Spring Bulb Misc - responses

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Mon, 28 Apr 2008 07:10:28 PDT
Jane McG wrote- paraphrased:
ARUM	I think many gardeners avoid them because A. italicum is 
viewed ... as a trash plant.

>One weedy species can condemn an entire genus in the minds of unadventurous
>gardeners. Ornithogalum and Muscari are good examples (though the latter
>has more than one weedy member). Some gardeners here feel this way about
>Anemone nemorosa,

>          Aril-bred and oncocyclus iris ....Junos

>I think (a) they are hard to get and expensive, and (b) as Jim noted they
>require special care, which here would include overhead protection in
>winter and constant spraying to quell the leaf pathogens to which they are
>very susceptible in mild, wet weather.

Dear Jane:	location, location, location ( to borrow from the 
real estate market)

	Here most gardeners are still marvelling at any Arum even A 
italicum.   Almost no one grows any other, yet some do quite  well 
here; even those I got from you.  No one that I know or can imagine 
would consider any Arum a 'trash' plant.

	I totally agree with you that one species can "ruin" ones 
view of the whole genus and Muscari and Ornithogalum (as I mentioned 
earlier) are excellent examples, but NO Anemone fits that description 
here. Few people even know let alone grow A. nemorosa. Even the most 
vigorous cvs stay well contained in small ephemeral patches that seem 
like they could never encroach on another, the plant equivalent of 
the proverbial "flea"*. I have to physically dig and divide a clump 
to re- establish a new planting. Can't imagine it running rampant 

	Although some Arils and Junos ARE expensive, Some good ones 
are not at all: As Jim McK suggests, the Regelias  I stolonifera and 
I hoogiana are cheap and available widely and among the easiest.( As 
an aside, membership in the Aril Society allows you to purchase Aril 
iris from their annual sale with MANY excellent species and cvs as 
low as $3 each. Some amazing plants)  Among Junos I bucharica, 
magnifica, and graeberiana also qualify as cheap and easy.
	Back to location- here they grow in the open garden, do NOT 
require overhead protection and I have never seen virus or other leaf 
pathogens (disregarding late freeze damage). Here.
	I know they are much more difficult to grow in the Pacific 
NW, and they are more than challenging there.

	As Jim McK also said, and I fully agree, many American 
gardeners are over influenced by the pronouncements of the British 
garden publication world and would sooner believe Gertrude Jeykll 
than the personal experience of a grower down the block.
	The US is far from uniform for growing conditions and many of 
my most challenging plants are weedy on either coast. As I continue 
to garden I learn to appreciate more fully the unique Mid-Continent 
climate here that allows me to grow some plants that are a challenge 
on either coast. I guess the lesson is 'Grow locally'

	And I must respond positively to Diane's comment about plant 
variations and need to grow lots of stuff. Having studied a variety 
of plants in the wild from Asia to South America and much of the US, 
it is very obvious to me that many plants in gardens represent a very 
small piece of the total variation in the wild. To some extreme 
extant I have seen people argue that plant "X" should be considered a 
separate species because it is so distinct from plant "Y", yet in the 
wild both "X" and "Y" freely mingle interbreed and represent just 2 
points on a wider range of variation. We often have a very limited 
gene pool for cultivated plants and we tend to focus on just one 
selected form as typical of a variable population. Yet another good 
reason to grow more. Get rid of every inch of lawn and grow every 
possible wild collected seed you can lay your hands on.

	Sorry to babble so, but I encourage everyone to try a plant 
even though "everyone' says you can't grow THAT HERE.

	Location is only one part of the success or failure. There is 
also dogged, stubborn enthusiasm.

	Best to all especially Jane, Jim McK, Luc and Diane for their 
2 cents worth.		Jim W.

*As in  "He wouldn't hurt a flea"
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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