A Word - just a few snippets from members

Bits and pieces - not necessarily sent by - but heard about!. The word to members is… best to get in with your side of the story first!

April 15 2019
We've been having a "chat" with Jeffery Boden over the past few days. Jeffery (like most of us) is finding it quite difficult, with advancing years, and health issues, to establish a brand new garden. The first image below gives an idea of the soil with which he and his wife are working. He says "I put into the soil gypsum, compost and blood and bone as it is a clay base and needs more work before l will be happy with it."

April 19, 2019 - Jeffery said…
"I was offered seed from the Ed McCrae collection via their lilium preservation society with the idea of increasing the species.
I only ordered species that l thought l could grow successfully  e.g. Wilson Davidii, Pumilum, Concolor, Lancifolium, and the yellow form 
There were some quite rare and difficult species, but not for my climate. 
The first batch have been planted out, the later batch l have decided to grow on and plant out in Spring."

Note: I went looking for references to Ed McCrae, and the first "gem" as a reference that I found was this one… - ed.
Jeff subsequently came back with this…

When the Oregon Bulb farm in USA in the 50,s was breeding liliums Ed McRae was one of their top breeders, they collected lilium seed from all over the world and started crossing.
Up Until then hybrids were frowned on and only species the accepted plant to grow.

In the early days of our society we imported bulbs from them, and we also had our own quarantine block at Piccadilly. It belonged to Don Scott-Young."

April 23, 2019 - In Helen and Rob Fairweather's garden…
Great excitement, a small pot of Narcissus viridiflora had begun flowering. A small triumph we know, however the flowers on this little daffodil are not only small (measuring a mere 2.5cm from tip to tip of the petals, and the scape only 16cm high), but is the only daffodil known with green petals!
Marg Jenkins also advised today that she has a bloom just opening at the moment.

Pat Simpson 'phoned me to advise that she had Zephyranthes primulina in bloom today. We now have the pink, white and gold Zephyrances images in our library. Pat also had brought around a pot of Nerine filifolia that she had grown on after Helen had divided a group that was obviously planted in incorrect conditions, and had never flowered for her!

April 29, 2019 In Helen and Rob Fairweather's garden…

Progress in preparation for both the 2019 Down Our Garden Path show, and the 2020 January show has been slow, but a concerted effort over the past week has seen most of the bulbs in their pots for September, and finally, the January bulbs in the ground. There are literally hundreds in the ground plot - some of the bulbs were being very "pushy", and had begun to shoot, so we were forced to complete their planting. Should see them emerge in a week or two, particularly if the current weather forecast for later on this week is to be believed - 30mm has been promised for our area!!

The potting area is stuffed to overflowing - soon to be even worse when all the pots will need to be temporarily moved out to allow some shade area re-construction to protect against high winds and possums during the winter, and excessive sunburn later in the year!

May 1st 2019… Marg Jenkins

Marg reported yesterday that she has two more Nerines blooming in her garden (potted). I didn't see her message until late evening - too late to photograph, so I climbed over the back fence at around 8am today and shot them. The white bloom may have just passed it's best however.

May 3rd 2019… Bulb Committee

We've recently had communication from Yvette Stephens (one of our most recent members who hails from Kapunda). She advised of a problem with bulbs that she purchased from us at our 2019 January sale. It seems that some of our bulbs were infested with Mealy Bug!
Following up on that we've found numbers of the pest in stock that was left over from that sale, and are now checking all bulbs prior to planting.
Now here's a question for all members… What is the best way to rid bulbs of the bugs and their eggs?
We've heard of bleach, vinegar and detergent (not combined) as suitable treatments. Can anybody enlarge on this please?

May 8th 2019… Rob and Helen Fairweather

We've been putting this moment off - where to plant the Belladonna hathor seeds that were taken off plants about 3 weeks ago! We have probably in the order of 240 seeds (but who's counting), 40 of which I've just planted in a semi shaded area in our garden - they'll get strong sunlight in Summer until about noon. I raked away 2 or 3 cm of fallen leaves, and placed the seeds (green side up - this is the more "pointed" part), into slight indentations in the surface damp soil, then threw the leaves back over them. They'll probably be visible through the leaf litter in 2 or 3 weeks.
If anyone would like some of the remaining seeds, please email me quick before their growing tips extend too far and are easily damaged!

May 11th 2019… Rob and Helen Fairweather

No requests - so if you intended to ask for some of the above seed - you're too late! It's now all planted as a bulk lot in a styrene box for separation when next dormant.

May 20th 2019… Marg Jenkins

My job every day now is moving vine leaves from the pavers to the compost heap. A good bit is checking the colours of these Oxalis each day.

May 20th 2019… Helen Fairweather

This is to show why and how the bulb committee does so much work behind the scene. They're fed and watered very well (mainly bring their own food), and a lovely pot belly heater is operating in the background. There's an opening for a new subcommittee to run the newsletter… Just think of the fun you could have if you modelled your committee around this one!
Committee members are seeing significant occurrence of a virus in some of the Freesias that have been potted.
Marg says that "The Iris bible says that there is no cure for virus diseases and infected bulbs/corms should be burned. This is referring to dutch iris, but also applies to other iridaceae". All affected plants are being destroyed.

May 24th 2019… Rob Fairweather

On April 29, we published a photograph of potted bulbs being grown on for the "Down Our Garden Path" later this year.
During the last week progress has been made on shading the benches (rather than use tree shade including attached possums). One of the trees had to be removed (stump still visible in the current image), and now all things are "go" again - maybe some re-organisation as time permits…