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Author Topic: Bulb Log, May  (Read 2956 times)

KenC

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Bulb Log, May
« on: May 08, 2014, 01:27:01 PM »
I am a faithful bulb log reader and always gain valuable information, whether scientific or just good garden wisdom.  The last few weeks though have been truly inspiring.  Your mass plantings of Erythroniums and companion plants are spectacular and the expansive views of your garden illustrate real artistry.  A single flower in a pot can be lovely but nothing compares to a garden full of mixed plantings.  Congratulations on your acomplishment and thanks for sharing.

Robert

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Re: Bulb Log, May
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 02:27:01 PM »
Yes Ian, your garden always seems to look great!

I especially like your breeding style. Something I would call a "land race". Some of the best plants I've ever come across have come about by such selection. And they are generally tough garden plants too. The Ethiopian land race wheat that I grow is not only beautiful and tastes great but is extremely resistant to stem and leaf rust, the great pox of modern wheat.

I wish that all of our garden plants, ornamental or otherwise, were strong, beautiful and brought lasting pleasure.

Thank you for your years of effort and inspiration.

Some time back, in one of the bulb logs, you mentioned rodents (mice, voles?). Is this an issue today with your bulbs? and if so how do you deal with it? Here on the farm the rodents are a huge issue. Wire baskets (can be ugly when the tops appear above ground) and raptors  are the best we've come up with, so far, for control.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos Robert Barnard

Ian Y

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Bulb Log, May
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 05:40:40 PM »
Thank you Ken for your  support and encouragement it is my pleasure to share my experiences and especially when I get nice compliments like yours - I too take most pleasure for the companion plantings in the garden.

Thanks to you also Robert, it is essential if we want to preserve plants in our gardens to raise from seed allowing a degree of natural selection as each generation becomes more adapted to our conditions.
Mice was/is our rodent problem it is ongoing but we only  suffer moderate damage largely due the fact that when I detect the population is getting too large and they start eating my bulbs I do some trapping to regain a balance. They have eaten a lot of my Rhodohypoxis in a trough in its winter quarters sheltering in the glasshouse over the last month so the traps are coming out.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 07:05:08 PM by Ian Y »
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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johngennard

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Re: Bulb Log, May
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 07:46:50 PM »
I too would like to say how inspirational the pictures of your garden are.I envy some of you plantings and strive to achieve some similar effects in certain areas of my garden.I remember similar pictures three or four years ago which started me on the road to more dense and mass underplanting and the recent pictures have only incentivised me more.Unfortunately I don't have enough years left in front of me to achieve such stunning planting but each year sees some progress and gives great satisfaction.
Congratulations on achieving such a lovely garden and sharing it with us.I will now have another look.
John Gennard in the heart of Leics.

Ian Y

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Bulb Log, May
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 08:06:27 PM »
John, although I have never visited your garden I have seen many pictures, lots in this forum, and I think it is stunning and inspirational, I have often cast an envious eye over some of your mass plantings especially those cyclamen not to mention your fabulous hepatica collection - so your praise is also much appreciated.
I believe we can all learn lessons from each other as well as directly from our plants.
Thank you for your kind comments.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:51:03 PM by Ian Y »
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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Robert

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Re: Bulb Log, May
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 02:16:09 PM »
Ian,

Thank you for the reply. Maybe I thought that there might be some magical way to deal with rodents in the garden without poison. My wife and I would never consider using poison, so we, like you, use traps and our farm cat. Every season we keep a running total to see who gets the most rodents: cat vs farmer. Two years ago I won with 89 gophers and voles. Our farm cat was close behind with 85. Most seasons the farm cat wins. I'm not sure how many rodents the raptors catch, however we enjoy watching the hawks hunt. Two years ago the rodents were so bad that barn owls came to nest in our barn. That season the voles had no rest day or night!
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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KenC

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Re: Bulb Log, May
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 08:30:45 PM »
Robert, can you share your method for trapping gophers?  I made the mistake years ago of planting a large drift of tulips.  This was like ringing a dinner bell and I became the Pied Piper of gophers, but without the traditional ending!  They quickly ate all the tulips and have now moved on to anything else in their path.  When left with just piles of soil it is difficult to find their tunnels and when you do they often cave in before you can set your trap.

Robert

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Re: Bulb Log, May
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2014, 12:30:42 AM »
Ken,

I know what you mean about "the dinner bell"! Trapping gophers require consistent effort. In our area we have voles and gophers. They will both eat bulbs. Moles are around too and sometimes share tunnels with gophers and voles, however they do not eat bulbs.

I use Macabee gopher traps. The gophers will generally back-fill where they have just eaten, so I use a long, pointed iron bar to probe around and find their run. I always rub a piece of the eaten plant over the traps to hide my scent. Then I set the traps going both directions, pushing the trap down the run as far as I can and still keep a hair-trigger. Then I put the rest of the eaten plant in the hole between the two set traps and cover the hole with a board. I then cover the board with a bit of earth so no light gets in. If set in the evening I generally have a gopher in the trap in the morning.

For voles it is different. I use Victor mouse traps above ground with the trap set 90 degrees to the run with the trigger in the center of the run. It helps to place the trap were the vole have no other option to travel or near a wall of any kind where they always like to travel. Again set in the evening, I generally have caught a vole by morning.

I hope my instruction make sense. Good luck!
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos Robert Barnard

hwscot

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Re: Bulb Log, May
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2014, 09:47:34 PM »
Ian, interested to see what you're saying this week about seed set and this year being poor for your tulips. Earlier in the year you mentioned pollinating Iris windogradowii. Have you any idea yet if you've had any success there? I had a look on the index to see if youv'e written about collecting seed from I. winogradowii or any of the reticulatas but couldn't see anything on the topic. This is me egging you on.
Harry
Montrose
You can take the lad out of Leeds, but you can't ..

Ian Y

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Re: Bulb Log, May
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 10:54:38 AM »
No signs of any seed coming on the Iris winogradowii this year it may be a bit early to tell for sure but I am not hopeful.
 We did get single capsule last year, check Bulb Log 2913 - here is the picture of the seeds.
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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