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Monday, March 5, 2012

Early March 2012

Ok, So this picture was taken in Alaska, but lately, and tonight especially this is how you want to be dressed if you go outside!

Narcissus assoanus
Who comes up with these names?  A botanist with such a sense of humor. This European lime dweller reminds me of a dainty N. wilkowii

I would like to think the reason I haven't been very good at updating the blog is because the screen on my labtop had about 20 good pixels left. It was stepped on by my 4 year old niece this summer when I was in Alaska. It's been getting worse and worse and it was getting hard to read what I had written. Well I now fancy myself somewhat of a computer technician because a few micro screw drivers, and $75 for a new screen later I can finally see!

Fritillaria bucharica
Don't go looking for this one in the wild anytime soon!  Native of NE Afghanistan on the Pamir Altai. Easy and tough in the cold greenhouse for me.

Tecophilaea cyanocrocus
Yes, the holy grail of all blue flowers in it's glory.
I have Gentiana acaulis in bloom now and I will post up a picture when I get around to it so you can draw your own conlcusions on the winner of the azure contest. I actually thought I had lost this in the great freeze that claimed my South African collection, but it appears to have hung on.

Fritillaria stenanthera
Another Fritillaria of the Pamir Altai and Tien Shan.

Fritillaria caucasica
From Turkey, Iran and the Caucasus. Martyn and Rix say that while it grows in peaty soil in teh wilde it can be difficult to cultivate satisfactorily. I haven't tried this outside, but I might give it a go in one of the raised open beds.

Corydalis 'Beth Evans'
I'm not going to lie, I'm not the biggest fan of  Corydalis, but if you want to see an impressive one google: Corydalis caseana var. cusickii, our native from the Wallowa mts. I'll post up a pick from the Imnaha River soon.

Crocus biflora ssp. pulchricolor

The weather: Well it's been interesting to say the least, I had 6" of snow on the ground on Thursday, then Sunday it was pushing 60 degrees. All in all it hasn't been that severe of a winter, I show 19 degrees as the low on the digital thermometer that tracks the greenhouse temperatures. Unfortunately it also shows that the high in the greenhouse was 88 degrees when I left it shut up on a cloudy, cold day and then the sun broke! This time of year I think managing a bulb collection in a greenhouse is a real challenge, trying to keep them as cool as possible, yet protecting the more tender species from hard frosts is not always easy. I am going to be installing some auto vents soon and I need to add more air circulation fans.

Fritillaria striata
One of my favorites, as most of the California species are. If you look really closely you will see some Aphid carcasses and the remains of some sooty mold. I had an early outbreak of Aphids on this species only in Feburary. I treated with a bio-neem spray that did a really good job on knocking down the aphids and some control on the mold. I also gave two applications of Actinovate SP as a soil drench and a foliar. This has done a good job on the mold.

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