Brodiaea and Calochortus

Mon, 04 Nov 2002 23:12:56 PST
As you must have surmised, there is no single answer to your question. Partly it depends on which species you are working with, and partly it depends on your immediate circumstances. It sounds like you have some experience with different species, and despite all else and the advice from whomever, you will be best off if you use that as your guide.

How do the West Coast species avoid the gophers in situ? I think we can ask - why do they grow in hard clay, when they need good drainage? (the answer being that many of them grow at the edges of steep banks). Hard clay (which gophers do not do so well with) is mostly what is available to them - so they have figured out how to adapt to that and survive ... Also, poor and/or toxic West Coast soils are what is available to them - so they have found a way to adapt to that as well.... 

Some of the classic works deal with the issue of "why do we find them on adobe,  of serpentine and other noxious soils?" -  the answer being that they have less competition in such circumstances. But that is also what makes them interesting and challenging to grow in the garden or pot circumstances.

Partly I am getting philosophical. But also this is what makes the bulbs fun.

When I get REALLY philosophical, I start asking myself why bulbs have so much of an easier time in the Cape Province than in Western North America - and yet I've seen the comparative circumstances, and on some level it starts to become obvious. I then tend to pass over the specific circumstances of each, and start to just sit back and enjoy them...

My late husband Jim was totally hooked, he wanted to try to grow EVERYHTHING he saw that he admired, regardless of where and in what circumstances he saw it. He was horticulturally talented, and remarkably successful, for the most part.

Over time, I came to realize that what I GEORGIE wanted was to SEE everything, and to enjoy it for what and where it was. A very different mind-set. I absolutely would not "put down" HIS (or anyone else's) desires; it just wasn't the same as MINE.

It really is a different mind-set. That's to say that it is not intended, and should not be taken as, a "put-down." It's just worth thinking about -----------maybe......

Best wishes ---------------- Georgie  

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