"Snowing, Snowing, It's a Fairy Dream" (Hungarian Children's Song)

It's not a dream, it is the rough reality. After a few spring-like days we had a snowstorm last night, so all our balcony is covered with white blanket, not the smallest place remained free. Frosts are forecasted, so I don't remove the snow, let the alpines feel like home at last.

In the "plastic tunnel" it is safe:


Cyclamen Problems

Pests and diseases are afflicting our Cyclamens and consequently me.
First, de disease, which is only supposed yet.

Two or three years ago I got two Cyclamen graecum tubers from the UK. Somebody wanted to get rid of his Cyclamens, which were down at the heel.  I thought I may try two graecums. I potted them up and admired their beautiful leaves every autumn since then, namely no flowers yet.
This picture was taken in October 2009:

Cyclamen graecum
This year they started to grow rather late and slowly, as I showed in an earlier post, despite of the watering. And finally they pushed some ugly, distorted leaves:

I decided to get out the tubers and look into the compost maybe I could find the reason. But the tubers were healthy, hard, the compost had a good drainage and was just moist, and also the roots seemed to be OK, though they have not grown too much during these years.

Especially this one looks rather odd with so much dead leaves on the top of the tuber, and scarce roots:

I showed the pictures to a friend of mine, he suggested to make also a section of the root to see if there is a fungal disease. It seems like healthy:

I found no vine weevil larvae, which can eat all the tuber, as you can see here.
So, we thought it could be a virus infection. I potted the up again in fresh compost with more sharp sand, and give them another year to live. Will see next year if I should discard them or not. Whatever happens, I separate them from other plants.

The other trouble is the caterpillar(s) of some moth, which have disfigured my cyclamen seedlings:

Yesterday I found a culprit. I put it in a pillbox for my friend, who will grow it to see which species is it exactly. In half an hour it ate a large part of a florist's Cyclamen leaf:

Here it is decked out in all its finery:

I don't know if there are any more, I would like very much to find them before they gobble up all my seedlings' foliage...

The following is neither pest, nor disease, just the poor light. This Cyclamen persicum cultivar is becoming a weeping plant, and I must say I quite like it :)

Finally the good news.
One of those chewed seedlings, a Cyclamen pseudibericum has three buds, predicting the coming spring:


Our Miniature Rock Gardens

We have had much snow and also some thaw and even sleety rain this week. The air is quite wet now, this can be seen on the rocks of the miniature rock gardens. These stones are dark grey now as used to be when they are wet, though they get no precipitation at all under the roof of the balcony. This is not too well for the alpines but I can't help it.

The drips are glittering on the foliage of the Draba polytricha:

Draba polytricha

The two flowers on the Draba imbricata are still holding theirs own, though a little anguished by the frost:

Draba polytricha

Draba polytricha