I'm a newbie, please bear with my note

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 21:13:58 PST
Hi Crystal,

You’ll find taking advantage of BXs and SXs very easy. Albert Stella periodically posts a list in an email to this list of what’s available, and you send him an email (to his private email address!) requesting what you’d like to get and some weeks later, almost like magic, you’ll get a package with many to most of the items you requested, depending on how much of each species was donated, along with a slip telling you how much to pay. It doesn’t matter how rare or common a species is, the price per packet or bulb is constant.

It’s also really easy to donate seeds or extra bulbs. Just send them to Albert whenever you have them and eventually they’ll show up in a future BX or SX list. You’ll also get credit towards your next BX/SX purchase! And don’t be shy to send in something you think of as ordinary. Someone somewhere else will want it!

Also, even though the official name of the organization is *Pacific* Bulb Society, it’s not really Pacific Coast-oriented even though there are quite a few people around the entire Pacific Ocean rim that belong. Really, it covers bulbs from any location in the world, and people from anywhere in the world have joined either this list or the organization. (I think that maybe the “Pacific” part of PBS’s name meant that the bulb could grow or is grown somewhere along the Pacific Rim. But I think pretty much every climate type in the world exists somewhere around the Pacific Rim, so that means de facto any bulb from anywhere in the world and those who grow them can belong to PBS…)  :-)

Since I grew up and went to college near you (Austin, Texas) and my parents and family still live there, it holds a special place in my heart. That’s why I pay more attention when I see that someone is from that area. There are (or were) several people living in that area who belong to PBS. And a couple of them somehow manage to grow quite a few of the species that we grow here in California. It’s surprising to me what they grow (for example from the Cape province of South Africa!). So my suggestion is to not be afraid to try things from other regions of the world. They might just do well where you live (despite the heat). And others will grow very well there with just a little protection or a little extra care (like giving them a little extra water or conversely protecting them from rain when they’re dormant, or covering them when it gets a little too cold or even trying a few in an unheated greenhouse or plastic frame).

There are even some old-time or “heirloom” bulbs that do very well in Texas that were never from Texas or the South. Species such as Roman Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) or Narcissus/Daffodils (in particular from Divisions 7 or 8) or Sternbergia lutea or Muscari neglectum grape hyacinth) from the Mediterranean. Or some of the species Tulips from Central Asia. Or Lycoris radiata (red spider lily) from China. Or Rhodophiala bifida (oxblood lily) from Argentina (and which naturalized around Austin). Or Johnson’s amaryllis (Hippeastrum ×johnsonii), a very hardy hybrid made from two species from South America. Or the cannas from the more tropical parts of the Americas and Asia, or the gingers from the more tropical parts of Asia. And along with all the rain lilies that are native, there are a bunch more that will grow in Texas from Mexico and Brazil and Argentina. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Argentine bulb species would do just fine in Texas. I’ve had the opportunity to visit several areas in Argentina, and there are parts of that country that you would swear you were in the hill country of Central Texas, and which have a fairly similar annual climate pattern.

You’re probably already aware of the different books that are out there describing bulbs that will grow in Texas, such as “Heirloom Bulbs for Today” and “The Bulb Hunter” by Chris Weisinger and “A Gardener’s Guide to Growing Bulbs on the Gulf Coast” by Sally McQueen Squire (which is an expanded version of “The Complete Guide to Growing Bulbs in Houston”). These mention even more different species you can grow there. But IMO the two best bulb books for Texas (and a lot of other places!) written by two different people, one who lived in San Antonio and the other who lives in Austin, are “Bulbs for Warm Climates” by Thad M Howard and “Garden Bulbs for the South” by Scott Ogden.

Conversely, there are a lot of people both on the U.S. West Coast and in other parts of the U.S. and the world that grow or try to grow things you find easy. One of the best hobbyist rain lily growers I’ve “met” lives and gardens in New Zealand, for example. I (who now live in southern California) have been wanting to grow Nemastylis geminiflora (Celestial lily), but I’ve never seen seed of it offered anywhere. However, a friend of mine who lives just outside of Austin has them growing wild on his property, and I’ve made him promise to send me a few bulbs of it when they bloom this spring (since that’s the only time he knows where they’re growing!). 

I think you’ll find PBS members and list members from every kind of climate and location throughout the world who all love bulbs no matter where they originate from and are all willing to try something that they may have never heard of before but that might just end up growing well in their area. (I hope you’ve perused the amazing Photographs and Information section of the PBS wiki <https://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/…> put together entirely by volunteers!)

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

> On Feb 21, 2019, at 6:28 PM, Crystal Fisher <crystalfisher912@gmail.com> wrote:

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