Memory Bulbs--TOW

Boyce Tankersley
Tue, 29 Jul 2003 14:29:42 PDT
I will always fondly remember the sight that greeted me as I came around a corner in Inverewe Gardens in Scotland and came upon Cardiocrinum giganteum for the first time. It was mid-July and I had just arrived to begin a year long internship with the National Trust for Scotland from the desert Southwest. Truth be told, the Cardiocrinums were almost finished flowering; but the size of flowers and height of the inflorescence was breathtaking. I asked one of the other interns to stand between the Gunnera and Cardiocrinum and still treasure the picture of the apparent lilliputin among the lilies.

In early June near the High Mountain Research Institute located at the Bakuriani Botanic Gardens in the Republic of Georgia, a day trip took us to a broad rolling mountain top covered in a sea of Scilla rosenii in full flower. The flowers varied in color (white to dark blue) and size of flower. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of blooms rippled with the topography into the distance. Large clumps of incredibly white Ornithogalum balansae dotted the hilltop and Caltha palustris outlined the streams and wet places in gold. The weathered bedrock of the mountain was exposed in places; the whole effect typifying an alpine meadow. The wind was blowing briskly and my photographs of the display will never be as crisp and the memory. The first time I've ever seen a sea of bulbs in flower. Heaven must look like that.

Boyce Tankersley

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