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Messages - David Pilling

General Discussion / Re: Plants in the News
May 18, 2024, 05:45:03 PM
How to watch the 2024 RHS Chelsea Flower Show on TV and BBC iPlayer

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is back on our screens from Sunday 19 May

The nation's favourite gardening social event of the year, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, is returning to the BBC from Sunday 19 May.

This year's themes are: the greenest Chelsea ever, proving that great design and sustainability can go hand in hand, using water wisely, the joy of gardens and how to attract a younger, more diverse audience to gardening.

General Discussion / Re: Plants in the News
May 18, 2024, 05:41:56 PM
RHS warning after hungry caterpillars 'taking over South East' and decimating Guildford hedges

The Royal Horticultural Society has issued a warning after invasive, hungry caterpillars are reportedly taking over parts of Surrey and the South East.
General Discussion / Re: Plants in the News
May 17, 2024, 06:02:11 PM
Regular gardening could help you sleep, study says

A Chinese study of American gardeners found that their chances of a poor night's sleep were almost half that of non-gardeners.

(behind a paywall)
Current Photographs / Re: Calochortus superbus
May 13, 2024, 06:25:08 AM
Quote from: Diane Whitehead on May 12, 2024, 12:03:08 PMIf I want some, I'll buy some bulbs.

I once read that someone had taken five years to grow a lily from seed, "Hah what a mug I will buy some bulbs" I thought. It took my bulbs over 10 years to vanish, never flowering. That's a thing with bulbs, they can go backwards.

Current Photographs / Re: Calochortus superbus
May 11, 2024, 05:42:12 PM
Quote from: Uli on May 11, 2024, 02:33:16 PMthey reach flowering size very quickly

My latest one Polygonatum verticillatum
took 11 years from seed to flower. Has been fun, but always looked like it was going to be slow.

Beginners should look up the list of bulbs that flower in their first year from seed. 
Current Photographs / Re: May 2024
May 07, 2024, 07:09:16 PM
Iris sibirica flowered today.

Current Photographs / Re: May 2024
May 05, 2024, 06:12:39 PM
Photos from my garden, last fling of my Spring flowering bulbs.

I've no special knowledge of babiana... but in general bulbs are better in the ground. Often even when there is no top growth they are busy growing roots.

Sometimes we dig up bulbs and store them, but it is when they're non-hardy (dahlias in Winter) or in the way (narcissus in Summer).

My learned colleague mentions Freesia - special case, they're often heat treated so that they will act as Summer flowering bulbs (in the chilly UK).
If anyone were to offer up some H. cleo photos I would create a PBS wiki entry for it.
Doing a search on the PBS wiki for California and Crocus gives:

I gather California is a big state with a varying climate from North to South. But now you've said where, maybe some forum members from there will chip in.
"here" may mean, here on the forum, and is a valid question.
Of course in discussion "here" may soon mean locality, and it is a good idea to set up your fourum profile (top left of page) to show it over on the left of your replies.

I grow and have grown loads of different crocus species. There is pleasure to be had. They are fairly inexpensive and commonly available from the usual suppliers of Dutch bulbs. The ones that survive long term untended in the garden are the large Dutch hybrids and Crocus tommasinianus - that is of course here in the North of England.

You can find my photos in the PBS wiki crocus pages (search on my surname).

I have tried but I can't recall ever growing a crocus to flowering from seed. So any photos are of the commercial varieties.
Current Photographs / Re: April 2024
April 20, 2024, 10:47:28 AM
Quote from: Uli on April 20, 2024, 12:49:20 AMLauw de Jager is the owner of the now defunct nursery Bulb'Argence in southern France. He sold a wide range of often unusual bulbs suitable for the Mediterranean Climate. He also wrote a nicely illustrated booklet on Mediterranean Bulbs but in French.

Booklet available in French and English from the PBS archive:

General Discussion / Re: Plants in the News
April 16, 2024, 04:02:33 PM
On the BBC news at lunch time they had video showing a bloke up a ladder pollinating the puya and they said humming birds did it in habitat. It said that it spends years looking like a pile of dead vegetation before throwing up a huge flower spike.
General Discussion / Re: Plants in the News
April 16, 2024, 05:37:57 AM
'Otherworldly' plant blooms for first time in decade

Birmingham Botanical Gardens said the Puya alpestris, from the Chilean Andes, began to flower in one of its glasshouses last week.

It is described as a "truly rare event" with visitors told they have just days to see the "exquisite" plant.

Staff, meanwhile, face a race against time to pollinate it by hand.

Puya alpestris is native to the mountainous regions of central and southern Chile and distantly related to the pineapple, the botanical garden said.
Current Photographs / Re: April 2024
April 15, 2024, 06:02:21 PM
@Diane Whitehead - hovering, gets you the attach number... on Chrome when you hover over a link the URL appears in a bar at the bottom of the window. Presumably something similar happens on Safari (Mac). Right click will get you 'copy link address' which lets one paste the same thing as in the URL. Looks like this:;fs=41293;attach=6248;image

we can get the attach value, 6248 and put it into the message:

[attach id=6248]Martin's orchid[/attach]