Fritillaria monograph on its way

Sun, 22 Mar 2015 01:14:23 PDT
Dear Ms McGary (and other PBS members),

I was very interested to read your article "Fritillaria in the Pacific Garden." Though it may be difficult to acquire seeds, could you recommend species that I may be able to grow in my small rock garden in Roseville, California? I would start the seeds in pots and transplant to the garden later. My USDA hardiness zone is 9a or 9b depending on who you believe. I have personally measured temperatures below 20oF from my weather station that matches standard specifications. The last two years have been unusually dry and somewhat warm, so I cannot count on cold for those bulbs that require it either. I garden on the edge of Sunset zones 9 & 14, so July-August high temperatures are typically above 100 oF for many days to a record high of 118 oF (43 oC to 48 oC) accompanied by low humidity. Fortunately, cool evening breezes off the Sacramento/San Joaquin river delta make nighttime temperatures comfortable, at least for humans. My soil is slightly acid heavy clay amended with sand, 
 gravel, composted yard trimmings, and rotted pine bark. The garden is built on a slope and despite the clay has reasonably good drainage. The altitude is about 100 feet (30m) Most of the garden is in full sun, but some areas have shade at mid day from a  pomegranate tree. A few small shrubs and of course the stones/rocks offer some shelter as well. (There has recently been some discussion on the forum of what dimensions define stones and rocks. Mine range from a span to a cubit in cross section). Annual precipitation averages about 22 inches (560mm) but recently has been much less. I irrigate about one inch (25mm) in a single watering per month during the dry season (between May and October). Hopefully we will have water for irrigation this year. I give no supplemental water to the area of the garden with California native plants during this time. As you probably know, we normally have 4 to 5 months without significant precipitation every year. During winter and spring, I ir
 rigate the entire garden every week or every other week if there is no rain--about one inch each time to keep the soil from drying out. Specimen plants are given supplemental water all year as needed,
I would appreciate it if you could also direct me to cultivation advice as well for selected fritillary species. 
Thank you for suggestions. I just started the rock garden in 2013 and am at this stage still just experimenting. Each species and variety is such an exciting challenge.

Mark Robertson

P.S. Currently blooming here are Tulipa wilsoniana, Tulipa linifilia, Leucojum aestivum, Ipheion uniflora, Narcissus bulbocodium conspicuus, and Narcissus hybrids, Ixia hybrids, Sparaxis hybrids, Bletilla striata, Freesia hybrids, and lots of Cymbidiums in pots as well. They grow outside with a little protection on the coldest nights. This fall, Sternbergia lutea and fall Crocus spp., did well. Triteleia spp., Dichelostemma spp., Tulipa clusiana, and others are coming along well. 

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