Weekend at Diana Chapman's

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 06 Feb 2006 19:36:48 PST
Dear all,

I'd like to report about our Pacific Bulb Society weekend at Diana 
Chapman's in Ferndale. There were 13 participants including the three 
people who live in the area. We had a wonderful time. I always enjoy 
talking with others who are interested in talking about bulbs, although of 
course that wasn't all we talked about. Bob Werra brought slides of a trip 
he and his wife took to China with the Alpine Garden Society about ten 
years ago and we looked at them the first night. Both Friday and Saturday 
we all spent a lot of time looking at some of the bulbs that Diana had 
blooming in her greenhouses: species of Oxalis, Romulea, Gladiolus, 
Spiloxene, Lachenalia, Erythronium, Veltheimia, Bomarea, Phaedranassa, 
Albuca, Tecophilaea, Cyclamen, Allium, Stenomesson, Hippeastrum, Muscari, 
Rhodophiala, one Aroid (I forgot to note if it was an Arum or Arisaema), 
and did I mention Oxalis. The Oxalis seemed to be what people spent the 
most time looking at. There were even some Oxalis that don't normally bloom 
that were sporting blooms to throw off anyone new to that genus. Oxalis 
palmifrons had this large white (unattached) flower in the middle of the 

Harold Koopowitz brought some plants for show and tell and left a few with 
Diana. Among those he brought were some Cyclamen with amazing leaves, 
Ranunculus, a very tiny Narcissus, and a pot of robust short bright yellow 
Narcissus pumilis, a present for Diana. Harold showed pictures of his trip 
to Crete last November in search of interesting leaf forms of Cyclamen 
graecum and Narcissus serotinus. They also found some nice Sternbergia and 
a couple Crocuses blooming at the same time. Harold knows how to tell a 
story and entertained us with the travails of a plant collector attempting 
to follow the ever changing rules. We also found we could gather around his 
laptop and see pictures from a trip to the White Mountains of California 
and Harold's attempt to hybridize Gladiolus to create an attractive 
Mother's day flower. There were a lot of other interesting images as this 
wasn't planned ahead of time so he didn't quite know what would appear. I 
showed a CD of wildflower pictures of mostly Central California in last 
year's amazing spring.

Diana gave people special seeds and Bob Werra offered some pots of 
Calochortus, Moraea, and a few other things to share.

We were lucky with the weather. Most of the rain fell during the first 
night although there were a few showers the next day. Hail falling on a 
plastic greenhouse is very loud indeed, but fortunately it didn't last 
long. There was enough light and warmth for most of the Oxalis to open and 
the Romuleas although Diana reported it was much better the next day after 
we had all departed. We were treated to good food, good company, and a very 
nice place to stay and visit with each other. Thanks Diana for inviting 
people on this list to come for a visit and thanks from a happy visitor to 
all of you who came.

Mary Sue

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