Memory Bulbs--TOW

Mary Sue Ittner
Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:27:57 PDT
<x-flowed>Dear All,

The topic of the week this week is memory bulbs. This was a suggestion from 
Judy Glattstein. She can elaborate more on what she means by this, but my 
understanding is that this is an opportunity to talk about bulbs that are 
special to you because of the memory associated with them. Maybe they came 
from a friend or were acquired or associated with a trip or a famous person 
or some event in your life. You are all lucky that this is a busy week for 
me because this is a subject that I could really run with as so many of the 
bulbs I grow have such associations. I shall try to restrain myself and 
limit myself to a post a day. I hope a lot of you will participate in this 
topic even if just to tell us about one or two such bulbs.

I'll start out with the Michael Vassar Oxalis. Michael collected these 
bulbs in South Africa and then gave them an accession number, MV#... He 
grew them in an ever expanding collection in Southern California and one 
year gave a lot of them to IBS to be sold as a fund raiser. You could 
purchase a whole collection for more than $100. Mike Mace's wife bought him 
one of the collections as a present. Some of us who thought of Oxalis as a 
potential pest began to have second thoughts when Mike, Andrew Wilson, 
Diana Chapman, and Gary Buckley started raving about these wonderful 
plants. In later years when Mike had extras he shared some with the IBS BX 
and with me and I have tried to follow his lead in sharing mine. I was 
lucky enough to hear Michael Vassar lecture on Oxalis twice so in addition 
to loving these plants for their own sake I have the memory of this gentle 
quiet man who became so enthusiastic when talking about his 
favorites,  Oxalis and Pelargonium. Of all the ones I grow I think the 
obtusas are my favorites for their long bloom and bright colors, but there 
is a MV luteola that I especially like and a MV Oxalis comosa that I 
acquired at the IBS auction in 2002 donated by Mike that was gorgeous last 
winter when it was in bloom.

So Oxalis MVs get my vote for today and the memory goes beyond Michael 
Vassar to include Mike Mace who generously shared his collection and to 
Diana, Andrew, and Gary for providing the extra enthusiasm that made me 
want to try these. Oxalis now brings me pleasure for much of the year.

Mary Sue

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