Whats blooming in New York :)

pelarg@aol.com pelarg@aol.com
Sat, 28 Aug 2010 17:30:08 PDT
I have a lot of plant books, but not the Everett one that you mention.  I planted the crinums (will have to get a good photo of the foliage sometime next week and post it on my blog) in the slope garden, so they will not have the significant protection that the amaryllis belladonna has against the wall in another part of the school garden.  They are planted deep, however, and I will toss whatever garden debris I can come up with after frost over them for additional protection.  Reading in another post that Ellen has been successful with them in her much colder location gives me much hope they will survive, generally if it can survive for Ellen, it will have no problem with our winter at the other end of the state, in fact our warmer summers might be more of a problem for a few things--but not a crinum, of course.  Your mentioning a cold frame reminds me that I really need to look in to making one along that wall, it would be a great idea for many marginal bulbs, including some of the tougher Cape bulbs like Gladiolus tristis that can take pretty severe cold but not the prolonged kind we have in the open here during a typical winter (though I did get them to grow and bloom in a sandbed right against a wall of a greenhouse when I worked at the NYBG during a very mild el nino winter, planted late and protected with conifer boughs--but they did not make it the next winter.  Ditto for Wastonia alectroides, Gladiolus citrinus, Babiana rubrocyanea, and a few S African oxalis that I lost track of the ids of.  Moraea polystachya did do well against the wall in another location, but could get the top growth cut down before it had a chance to make seed and regrow a new large corm(s) for the following season except in very mild winters.  I imagine it could do very well in a cold frame.  
I do have a number of Crinum bulbispermum seedlings from South African seed, they are rather crowded in a couple of large pots, though three others are from an earlier batch and are bigger in another pot--I need to push them next year to get them bigger so I can try some of them outside then.  
The seemannia has been in the ground for at least three winters, but it is snug against the wall as you can see in my blog photos, and it appears to be spreading along the wall a bit.  That section is a bit moister than where the amaryllis is due to the peculiarities of the drip lines of the overhanging eves. Two walls meet with their two eves not far from where it it, so quite a bit of water comes down nearby during any storm--I use that spot to collect dripping rainwater in a rectangular wastebasket for terrarium plants in my classroom during rainstorms.  Note also what else has survived nearby--Fuschia magellenica, Melianthus (villosus, I think, not the grey leaved major--that dies in my attempts thus far) a white flowered tradescantia species I brought back to NYBG years ago from the UC Berkley BG, a single plant (of three planted last year) Gerbera jamsonii (straight species) Crocosmia aurea, and Zephyranthes candida (latter two in bloom now).  I set a few rhizomes of the seemannia into the slope garden this spring, planted rather deeply, they are growing well but I will be surprised if they come up next year, but nothing lost if they don't--they proliferate very well in the hanging basket and large pot of them that I also keep and overwinter dry indoors for winter (so there's always backups). 
I'm glad you enjoyed my blog!
plantblog:  http://geraniosgarden.blogspot.com/

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim McKenney <jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com>
To: 'Pacific Bulb Society' <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sat, Aug 28, 2010 11:43 am
Subject: Re: [pbs] Whats blooming in New York :)

Ernie, have you ever used the New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening
published by Greystone Press in 1960, edited by T.H. Everett)? I lived and
reathed this set for a couple of years back then – it was the first really
ood, modern gardening book I knew. It formed the basis of my horticultural
It was there that I learned that Crimum x powellii had successfully been
rown at New York City. It was due to the influence of this set of books
hat I planted my first “Cape border” back then. Both Crinum x powellii and
maryllis belladonna were some of the plants I used. If your Crinum really
re C. x powellii, you should have no trouble with them if suitably sited
ear a wall. 
My Amaryllis belladonna grows in a cold frame placed right against the house
all. It’s rooted into the ground (i.e. it’s not in a pot). The bulb is near
he surface, partially exposed. It has grown like a weed, but alas no bloom
I think I’ve seen hardiness ratings for Hesperaloë to zone 4 or 5 in the dry
How long have you had Seemannia ‘Evita’ outside?  I’m falling hard for the
orderline hardy gesneriads. 
I like your blog! 
Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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