photo of the trunk of a fallen gigantic tree you can see that the limestone is still present close to the soil surface and that the topsoil has a very nice loose structure.
If you take this loose soil on your hand, it crumbles with great ease while your hands stay clean. The soil does not stick. The big difference between the location where the Winter Aconites grow and the Snowflakes is the moisture content of the soil. The Winter Aconites prefer a soil that is not too wet, while the Snowflakes prefer a soil that is rather moist but also well permeable. Sometimes the Snowflakes grow in a situation where alkaline water is supplied via seepage.
These growth conditions are virtually non-existent in most places in the Netherlands. This is also the reason why these plants can occur in a Stinzenplant environment, but not in the vicinity of such a site in the wild. In order for these species to flourish without having to do a lot of gardening, it is important to create conditions that are as close as possible to the natural situations where these plants grow in the wild. It is important that the plants grow in the semi-shade of trees, in a soil with a very good soil structure with a reasonable loam or clay content and rather moist, with the Snowflakes needing the most moisture. We can obtain this soil structure by ensuring sufficient supply of dead organic material with a low nitrogen content. For example, BOKASHI of leafs, or compost of leafs or applying bark of deciduous trees etc. On old Stinzenplants estates, the soil in the past has already been greatly improved by all kinds of measures, but it can sometimes still be necessary to further improve this because the quality can deteriorate due to all sorts of causes.
The occasional conduct of analysing soil samples can indicate whether the acidity is still optimal or if the acidity is too high in which case shell grit can be used to reduce the acidity (to raise the pH). Soil analysis can also give information about the content of nitrogen, potassium and phosphate in the soil solution. Depending on the outcome, measures may be taken to improve the soil condition for optimum growth of the Stinzenplants.
Flowering: start full peak decreasing
Present: here and there regular massive
The participants in the Stinzenflora-monitor organize various activities during the Stinzenflora season.
The events that are now known are listed below.
‘Open gardens’ with private garden owners are often mentioned shortly before in this calendar and on the websites of the participants. Opening up depends on the flowering of the Stinzenplants and the weather.
For possibilities of (group) visits you can contact the relevant participant.
Data: see ESTATES
For your agenda *:
Dekema State Jelsum. Museum weekend 14 and 15 April. Spring Fair 28 April: with a Stinzenplants search map you make a tour during these events. For prices, opening times and activities see the website. www.dekemastate.nl
Martenastate Koarnjum. Freely accessible. (www.martenastate.nl) Activities in the context of Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018: Grien Festival, start Easter Monday 2 April, will last until 15 April. And further: excursions and courses Nature Photography Stinzenflora. For dates, prices and registration see the website http://www.martenastate.nl and It Fryske Gea. http://www.itfryskegea.nl/eropuit
Schierstins Feanwâlden. Museum weekend 14 en 15 April. Tours in the garden and the building. For prices, opening times and activities see the website. www.schierstins.nl
Stinze Stiens, Martenastate (Koarnjum), Dekema State (Jelsum).
7 April 2018 ‘StinzenFloraTour’ with the Frisian horse-drawn tram in a fully arranged experience package.
A warm welcome with coffee and ‘Frisian orange cake’ at Pakhûs SOLO in Stiens. Here begins the StinzenFloraTour with a ‘chat’ about the cultural-historical background of the Stinzenplants and information about the garden at the Doctors house designed by the 19th century garden architect Gerrit Vlaskamp, followed by a walk through the garden. The journey continues with the horse tram to the Martenastate estate in Koarnjum where a walk through the park, richly filled with Stinzenflora, with an expert guide. At the Túnmanswente a Frysian lunch is ready. At Dekema State in Jelsum, a centuries-old ‘State’ with beautiful garden and forest, the garden manager will be the tour guide. Tea/coffee at the tea house in the end. The horse-drawn tram will take you back to the starting location in Stiens in the afternoon. Costs all included: € 49.50 per person.
Reservations are necessary and can be done up to April 4 via https://stinze-stiens.nl/agenda/
Tourist brochure ‘Stinzenflora in Friesland’: For everyone who wants to go out in the spring, a new handy brochure ‘Stinzenflora in Friesland’ is also available at the tourist centers and affiliated organizations (VVV’s and TIP’s). It was developed in cooperation of the participants in the Stinzenflora-monitor and the tourist organizations Uytland / Destination Noardwest and the regions De Greidhoeke and Noardlike Fryske Wâlden. The folder provides information in Dutch and English and shows which locations are real thriving hotspots in Friesland.
App Stinzenflora (only for Android): The organization Nature2U has independently developed an app (only for Android) with information about Stinzenflora. In this Stinzenflora app all Dutch Stinzenplants and companions are described with country of origin and details. The app is composed with Stinzenplant specialist Heilien Tonckens and nature photographer Wil Leurs, supplemented with some photos of waarneming.nl . The plants are easy to find with flower color and shape or for florists by family classifying. In addition, there are also overviews of the Stinzenflora of the Vecht region and Friesland.
More information via www.nature2U.nl
* Subject to change. Always consult the websites of the participants for the latest information.