summer dormancy (was Blue bulb and similar)
Sun, 14 Aug 2011 17:49:39 PDT
A couple of remarks:

1. About summer dryness.

The writer of the gardening column in our local newspaper used to perpetuate 
the misunderstanding that dry means sandy soil. (She conflated well-drained 
with summer dry, I s'pose.) In point of fact, many geophytes needing dry summer 
conditions grow natively in quite heavy soils. While crocuses do not too badly 
on lean, sandy soils, as is obvious from some of E. A. Bowles' remarks in his 
remarkable "My Garden in..." trilogy, tulips and narcissus demand soils with 
considerably more body.

Even "well drained" doesn't imply "sandy soils". My own garden is a quagmire in 
winter, being the former site of a small swamp, but it only takes a rather low 
raised bed, perhaps a foot high, to get the bulbs up and out of the squelch.

2. Mediterranean climate

One easy resource for climate data is Wikipedia. The entries for many cities 
include tables of weather averages and extremes that can be very illuminating. 
For example, at…

The Victoria entry also includes a well thought out graph of the averages, 
though it does not display the extremes. [Secret tip: the spreadsheet programs 
I've worked with have all included a special graph for stock price data, and 
these are very well adapted to display of average & extreme weather data.]

If you are perplexed by climatic data and terms like "Mediterranean climate", I 
can think of no better way of getting one's head around the subject than such 
graphical presentations for representative cities.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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