Overdue Introduction

Dr Paul Chapman cyrtanthus@blueyonder.co.uk
Fri, 19 Jul 2002 05:17:55 PDT
 Hello Everyone,             
             I've been here more or less from the beginning, 
having met Mary Sue in Los Angeles in April, but have not yet found the time to write a full intro.   The time has now come, but accept my apologies if you find a few crumbs mixed in with the email; I'm trying to eat lunch and write an email at the same time!             
             I'm Paul Chapman, aged 45, with a Ph.D. in the 
chemical and mineralogical changes that take place as a certain group of rocks in mid-Wales gradually change from rock to soil.   I now work full time for the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, the top quality assessment body in the UK, assessing the technical competence of laboratories that test construction materials, such as concrete, aggregates and asphalt.   
So, growing bulbs is just a hobby, which I have being doing 
seriously for just over 15 years.             
             I live at the very southern tip of London, UK, 5 
minutes drive from open countryside, 35 minutes from the centre of London by 
train.   Because of the heating effect of the city, we are effectively in 
zone 9a; normal minimum winter temperature -51/4C (231/4F), and that only once or twice a year.   Normal maximum summer temperature 301/4C (861/4F), and again only once or twice a year; this year we have had one day of 291/4C (841/4F) and 1 day of 281/4C (821/4F) so far.             
             It seems to be nearly always raining, both winter 
and summer, but our rainfall actually only averages 65cm (26 inches) a 
year,  although it  can occur at any time of year,  which seems to 
vary wildly from year to year.   Because of the wet, and the vast numbers of 
snails and a few slugs, almost all of my bulbs are grown in greenhouses or a 
cold frame, although some are undoubtedly cold hardy.             
             Nerine and Cyrtanthus are primary interests - I 
have taken this week as leave from work to repot my Nerines and, with the end of the week nearly here, I am barely half way there yet.   The first of my 
summer/autumn Cyrtanthus came into flower yesterday.   I am also 
particularly fond of Arisaema,  Crocus and species Gladiolus, and over the 
last few years I have also been trying my hand with Hippeastrum.   Many 
other things, particularly South American and South African Amaryllids,  seem to find their way into my greenhouses too.   Our relatively small garden (20m x 6m) (66 feet x 20 feet) is a mess; all my spare time is spent on "the little weeds in pots" (as my wife calls them) in the  greenhouses and frames.             
             I have one 5m x 3m (16 feet x 10 feet) greenhouse, 
half of which is maintained at a minimum of 101/4C (501/4F) all year; the other half stays just above freezing due to the heat that escapes from the heated part.   The other greenhouse is smaller, and completely 
             I am a member of too many plant societies: RHS and 
its Lily Group, IBS, NARGS, SRGC, AGS, Hardy Plant Society and its Half-hardy 
Group, and the  Australasian Plant Society, and I am a committee member of 
the Nerine and Amaryllid Society.             
             Dr Paul Chapman, Wallington, Surrey, UK             

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