dearth of suppliers
Sun, 26 Sep 2010 13:01:09 PDT
With apologies, I have not been up to participating or contributing following some serious surgery ealy this summer preceded by having contracted Lyme's disease, however I have followed others contributions with interest as much as I can and would like to say, in response to Jim Waddick's contribution on this subject, never was a more true or apt point raised by anyone recently on this and other fora. Failure to support the people who do the slogging work collecting from natural populations gets gardeners and horticulturalists their just desserts when supplies run out. As Jim pointed out, invariably these people live off peanuts and certainly don't carry any extra weight around their midriffs. Here at ABG every care is taken to ensure only wild origin seed of botanical species is acquired invariably from these people although some is on exchange with other institutions, many of the collectors are highly educated but poorly paid. The planting strategy here is to put down 3-5 plants per taxon per seed provenance in both the area open to the public and the other site, invariably the seed needed and supplied is way in excess of requirments but every effort is made to ensure others known to share interests in certain genera can access such material. Inevitably it proves a virtuous circle and others often reciprocate in due time, a win win by all standards. If we could send bulbs to the US I would but your regulations are a nightmare so we rarely do so, seeds we can do but even thats a struggle for the US although the reasons are understood if somewhat excessive given that anyone can circumvent them which effect is counter productive and not to be advised, but it does happen no doubt.

I hope everyone had a good season's growth, here in northern Scotland apart from a dire and prolonged winter low air temps as far as - 31 C  which have led to poor pollination with few flying insect pollinators followed by interminable rain, now snow creeping down the mountain and already in August - 3C. Its going to be another long a white winter on this side of the pond I imagine.

Regards, Iain

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