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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Madness

There is a foot of snow outside right now and it shows no sign of letting up. For the few blog followers from the Rocky Mountains or Midwest I know this is nothing to raise hackles about. However you should realize that in our wonderfully moderate, Meditteranean Willamette Valley climate this is something to write home about. Apparently an all time record for the most snowfall this late in the season was set in Eugene this morning, and I wouldn't doubt it if the record falls in Salem as well.
Iris aucheri trying to keep it's head above the snow.
It has been an overly snowy year for sure, If I do my math right we have had over a foot in the last two weeks alone, and while snow in Feburary is almost a sure thing here, In all 30 years I have lived in the valley I don't remember this much snow so close to spring break.
Fritillaria nigra showing it's strong stems

Bellevalia pycnantha
Martyn &Rix: Native of eastern Turkey, North-West Iran and Soviet Armenia.Growing in meadows and marshy fields.
 My Ukranian grandparents escaped the tightening grips of Red Army and Stalins purges by packing up everything they owned and walking south through Central Asia, into Mongolia, (My dad was born in a tiny village in the Gobi desert) and into and across China where they made it to a refugee camp in the Phillipines and eventually immigrated to San Francisco, California. I can just picture them picking there way through meadows filled with Bellevalia's and Juno Iris' on the way out.


Fritillaria crassifolia ssp. kurdica
This is an awesome plant, a glaucus bloom covers the flowers and they have a surreal glow as they reflect the changing wavelengths of twilight. As a reference the JJA collection frits I showed pictures of in a former post are probably F. crassifolia and look nothing like this exceptional subpecies.
Fritillaria latakiensis
native to Southern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. Martyn and Rix state that it is easy to grow in the bulb frame and possibly outside, although I have yet to try it outside.

You may notice that I quote Martyn and Rix a lot as this is pretty much the only comprehensive reference I have for most of these bulbs. Hopefully I don't get lazy and not site the reference, but since I wouldn't put it past myself, I totally acknowledge that the authors Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix have provided much of the locality information in this blog and should be duly credited

Off to shovel some snow off the greenhouse! Believe me I have seen what can happen if you let it pile up on a poly covered hoop house, if your bows don't crease and collapse, your plastic may break and crush plants. Since I am pushing for 7 years out of a 5 year rated poly, I'm not taking any chances and keeping it clean as the snow piles up......

Can't believe I was questioning if spring had arrived yet a month and a half ago, it most certainly has not!



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