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BULB LOG NUMBER 12
19th March 2003
Frit chitralensis disaster
Well if it is a true log I have to report our disasters as well as our successes. We left the screen off the door of the frit house one day this week and a black bird got in and managed to snap the stem of possibly the rarest frit that we grow. The tragedy is that three of the four flowers had a style and we were pollinating them regularly and had high hopes of three seed pods, which would have allowed us to distribute seed of this rarity, not this year I am afraid. The positive side is that the stem snapped above the leaves so the bulb will still feed and who knows maybe when it does not have a flower to support the bulb may just make an offset. Another failure in the Frits is that our main pot of F. pudica 'Richard Britten' had failed to show so we investigated it today and all the bulbs have rotted away. It would seem that they rotted last year before they even attempted to make any roots. This happens with bulbs, you do everything the same and suddenly you get a set back for no apparent reason. I suspect that it must have been the temperature at the time of the first watering and the bulbs were not ready to start into growth when we introduced the water and they just rotted off.
Frit house 19.03
The good bit is that the majority of the frits are doing just fine as you can see, and with the loss of 'Richard Britten' we now have a prime space available so we can promote another pot of frits.
In the garden a group of seed raised Crocus heuffelianus is flowering and multiplying so well that it is threatening a clump of Crocus minimus, something else that goes into the note book to be rectified this year when we divide and split.
Garden bulbs 18.03
The garden is bursting with bulbs just now with the snow drops still hanging on while the Crocus and Corydalis 'Beth Evans' are in prime form.
Corydalis malkensis & 'Beth Evans'
I like the effect of Corydalsi malkensis seeding around with 'Beth Evans' and shortly the darker brick red 'George Baker' will be out.
Corydalis 'Craigton red'
It is very tempting to start naming loads of these corydalis that are in flower, as they are so beautiful, but we must restrain ourselves. Corydalis 'Craigton red' is our own selection from seed raised C. solida. It is the reddest that we have seen and it stands out in the garden so we have made the exception of naming it.
In the frames Corydalis lineariloba is flowering for the first time with us. It is a Japanese species which I first saw and admired growing in large drifts in the peat beds at Gothenberg Botanic Garden. It spreads by runners a bit like a small better behaved version of C. flexuosa and we will release some of it into the garden this year.
We always place a glass cover over our stock plant of Scoliopus Bigelovii in the frame when it is in flower. This increases the number of wee flies that visit and pollinate it and as a result we get a much better seed set than the plants that are growing in the open garden that flower as well but do not get the cover.
The only other member of this genus is Scoliopus Hallii which is even smaller (and difficult to get a close picture with our digital camera). It is the sort of plant that is described as a 'connoisseurs plant' which means that you are either mad, sad or both to want to grow it, that shows you where we are at! Note from the red label that this pot of seedlings was only sown in June 2000 and it is flowering inside three years this is much quicker than S. Bigelovi which takes a good five years to produce flowers. Any one that knows of my love of Erythroniums and is wondering how I have reached Log 12 and not mentioned them (much), I suspect this is about to change as they are coming into their season now. The leaves are so beautiful I will share a few with you but be prepared for a lot more in weeks to come.
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