IBSA Symposium 2003/Vist to South Africa TOW

Lauw de Jager dejager@bulbargence.com
Wed, 01 Oct 2003 10:25:55 PDT
  Dear All 
Now having read MarySue report I wouldliketo add a few of y imprssions durin
the field trips

 msittner@mcn.org a écrit :
Two large buses were rented and the first day we traveled to Swellendam to a
farm  where we had permission to look for flowers.  We got very excited as
> found our first bulbs.

It was a fantastic landscape in the Overland area  along the Breede Rivier.
We were just  'let loose' in this large area which was grazed quite
regularly. On one side the ridge was bordered by a barley field and sloping
toward the east to the river. Most bulbs were found on the top part of the
flat ridge,(Moraea, Brunsvigia, Geissorhiza, Hesperantha, Laperousias).
Going  down towards the river we found more Ixias and Watsonias and Oxalis.
The  4 hours spent there  passed far too quickly.
> The following day we went to Hermanus. This was another long trip on the
> bus. Hermanus has whales and they were present. It also has the Fernkloof
> Nature Reserve and after we looked at ferns we drove there. Fernkloof has
> fynbos vegetation so we saw Proteas, Ericas, and Restios. We didn't see a
> lot of bulbs here, but did find one Gladiolus hirsutus that everyone
> photographed and a couple of other things.
  Don'tforget the great stand of Aristeas major? and Romulaes.

Our bus was led by Burger van Eeden, who had a detailed knowledge where to
find bulbs. Like many other South africans we met, they have a great ability
to  spot bulbs from moving cars or buses. Apart from several side of the
road stops to see  Gladiolus, Babiana and Lachenalias, he  took us to a
'Koppie' where there whas great stand of Nerine sarniense. Indeed amongst
the basalt blocks on the north face  of the granite outcrop masses of leaves
of the autumn flowering bulb. On the way back to the bus I was struck by the
numerous geissorhiza and Romulea simply growing  in the middleof the path!.

> The final day we went to the Worcester Botanical Garden.
> There were other series of plastic pots, but the majority of the bulbs were
> planted in large concrete deep planters where the bulbs have a deep root
> run and where soil temperatures are very constant. The concrete is divided
> into sections with different species in each and they are numbered.

 These  pure sand plunge beds also intrigued me  a lot. I think the succes
is partly due to the cooler temperatures around the roots (compared to pot
cultures).   As far I could see it was pure sand,  but I don't know how far
it goes down  what  kind of of soil is down below. There were indeed some
very nice stands of Babiana, Lachenalia and Ferraria. It reminded me a bit
of the bed Dave Fenwick described to us  some years ago.
In the gardens there were mass plantings of Boophane and Haemanthus
bosmanii, Brusnsvigia and lots of Watsonia, and in the shade of the office a
very large  clump of Cyrtanthus herrei. Very little iridaceae  very seen as
garden plants.
 (We will get to this subject when visiting Jim Holmes nursery)
(On Bobs picture of the Worcester bulb beds you can see  Rachel Saunders who
is  a frequent  forum participator and one of the IBSA symposium organiser)
Kind regards

Lauw de Jager

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