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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tulips are blooming

"All our discontents about what we want appear to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have." Daniel Dafoe.

Read his "A general history of the pyrates" if you want a good book. Among many other things, I study pirates quite intensely and have tried to find every book ever written on the subject. What does that have to do with bulbs  you ask......well, I like the quote, Mark Twain who I quote quite often said something remarkably similar many years later.

Mimuls rupicola-Photo from Cal Berkely
Today I am thankful for seed collectors. Some years ago I made a trip to the Death Valley area to find this plant and bring it to cultivation. I never did find it in the wild, and I have searched seed catalogs ever since looking for it. This  year Alplains offered it from a collection made outside of the National Park and it even ended up on the NARGS seed exchange.

It was a horticultural dream finally realized. I know this doesn't have much to do with bulbs, but I have always been a fan of the genus Mimulus, I've had a few papers on the subject published,  and bred my own selection of M. lewisii and M. cardinalis....Mimulus X "Illahe Sunset" of course.

Mimulus rupicola however is the holy grail of Western United States species for the Rock garden and now I have it.
Mimulus rupicola seedlings in my greenhouse.
I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Tulipa cretica
From the mountains of Crete, I really have always gravitated towards the "wild" things and I like how this species represents the wild side of the tulips...nothing like the huge hybrids of dutch origin, which have there place, just not in my garden.

Tulipa aff. montana stolonifera
This has a JJA collection number and I will try to track down the provenance when I get a chance.
Narcissus calcicola
Native to Portugal and said to be extremely rare in it's native habitat. Lime dwelling species with light, but delicous fragrance.

I was going to add a few more Jonquills here but the insert image button seems to have frozen up on me, so I will have to do that later.

Weather: Forcast is for mild temperatures but heavy rainfall later this week, some big wind fields may set up towards the end of this week so it's gonna get blustery. All in all, pretty seasonable for March, one of my workers said he heard low snow levels and cold temperatures forcasted for later this week but obviousely our respective weather men don't agree.

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