Hello from Berkeley, CA

Kipp McMichael kimcmich@hotmail.com
Thu, 18 Nov 2010 13:56:53 PST

  My name is Kipp McMichael and I live in Berkeley, CA (zone 10a).

  I've been into plants all my life. I grew up in Alabama and my first cultivated bulb experiences were spider lilies (Lycoris), Gladiolus and Crinums. As for true wild bulb species, the wetland Hymenocallis that are common in the South were probably the first native bulbs I ever knew.

  As a transplant to California's mediterranean climate, I've gravitated toward growing succulents, caudiciforms and, most recently, bulbs. In particular, I've been drawn-in by winter-growing species that provide a wonderful new beginning during a gardening season where most of my other plants are dormant. It's no suprise then that most of my bulbs come from South Africa. I grow Massonia, Daubenya, Boophone, Brunsvigia, Androcymbium, Veltheimia, Lachenalia, Polyxena, Crossyne, Rhadamanthus, Eriospermum and, of course, Haemanthus. I probly have around 200 bulbs from ~45 or so species and/or localities.

  California is blessed with quite a diverse selection of native winter bulbs as well. I grow Chlorogalum (including an unusual variegated specimen), Dichelostemma, Triteleia, and a few Calochortus. Now that I have recently moved and have a large backyard, I'm starting to increase my collection of California bulbs. I have also begun propagation in earnest and have many 1 & 2 year-old seedlings of from my adult bulbs (mostly Haemanthus and Massonia) as well as 30 or so seedling trays newly sowed with a plethora of South African species (both from my own plants and purchased from Silverhill, Summerfield and others).  

  I would almost say I am more interested in unusual foliage than I am in flowers (the foliage is so much more dependable!). I particularly like species with prostrate leaves, glaucous foliage or frilly margins. 

  Even though winter-growers are my main focus, I also have evergreen and summer-growing Amaryllidaceae, Haemanthus, Boophone, Ledebouria and Resnova.

  I'm interested in trading seeds, bulbs and knowledge.



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