National Collection - was UK bulbs - anemone nem.

Diane Whitehead
Sat, 12 Jun 2004 11:50:49 PDT
In the U.K. there seem to be two official ways to get names sorted 
out.  One is for a Collection Holder to do a lot of research, and the 
other is trials at one of the RHS gardens, like Wisley. (Did you 
notice how some bulb wholesalers are using Wisely in bulb names, 
instead of Wisley?)

The Royal Horticultural Society has about 50 trials each year.  Some run for several 
years to allow plants to settle in. Some are to test ways of growing 
(like tulips in grass), some to compare new plants against old ones 
(coloured flesh potatoes, not including cream or white) and some to 
sort out plants with muddled nomenclature.  They recently concluded 
one on blue-flowering spring bulbs.  I don't think they have ever had 
one on Anemone nemorosa.

I don't know whether we in North America could manage a national 
association of collections.  We are just too diverse and way too big. 
But we should be able to manage some regional collections. As Jane 
suggested, it may be done by specialized garden societies.

The rhododendron growers ( I think I am correct in that it was 
Pacific Northwest growers and not the Society) managed to do it. 
They had the cooperation of many estates in the U.K. which had grown 
rhododendron seed from collectors in the 19th century.  These plants 
had been exhibited and awarded prizes for a century when the 
Americans asked for cuttings of the best.  These were sent to U.B.C. 
in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where they were rooted.  A 
plant of each remains in the Asian Garden at U.B.C. and duplicate 
plants are at the Rhododendron Species Foundation garden just south 
of Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.  Both institutions have since mounted 
expeditions of their own, to places like Korea and China, and have 
augmented their collections.

It would be exciting to do something similar with bulbs.

As a beginning, to sort out names of Anemone nemorosa, could we meet 
somewhere central in bloom season, each with a vase full of our 
flowers?  Unfortunately they don't usually bloom in time for the 
alpine Winter Study Weekend put on at the end of February/ beginning 
of March each year.

Diane Whitehead  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8
cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
sandy soil

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