Mygarden location and winter temperatures
Thu, 14 Feb 2008 02:02:50 PST
Dear Mark,

Orgon is a small town about 45 kilometers from the Mediterranean border in direct line. Three small hill ranges separate us from the sea side and therefore have a strong influence on the local climate preventing us from "maritime influences". My house and garden is half way between the western end of the Luberon and the Eastern end of the Alpilles straight in the middle of the Durance valley at an elevation of 92m.

Main wing regime is Mistral a strong wind that blows from the North through the Rhone valley and brings us the coldest temperatures - enhanced when combined with the Tramontane that blows from the west originating in the Pyrennean range. 

Combination of the two winds can drive us to ground temperature of -12°C/-14°C during very short period of times (early morning) in the coldest part of the garden (eastern side). Nevertheless we have not reached those minima since January 2001. Average winter temperature since I live in the area is closest to -2°C for January and February but the soil never freeze for good and day time temperatures are always above 0°C and close to -10°C.

The worse thing that can happen is rain and/or snow (though rare) just after a long period of freezing Mistral (it happened twice since I have been here Decembre 1997 and January 1999). I have temperature curves for most winters over the last 12 years from various points in the garden.

Among the bulbs that are "to the limit" - I can list most South African ones (Eucomis, Galtonia, Gladiolus, Dietes, Nerine, ...) but I have several protected spots in the garden that house them without any problems.

Also ph of the soil is neutral since the house is built on the Durance terrace - a mixture of pebbles and silts covering the spectrum of rocks the river cross by from the Alps into Provence. My rockery beds have been built to house hardy cacti and succulents and therefore have a very high level of drainage and in some pockets acid Ph. 

Because of the threes that were already planted by the owners of the house since the first half of the 20th century I also have many fresh and shaded areas... 

As you see a wild range of possibilities are opened to me...

Hope it will give an idea to everybody - and that you will help me select some of the best Galanthus species to be planted.

Can anyone also suggest a good book on Galanthus - a botanic monograph... I shall also list in the future what I have in my library that might be of help for people (since I am also a book collector - botany among other topîcs - and therefore have some "rarities").

Take care all and thanks for the interest

Luc in a still very sunny day (-2°C this morning at 7.30 am but 12°C now at 11.00 am)

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