BULB LOG 07 -- 14th February 2007
The snow never came to much and we had only about two centimetres lying for a day or two. Then the rain came and with it the low black clouds making the days very dark and damp, not what the bulbs or I would prefer - but what can we do about the weather?
New compact camera
I was cheered by the very speedy arrival of my new compact camera ordered online at around 3pm it arrived at 9.45 the next morning and it was at a very good price. So why have I added yet another camera to my growing collection? I wanted an ultra small compact that would fit easily in my pocket so I would always have a camera with me and this new slim model does just that. The snow scene above was taken using it.
While I do not expect it to produce the results I can get on my other digital cameras I decided to test it out and see what it could deliver. I must say that it exceeds my expectations and I could very easily manage on this camera alone - not that I intend to do that. The auto focus and metering system coped well with this very difficult subject of Galanthus elwesii in the snow. I did cheat a bit by pushing the exposure up a stop or two to get white snow but I am impressed. This is one of the Galanthus elwesii that I showed a few logs back.
Galanthus elwesii bulbs
I carefully took them out of the pots, removed all the compost from their roots and planted them singly in a garden bed.
Iris Katharine Hodgkin
I am always amazed at how quickly the spring bulbs burst into flower even when the weather conditions are far from ideal for them. These Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin' were just showing a few days ago and it was only when I was playing with my new camera that I discovered them open in the snow. We have dozens of this iris all over the garden, every one is identical as they are all propagated from the masses of rice grain bulbils formed every year, yet they come into flower at different times over a fairly long period. This just illustrates that there are many factors, such as moisture level, light level, temperature, depth of planting, etc that all influence when a bulb will flower, it is not just down to the clone and the temperature.
Crocus sieberii atticus and iris
More shots taken with the compact camera show one of the best and most reliable crocuses in our garden, Crocus sieberii atticus which like Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin' is well distributed all around our garden. The wee camera did not handle the Iris histrioides major exposure so well - you can see I had to tweak it in the computer to get the snow white and not grey. Your camera meter always wants to turn white into grey so you need to effectively over expose by 1 or 2 stops to get white snow but the other factor in this particular shot is that I turned the camera on its side to get a 'portrait' format picture. The automated metering system is designed for landscape format and it is programmed to assume that the upper 1/3 of the picture will be brighter that the bottom typical of a normal landscape with sky and land. When you turn the camera on its side this pre-programmed feature is more likely to cause poorly exposed shots.
To try out the macro mode I photographed some of the many Narcissus romieuxii flowers that are still in flower. These are very acceptable results when you take into account that these were hand held shots in very low light conditions.
Narcissus picture detail
This is a detail of the full size of the image above and I believe if I used a tripod in good light conditions I could achieve results every bit as good as I can with my better cameras. Is there any one out there who still does not think digital is as good as film?
Narcissus bulbicodium x hedraeanthus BD
Back to my other camera now for this picture of a very interesting pot of seedlings that I received from Brian Duncan before they had grown to flowering size. It is difficult to know how successful the cross was but at least three of the six flowers, the paler ones, show possible signs of hybridisation. I look forward to seeing how they perform in future years now I have got them all up to flowering size.
Narcissus found seedling
This is a pot of a single clone that had self sown into the sand plunge and I selected it out to grow on as it is a fine plant. I cannot be sure but I suspect that it may be the results of a cross between N. romieuxii and bulbicodium; whatever it's parentage is it has good freely produced flowers and it increases well with all the vigour of a healthy young bulb. This is also a good illustration of how many flowers I can get from a 7cm pot.
Not bad getting all these flowers from such a small container, the roots will have escaped into the sand plunge but I am not missing growing our bulbs in the large clay pots we used to use, at all.
Crocus paschei HKEP9034
W did get some sunshine on Tuesday which just raised the temperature in the glasshouse enough to open some of the crocus flowers like this Crocus paschei HKEP9034, again growing perfectly happily in a 7cm pot.
Crocus biflorus isauricus HZ88 -30
Raised from seed, so showing some variation in both appearance and flowering time, is Crocus biflorus isauricus HZ88 -30 two flowers out just now with several more to come. I realise that I often show collectors numbers and we also see them in seed lists so I have appended a list of Collectors' initials at the end of this week log - it is not complete but it may prove useful to some of you.
Crocus biflorus stryidii and sieberi nivalis
Another two crocus species to open are the beautifully marked Crocus biflorus stryidii and a compact form of C.sieberi nivalis sharing a pot with an interloper; namely an Ipheion seedling, distinguishable by its leaves, in the bottom corner of the pot.
Crocus biflorus nubigena
Crocus biflorus is a very variable species with many subspecies, varieties and cultivars also named and none are more beautiful than the black anthered ssp nubigena - when the anthers dehisce the pollen is golden yellow.
Pollinating with paint brush
Once more this is a 7cm pot making a beautiful display, who could want more? Me- that is why I am out there with my paint brush at every opportunity spreading the pollen to the stigmas in the hope of getting a good seed set - more on this in next weeks log.
List of Collectors' Initials.
AC&W S.D. Albury, M.D. Cheese and J.M.Watson
AS A. Strid
BATMAN Nordic Expedition to Batman
B&C R.I. Breyer & J. Cowler
CLD Chungtien-Lijiang-Dali Expedition 1990
EAC Expedition Atlas Ceder 1990
EZ E. Zaharof
GBK G. Bakshi Khaniki
GT G. Tjeerdsma
HKEP H. Kerndorf & E. Pasche
H&S M. Holmberg & U. Strindberg
HSm H. Smith
JAN J. Andrews
J&JA J. & J. Archibald
JJH J. & J. Halda
JKP J. & K. Persson
JP J. Persson
KEKE Kew-Edinburgh Kanchenjunga Expedition 1989
KGB Kunming-Gothenburg Bot. Expedition to NW Yunnan
KP Karin Persson
KPPZ M. Kammerlander, E. Pasche, J. Persson and H. Zetterlund
LEG Lesotho-Edinburgh-Gothenburg Bot. Expedition
L&P Leep and Pasche
LST Latvian, Swedish Turkey Trip 2005
M&P Mertens and E. Pasche
MZ M. Zurowetz
OS O. Sønderhousen
PG Ph. Gustafson
PHS P. H. Salvesen
PW Per Wendelbo
P&Z J. Persson and H. Zetterlund
R R. Raiche
SBLE Sino-British Lijiang Expedition
SEP Swedish Expedition to Pakistan
SF M. Salmon and M. Fillan
S,KT&V A. Strid et al.
SLIZE M. Liden, M. Popp and A. Seisums
S&Z U. Strindberg and H. Zetterlund
T4Z G. Tjeerdsma, H. Zetterlund, D. & R. Zschummel, Zagros
UME Uppsala Mongolia Expedition
ZE&S H. Zetterlund, AL Eriksson and A. Strid
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