TOW N.H.Do in May - Garden

Ernie O'Byrne
Tue, 04 May 2004 19:47:59 PDT
John, I am rather surprised to hear you say that you are not a proponent of
deadheading. You were probably out of town when I asked, some time ago, how
you handle the potential problem of seeding among the large drifts of one
cultivar of snowdrop at Colesbourne. I never saw a reply to that inquiry,
unless, for some reason, I missed it (always possible). I would think that
that would be a potential for genetic drift in an established stand. Surely
you would never save seed intentionally, sow it, and then sell it as the
cultivar. So, what do you do? Surely, most of the cultivars not sterile, are

I imagined that you must deadhead, but having seen the extensive drifts at
Colesbourne, I also couldn't imagine a more daunting task, especially since
snowdrops don't hold their seed heads conveniently upright ready for
snipping, but flop over to better spread their seed about. So, if you don't
deadhead, how do the clumps remain pure. Is it by constant rogueing? That
would presume that whoever is doing the rogueing (over the many years at
Colesbourne) has an idea of the "perfect" form for that cultivar. Please
assuage my curiosity.

Ernie O'Byrne
Northwest Garden Nursery
86813 Central Road
Eugene, ORegon 97402

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 1:29 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] TOW N.H.Do in May - Garden

I've never understood the urge to deadhead bulbs except where obvious
tidiness is required (in formal garden settings) or where seeding is a
positive menace (e.g. some Allium, some Muscari, some Scilla/Hyacinthoides).
The majority of commercial bulbs are really or effectively sterile in the
garden, so removing spent flowers is merely a quest for tidiness: I have
more useful things to do.


John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Gardens Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

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