Thanks for coming and What shall we do now?

Jane McGary
Mon, 16 Mar 2009 15:43:33 PDT
I'd like to thank the surprisingly large number of PBS members who 
traveled to the NARGS Western Winter Study Weekend, including some 
such as Dell Sherk who came all the way from the Atlantic states. We 
had a pleasant chat session Saturday evening and enjoyed plenty of 
bulb information in the talks, including a splendid presentation on 
growing bulbs from seed and in containers by Ian Young, and John 
Lonsdale's inspiring and amusing saga of how he became a "proper" 
(outdoor) gardener in America after doing the alpine-house bit in 
England. Both these talks should get a lot more of the audience 
growing their geophytes from seed, although there was some untoward 
laughter when remarks such as "five years from sowing to flowering" were heard.

Thank you, too, to the 20 or 30 people who braved the awful weather 
Sunday to drive out to my place and stand in the rain and, briefly, 
hail, to look at the bulbs even though they were a month behind 
schedule. I wish I had had time to visit with everybody at length and 
felt that I was being inconsiderate to almost everyone I started 
talking with, because there was always some organizational matter to 
rush off to, or some urgent question to answer. We do need to get 
together more!

I accepted the position of PBS president with the warning that I 
wouldn't be able to do much until this meeting was over. Now I'm 
going to ask people for input so I can formulate some proposals for 
more activities we could offer our members. One that seems likely is 
small-group tours in different parts of the country, to see bulbs in 
flower in the wild and/or to visit gardens and nurseries with notable 
bulb collections. A couple of people suggested modeling these on the 
outings of the Penstemon Society, in which people car-pool rather 
than trying to hire vans or buses. I think this is the way the SIGNA 
outings for Pacific Coast irises are done also? I suggested northern 
California/southern Oregon as a good place to see lots of wild bulb 
species in spring, although the flowering season is very long because 
of elevational differences. The Central Coast Ranges in California 
might be another good venue, or perhaps the Sierra Nevada foothills 
from the Mother Lode country south. I expect a trillium tour in the 
US Southeast would be fun, too! And if it ever rains again in 
northern Chile, that would be super though rather expensive.

Let's discuss some ideas here, and I'll make up an agenda for 
discussion at our next board meeting.

With best wishes,
Jane McGary

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