Bulbs all blooming in mass

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Sun, 02 Apr 2006 09:19:14 PDT
Dear all,

I had a very nice visit with Bill Dijk this week. Diana Chapman drove down 
to join us and on Tuesday Bob and Marlene Werra and Nancy Wilson drove in 
the rain so we could all visit. Bill shared some bulbs and seed with us and 
there is some left over I'll be sending to Dell for the BX including seed 
of his signature blue flowering favorite (aka Tecophilaea). So be watching 
if you are interested in that genus.

Bill brought with him a number of CDs picturing the bulb show he had just 
attending in the Netherlands and one of the famous garden Keukenhof. I've 
never visited it and found it interesting how they design and plant it 
fresh every year and how many people visit it for the few months every year 
it is in bloom (this year 23 March until 19 May). Bill said that the season 
was delayed this year so although there were some things in bloom, the 
masses of bulbs in bloom were yet to come.

We've had an unusually wet and cool March in Northern California, setting 
records for numbers of day of rain, even if there have been years when we 
got more rain. The newspaper from the closest big city said 25 days of rain 
in March. We usually get more rain than they do here on the coast. And 
April seems to be starting out the same. Yesterday there was a shower and 
today it looks like it will rain all day. The forecast for the first 9 days 
of April indicated that one of those days may be dry. My tulips started to 
bloom in March and they haven't appreciated the weather. Even the ones I 
moved under cover when they started to bloom have been whipped around by 
the wind and the rain that the wind has blown their way. So the flowers are 
not all standing at attention. Bill's CD of Keukenhof shows a solid mass of 
flowers in bloom, all at the same time and all perfect. So how do they do 
that? Is the rain different over there? Is there no wind? And how can you 
get flowers all to open the same day so they will all be blooming together? 
Bill says they are planted so densely they hold each other up and he's not 
sure that they get heavy rain . I wonder if they have ever have hail (which 
in my experience leaves the leaves and flowers marked unattractively.)

My husband says that those pictures for the CD could have been taken over 
many years on perfect days. I did see this disclaimer on the web site:
"Flowering in the park depends on the weather conditions."

I'd be really interested if any of you have any ideas about this. Thanks in 

Mary Sue

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