pushing envelopes

Jamie Jamievande@freenet.de
Sat, 26 Jun 2004 23:30:09 PDT
Jim, Tony, et al,

the entire topic of hardiness and testing extremes, in both directions (heat
and freeze), is finally being taken seriously once again.  I agree that much
USA literature has been based on British results, which is extremely
misleading.  After all, the difference between a cold, dry Winter and a
cold, wet Winter is pretty enormous for a geophyte.  Adding this to the
afformentioned Summer ripening and you have a whole different ball game.

Even in Germany, we can grow many plants that in Britain suffer, due to the
warmer Summers.  Unfortunately, the winter-wet is just as severe for much of
Europe as for Britain. And then we have strange microclimates and a lot less
heat hours than our American comrades.  This is simply a reminder that
gardening is a combination of science and art.

I would venture to say that we have more people gardening today than ever
before, which means we have a huge world market waiting to be served,
looking for easy solutions and seeking fast results.  The market is full of
almost identical plants worldwide, not just the clones reproduced in the
millions, but the seed strains marketed in pure colours and exacting
heights.  It is big business, and I mean BIG!  On the local level one may
find smaller nurseries selling unusal items, but they are generally at the
mercy of public tastes and sell mainly that which has recently appeared in
the garden literature. Most are hard-put to find something different,
without actually growing it themselves.  In Britain, I've often been amazed
at how the new plant I just read about is currently available at Wisley!
Obviously, they new!  A co-ordinated effort is made to supply and inform,
actually a good system to assure plants will get proper care.  It does lead
to blatant commercialization, however.

WE, the peoples of the lists, a strange and true tribe of enthusiasts who
take the time and joy to produce plants from seed, garden or wild collected,
pass the best on and note the failures right next to the successes, are
pushing the envelopes in our small way.  Never before has communication been
so easy, never before have friendships been built across such expanses in so
short a time period.  I suppose the cynic will say that commerce shall
profit from our dabbling.  Yes, at the moment, but a thing of beauty is a
joy forever, long after the commercial fashion has passed, we will find that
a firm, new building block has been placed upon the edifice of horticulture.

Tony's E-Mail epiphet reminds me of the murderess in CHICAGO, who explained
how her boyfriend walked right into that knife.......9 times!  Push that
envelope, girl!


Jamie V.

PS: Cx powelli tends to loose it's leaves in Cologne, even in mild winters.
I need to try some other clones/seeds. C. macowanii didn't like the
winter-wet.  Gotta contact Silver Hill, that was only the first walk on the

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Waddick" <jwaddick@kc.rr.com>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 8:57 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] pushing envelopes

> >The main problem in these parts is that so few gardeners or
> >nurserymen know what the envelope is. ...  Additionally, the "it
> >won't grow here" mentality is all too often found among members of
> >the horticultural profession.  ... -- the list of
> >edge-of-the-envelope plants that should be grown here but are
> >virtually absent from nurseries and gardens goes on and on.
> Dear Russell;
> Good points and reason for returning the compliment to Tony
> Avent who constantly "pushes the envelope". Panayoti Kelaidis too.
> I blame part of this 'heritage of ignorance' to American
> gardeners and nurserymen relying on English garden literature. The
> very different English climate produces literature claiming a plant
> is not hardy there(even though temps are milder). The same plant is
> hardy here with harsher temps, but has the summer heat lacking in
> England. This heat is needed to ripen bulbs, buds and wood. The
> result is that some plants hardy here are constantly written as being
> tender because of the English experience.
> A good reason to support American garden writers more.
> Of course I often feel the same way about east and west coast
> garden writers who claim hardiness for plants much to tender for the
> interior US. Inother words I wish garden writers would get more
> experience about given plants or only claim 'authority' for growing a
> plant in their own garden.
> Meanwhile keep trying and look for micro-climates.
> Best Jim W.
> --
> Dr. James W. Waddick
> 8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
> Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
> Ph.    816-746-1949
> E-fax  419-781-8594
> Zone 5 Record low -23F
> Summer 100F +
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