Carl Frederick

My mother’s father had a wonderful garden. Large fragrant grape arbor, massive creeping rose, all kinds of things, each plant carefully tended and beautiful. I really loved walking through it with him, and on my own. My dad’s family had a lot of gardeners too and so that impetus to cultivate was passed to me from both sides. After I had started growing succulents I remember one time Tim Harvey told me he was going to visit the Drakensberg and I asked why. For the bulbs, he said. Bulbs? Why? It was only later that I decided to try some geophytes grown by Steven Hammer, an ornithogalum, Pelargonium caroli-henrici, a gethyllis, and a funny thing called Othonna cakilefolia. I think I must have gotten the idea because of a couple summer-growing geophytes, especially an unnamed tuberous dorstenia from Boris Vrskovy. It was the mystery and rebirth of these plants each growing season that attracted me I think. From there my interest in winter growers exploded, especially because I’m lucky enough to live in a place that mimics the cape and west coast of South Africa. I particularly like Gethyllis, Eriospermum, Bulbine, Daubenya, section hoarea of Pelargonium, Lachenalia, Ferraria, Othonna. I’ve tried hybridizing many of them.

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