SRGC Bulb Log Diary
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12th November 2003

I am just back from my trip down to England where I caught up with many old friends and made many new ones as well, the world of plants is full of nice people. The first thing I always do when I get back is to have a walk around our garden to see how things are doing.

Nerine bowdenii montage

The Nerine bowdenii are looking very well just now - this South African bulb enjoys a hot site and they are one of the very few bulbs that need to be planted at the surface, with their tops showing, for them to do well.

C.pulchellus in garden

A few forms of Crocus pulchellus are still flowering in the rock garden despite the rain and wind that we have been experiencing. Is winter finally on the way? I saw quite a few of the Autumn flowering forms of galanthus while I was in England but ours have not appeared as yet.

Crocus banaticus cloche

We use a glass cloche to protect some of the later flowering crocus from the bashing that the wind and rain gives them. It is well worth the effort as we can continue to enjoy this beautiful Crocus well into December.

Crocus banaticus 12.11

Many of the Cyclamen have finished flowering now but their beautiful leaves, which show such a variation, will give us pleasure for many months to come.

Cyclamen seed coils

It is also nice to see the swelling Cyclamen seed pods coiled up. It will be June or July before this seed is ripe and ready for sowing.

Cyclamen mirabile 12.11

Other cyclamen like this C. mirabile are still producing flowers and need to be watched carefully for signs of botrytis.

Crocus caspius 12.11

Crocus caspius is producing a second flush of flowers, many crocus do this, and the faded first flowers should now be plucked off to avoid the risk of an attack by botrytis which can transfer down to and kill the corms. I do not like to remove the fading flowers too soon but by this stage the pollen should have grown down the tube to the ovary and fertilised the seed.

Crocus robertianus variation

This pot of Crocus robertianus, raised from seed, shows the variation that occurs within a species. Notice that the tepals have slightly differing shapes. On one they are full and rounded and overlap towards the base, while they are narrower on the other one. Other differences are in the colour of the tepals and the extent of the branching at the tips of their styles.

Crocus longiflorus MT4462

Another classic and popular Autumn flowering species is Crocus longiflorus MT4462 which has just burst into bloom - and there I am going to have to leave you this week as I am off to Dublin, Ireland on Friday to their Termonfeckin Weekend.

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